- Venue: Avon Tyrrell, Main Lake
- Swim: Car park bank
- Time: 14:30 to 16:30
- Weather: It remains a settled and warm spell, but this afternoon was humid despite a stiff breeze
This week panned out as outlined at the end of my previous post. After fishing Tuesday evening, I was out running on Wednesday evening and out again on Thursday cycling. Thursday turned into a late evening as I failed to steer Pete and Nigel past the Red Lion at Boldre and would have been longer had I not vetoed the Gun at Keyhaven. . Now whilst Mrs. Sidestream is quite indulgent it pays not to push it, so a fourth consecutive evening out seemed unwise. As predicted the three people into two cars situation worked against me with my son off in Birmingham watching the cricket and Mrs. Sidestream juggling two part time jobs. At this time of year I am not a great fan of fishing during the day, but accept I am too lazy for a dawn start. Realistically it is light here in the south of the UK by about 03.45 so to arrive at a lake at day break I would be have to up before three in the morning and frankly would it even worth going to bed? That said when I am up at dawn in the summer I always enjoy the experience, but my favourite time to fish is summer evenings. Possibly this is ingrained in me by years of work and weekends that were once spent ferrying the kids to their activities. It could also that I have a mind set that if an early morning session starts slowly, each hour that ticks by theoretically takes you away from the magic time, whereas with an evening session until you pack up the best time is ahead of you. However, my on-line ghillies https://stevetheangler.com/ and https://wheatnotcasters.blog/ have both made the case for fishing ‘gentleman’s hours’. To clarify when I first worked in the City as a lowly insurance clerk, the perception was that stockbrokers and their ilk not only started their working day after us lowly oiks, but were away to London Bridge to head back home whilst we were still at our desks. Incidentally, the same mythology led us to believe that there were specially timed trains to pander to the gentry and that in steam days they invariably benefited from a Schools class loco up front.
So fishing an afternoon session in June was a leap of faith inspired by the advice of Bryan and Steve and a session which I could juggle in to today’s schedule by driving Mrs. Sidestream to her afternoon shift at the library and then heading on to Avon Tyrrell. Even by my standards I thought time was against me, as I had to be back in New Milton by five to collect Mrs. Sidestream. Therefore given that the ledger rod was already set up, this was the first to hit the water:
- Tackle: The barbel rod, 8lb line to a size 10 hook on a 6lb link
- Method: Ledgering with a three way swivel with two swan shot as the weight
- Bait: Luncheon meat (grilled with garlic) and sweetcorn
- Ground bait: Sonu Thatchers Original and pearl barley and sweetcorn
With paddle boarders out on the lake I aimed the bait at the right hand margin underneath some rhododendron bushes and ground baited this area. Due to a lack of foresight my groundbait was sitting in the boot of my car at Warwick Services so I had to resort to the last bag of commercial groundbait I had in the cupboard. I don’t want to give the impression that I doubt the wisdom of my on-line ghillies, but my belief is that the most likely species to feed in the middle of the day is the rudd, so as insurance I set a float rod up to fish on the drop
- Tackle: The fibre glass Milbro match rod, 4lb line to a size 16 hook to nylon on 3lb line
- Method: On the drop float fishing with a SB Bodied Waggler
- Bait: Sweetcorn and pearl barley
- Ground bait: loose fed pearl barley and sweetcorn
The first action occurred on the ledger rod. I struck at a double tug of the tip and was instantly into a juddering fight and to be honest despite the fairly beefy tackle something was giving as good as it got. The comments on my previous post made by https://stevetheangler.com/ and https://claretbumbler.com/ about the deficiencies of three way swivels suddenly seemed ominously relevant, but I netted the fish and it turned out to be an eel.
Had I mentioned it was a humid afternoon? I don’t much care for eels but fishing a shaded margin with meat on a humid afternoon is probably asking for an eel to come along. Despite not being a fan I cannot deny pound for pound eels are up there as fighters and out of curiosity I weighed this one. It went 1lb 4ozs so the chap who landed the British Record eel (11lb 2oz) must have had a real tussle. I’ve never weighed an eel before, so I guess by default this is my PB!
For a spell I switched to sweetcorn on the ledger rod to deter any of the eel’s mates, but the float line was not going as I expected. In an ideal world I would have had hemp (missing due to a lack of preplanning) and/or micro pellets (which were in a car boot that was now heading south on the A42 ). However, I adapted the match fisherman’s on the drop mantra of cast, loose feed, cast loose feed and repeated this ad infinitum with pearl barley and the odd grain of sweetcorn. The breeze meant I was fishing with a larger float than is my preference and it was odd weather in that it was both humid and breezy. However, it took a while to get even small knocks on the float with sweetcorn. Even then I couldn’t connect with any of the bites until I switched to two grains of pearl barley and then all became clear, I had a shoal of very tiny rudd in front of me. Historically silver fish at this venue have been bigger than I was catching today. I caught a few and then reached the point where I couldn’t see bigger silver fish muscling in on the loose feed in the time available to me. For the last twenty minutes or so I reverted to meat on the ledger rod and concentrated on just the one rod, hoping a carp found my ground bait. I did miss one bite, but that was it and I packed up aware an eel and some small rudd meant technically I had avoided a blank. Fishing-wise it was a disappointing session, but once the paddle boarders had departed it was a pleasant afternoon and I approve of Avon Tyrrell’s pre-booking process and their six anglers limit. It makes for a quieter lake.
Lessons learnt; one two hour session will hardly prove or disprove what Bryan and Steve are telling me about daytime fishing. However, they usually turn out to be correct. Whether I actually like fishing through the heat of the day is another question, but car shares and my other hobbies may make it a necessity! One point where it seems my on-line ghillies (Colin and Steve this time) are absolutely on the money is three way swivels. The swivel didn’t fail on me but a pound plus eel was enough to bend it out of shape, so I’ll be retying that rig over the weekend.
Next steps; once again the week in prospect has a number of competing outings so I will just fit in what I can. However, the 16th June will be upon us on Wednesday.