The first of our two bank holiday bonanza weekends I gave up to pull a real changing room job on our kitchen which has been top of my big job list since we moved into a our current home. Four days of initial trashing and ripping followed by tender hammering and sawing and Jacky was over the moon with our sparkling new modern kitchen, which left me free the following weekend to get some fishing in.
My first trip was something I have had brewing away for a while: eels! I am sure they are present in the canal stretch we have been targeting for perch this year, so Thursday evening after work I charged home to grab my gear and headed down there to fish until morning.
Andy joined me in search of bream, and after a while another couple of lads he knows turned up out of the blue with an idea to target the local bream population themselves. This was something I wanted to keep away from so I set up a little down the canal within sight of them.
Determined to avoid both perch and bream I was cautious to try and keep off known feeding areas of both species. I cast out one rod baited with bunch of lob worms and second baited with a small dead roach.
Intermittently through the evening my worm rod received unwelcome attentions as a shoal of bream passed near the area and finally the bobbin slowly and erratically rose as a decent but spawning battered bream of 4.4lb made off with the worms.
As the night wore on I did get some very interesting touches here and there and around 10.30pm I got what I am sure was my only run from an eel. With no warning at all the indicator on my roach line sounded with a slow and constant run which went on for a good while as I waited to confirm a run and not a liner. Sadly my strike pulled the bait clean out of the mouth of the culprit. After this the temp dropped badly along with my confidence and I could stand it no longer it was time for home.
Friday I could have gone fishing but I felt it important to actually watch the royal wedding as it ain't that often our future king gets married. So rather than head off into the country side I spent the morning like the few billion people around the world sitting on the sofa watching TV.
My next session was to investigate the canal Sunday morning with Jeff for the illusive silver bream which inhabit one particular area at this time of year. The wind by Sunday had really begun to blow and as a result the only fish that seemed present in the area we fished were the ever hungry hoards of mini perch. No matter where I cast my baits one of the little buggers would root it out. I only encountered one fish that was not a little perch and my hopes of a silver bream were dashed when the small silver fish turned out to be a roach bream hybrid.
We ended up moving to a more sedate area were the fishing was a little more comfortable and sat chatting about one of our favourite subjects, sea fishing; Jeff being an old hand hand and myself a novice due to go for a week long session in a few weeks time.
The final trip of the weekend was one I had in mind for a few weeks: back to Snitterfield. My original plan was to do some surface fishing for grass carp but on the way there in the afternoon I began to question my sanity as I pulled on the elevated road that leads to snitters and the true force of the wind hit me.
Being located on a orchard clad hill side this open lake can be the worst place in Warwickshire on the wrong day and this was one of them. Before fishing I took a walk around the lake to chat with some of the anglers already fishing. By all accounts it didn't seem to be fishing that well at all and the carp had not shown so much as a scale all day. So I opted for a change of plan and sought a quite sheltered corner to do some simple float fishing out of the wind.
My decision to change tack and use up my left over bait leftover from the weekend was the best decision I have made in a long time...
Fishing a 14ft waggler rod with my vintage centre pin and a light float rig only a foot off the rod tip the bites were instant. Most of the lakes resident roach seemed to be tight against the bank under the howling wind and after no less than twenty roach all between 10oz and a pound I was really chuffed.
An average roach.
I even switched to bread to try and root out some bigger roach but this resulted in me landing three bream on the trot of about 2-3lb.
Three hours of constantly feeding maggots and my bait was seriously diminished so I began throwing a few pellets in for good measure which prompted the best surprise of the day as far as I am concerned. A timid sliding bite resulted in what at first looked like a small perch, but in hand I was confronted with the first of five micro tench which could not resist the soft pellets.
They don't get any cuter than this!
The sport continued right up until the sun set and on all but my last cast I hooked into what I thought was a big roach until it began surging up and down in the water. My first snit crucian of 2011 was soon in the net at 1.6lb.
I really enjoyed just fishing for whatever came along and not targeting anything specific on this occasion and have found a renewed joy for the singing sound that the centre pin's racket makes as a fish powers off on light tackle. All too often I fish using heavy gear to target bigger fish, so much so I have forgotten how much fun it is to use really light gear and classical methods.