Friday, 24 June 2011

Panning for gold

They say you need a good breakfast to start the day, a fact I certainly believe in. But a lesser known fact I also believe in is that to start your day or fishing session you need a good sound track to get you into the right state of mind.
Personally I have a rather varied and encompassing  musical taste, and on any given journey to water I could find myself listening to anything from the Rolling Stones to Bentley Rythm Ace, right through the Rat Pack before coming back via Amy Winehouse. 
Sitting in the car I flipped the leaves of my CD collection and happened upon on perfection for the journey ahead. What else could I listen to as I cruised into the Warwickshire country side but the waling tones of the 1960's psychedelic rock legend that was Janis Joplin. 

Having finally arrived after giving the steering wheel as much of a battering as the car speakers I descended the  tree shrouded drive turning off the music as I did, as this is the point where I move from the outside world into a tranquil world of angle... Oh and I didn't want to piss off anyone already fishing as I traversed the lake side road by Janis screaming ' Take it, take another little piece of my heart' as they tried to hold their pole steady.
Turned out I hadn't of worried as I had the whole lake to myself all day: 'Score!'

On the way there I had listened to 'summer time' the song and technically it is summer time here in the UK if you'd believe it, so today I intended to angle for the epitome of English summer species: Crucian carp.
Unlike so many of the other species that I pursue Crucians don't seem to care how hot it is or what time of the day they feed. In fact in my experience on a lot of lakes they actually prefer it to be hot and stifling. I suppose this is largely to do with their uncanny ability to live in water with practically no oxygen it. They are hardly caught before the frosts end and once the first chilly nights of autumn arrive they once again become scarce.

Feeling a little classical I had opted to fish some classical kit by way of my old speedia centre pin and a old school quill float. I would have included my 13 foot billy lane cane match rod in that but sense had prevailed as a day of holding that beast is by no way relaxing...

A little bit of this bait scattered in followed by a little of that and I was off. First cast I could say that the bait never got to the bottom before it was taken, but that would be a lie, as to say this the bait would have had to got past the top, which it didn't! The first fish of the day was another summer classic, a Rudd which snatched it the instant it hit the water.

Hungry and perfectly formed there was masses of them within inches of the surface.

I had to box clever here or the voracious horde would hamper my chances of going for true gold. The answer came by way of two pints of red maggots which I began to dispense onto the water a rod length off my chosen spot. 
It did work to some extent as my baits were at least hitting bottom but still I had no choice but to wade through the masses of roach, bream, perch, Rudd and micro tench with my float dipping within seconds of the bait sinking.

As the sun neared overhead I caught sight of something very interesting. A pod of three lovely golden crucians swam bold as brass right in front of me only two feet from the bank. What happened next was pure wonder! When baiting my swim, I had done it from a little to the right of where I was actually going to fish and seemingly some of the bait had fallen in the edge and probably a bit short of the intended mark. As suddenly as they appeared they stopped in unison, all dipped and began to pick up the freebies. I watched as the pod followed the measly trail into deeper water towards my bed of waiting goodies. Sure enough moment after they disappeared into the abyss a gentle dip of my float was followed by it slowly sliding away.

I managed to pick two of them out before they seemingly slipped away to be replaced by the hungry horde again. But that little tiny insight into there movement was just too telling. As I topped up the feed I scattered a hint of bait purposely this time in a line ninety degrees from the bank leading again to my baited area.
It worked a treat and through the afternoon more pods of between three and five fish cruised into sight before duly stopping over the bait and changing course towards my trap.

Ten in total graced my net and of them, seven were some of the grand old fish that inhabit his lake; the other three were a few of the new smaller stock which was added earlier this year. I saw these tagging along behind the big boys learning the lay of the land and they will soon enough reinvigorate the ageing stock.

A photo of summer

I can't deny it. I am a sucker for a brace shot

Aside from a great catch of Crucians I caught a shocking amount of fish whilst trying to extract that streak of gold. I didn't bother to net anything other than the Crucians but I landed well over twenty small bream between 1.5lb and 3lb, an easy15-20lb of Roach, Rudd, perch, tiny tench and one of the roach topped the scales at 1.2lb.

I have to say that Snitterfield reservoir is fast becoming the jewel in the crown of LAA and to any other Leamington members. "Snitters is on absolute fire at the minute so if you want to bag up in a monstrous way get down there and don't forget some serious bait as it took me two pints of red maggots, 1.5 kilos of pellets and a couple of bags of ground bait to winkle out that lot".


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  2. Nice bag o'gold there Danny boy!
    Few heron strikes on one it two by the look of it.