I couldn't even bring myself to entitle this post the 'The lake #33' as I am almost embarrassed by my last outing there. Trying to be a clever bugger I pre-baited an area which is popular with tench. Diligently I went down the night before with a bucket of tasty expensive bait and liberally spread it on some lovely clean gravel patches close to lily beds in three swims. Barely able to sleep, I was up before my alarm and driving to the lake ready to find the water's surface looking like a cauldron of boiling cola.
When I arrived and made the long walk to the prepared swims, I was not greeted by the obvious signs of feeding tench at all so I stayed patient and stowed my gear, watching each swim in turn for more subtle signs of life. After forty minutes a single fizz rose in one of the swims and I crept in to plonk a float in at close range.
I waited, and waited, and waited a bit more, and when no bite was forthcoming I began checking the other swims again, but when I returned to the original swim I again saw a single fizz. I was convinced there were tench in the area but if they were here they weren't hard on the feed. With little choice I again cast out and trickled some loose offerings around the float.
After spending the entire morning like a statue in the reeds it was getting towards thirty minutes past when I should have packed up. Then out of the blue the peacock quill rose steadily from the water and flopped over. It was the most blatant lift bite I have ever seen and when I struck hard, thinking I was about to feel the venom of a hooked tench in shallow water, I was shocked to see my float hanging in the tree above me. All that effort and I totally missed my only chance of the session!
A few days later I went on a research mission for rudd. Although rudd are fairly common round our way, venues for big rudd are like rocking horse shit. Years ago I remembered catching a few decent examples that were not far off two pound from a lake on an old friends fishery nestled away in a Warwickshire spinney. Although I knew it would certainly be a numbers game, I duly purchased a large amount of maggots and headed down to Lanny's lagoon.
After pitching up in the very same swim where I had caught those fish years ago, I set up a shallow float rig and began regularly feeding small amounts of maggot next to a small patch of lillies. The results were fairly instant and straight away small rudd could be seen darting to the surface after the falling maggots. After catching a large amount of these voracious rudd and various silvers I realised that this would go on all day and that I stood little to no chance of sorting out any bigger examples. So I opted to try and see if under the mass of little ones something bigger might have been lurking. The bait too got changed for corn which seemed not to appeal quite as much as the maggots. The bites certainly slowed down and the fish certainly got bigger, although still it seemed like I was playing a numbers game with species now rather than rudd.
|I had plenty of these young bream.|
|And I had a few things that were just plain old ugly.|
|And it was only a matter of time till all the noise attracted the carp.|
In the end I knew I wasn't going to find any of those elusive big rudd if they still existed and although I wasn't getting anywhere near achieving my target I was having fun with these long lean commons that seem to revert back to a wild carp-like state in this pool. By the time I came to leave I reckon I must have put together a good fifty pounds of fish, which would have easily won the match that was going on in the adjacent pool.
This local big rudd question I think is going to take some solving. Worst of all a few seasons ago Coombe was showing promise with the rudd, but catching anything from there is proving to be another totally different problem in itself. The only thing I can hope on that front is that we get a decent bout of prolonged warm weather to kick the lake into action, as these cooler conditions seem to be stifling the fish activity at the moment.