Saturday midday and Wendy and the girls wanted to go to a School fete, I didn't. So I took them and thought I could get a few hours in on the bank. A quick look around and I found 3 bags of groundbait and a tin of hemp, so the river seemed a good bet. A pint of casters and a few maggots later and I was at Conham Park mixing 3 kilos of groundbait. BUT... I had forgotten I had taken out all my river pole rigs to make way for carp rigs, luckily it seemed I had missed one and a 1.5 gm rig was found, change the hook and hooklength (20 B520 to 0.10mm) and off we go.
I was fishing a peg opposite the flats (below the boathouse) and I picked it only because it was relatively comfortable to fish. I put about half of the hemp and 2/3 of the casters into the gbait and balled in 12 jaffas at 13 mtrs. There was hardly any flow and a tricky wind so I held the line tight to the float to try to maintain control. It wasn't long before I had a procession of small dace and whilst I was hoping for some decent roach and skimmers getting a bite a chuck was in itself a nice surprise as most river reports had indicated hard fishing. I never loosefed anything as I didn't want bleak to invade the peg, but I still had to shallow up because the dace were sitting above the gbait by about a foot. Placing the rig in different ways made a difference to hitting bites, and after an hour I was hitting more bites and the average size dace was better. I was into a nice rhythm getting fish before the rig had settled but only catching Dace, until a rogue 8oz perch showed up. As fish were coming so fast I decided to try fishing shorter and took 2 sections of pole off, it was a good foot shallower here. Would you believe I had two 6oz roach in 2 casts then no more, but the dace were here although after 15 mins they disappeared. Back out to 13mtrs and it was a dace a chuck again. I then decided to throw a decent amount of hemp (about 8 handfuls) on the shorter line and leave it for a while. Eventually I tried this shorter line again and was in to those nice dace again, all these fish had been on single maggot (colour made no difference) but I did try hemp on the hook but I had only 1 bite and another 6oz roach.
After 3 hours and the peg still full of fish I packed up as I had to pick the family up. As I pulled the net up I estimated I had a good 15lb and a big crowd of people had stopped to ask me what fish they were and the predictable "Are you going to eat them?". In fact all day there were many people walking the footpath asking me questions as they saw me catching, mostly of course non anglers, and I was happy to talk to them as I think the more we can teach people about fishing the more good we do ourselves. Note I had no negative comments and every kid wanted to "watch the man fishing!" I thoroughly enjoyed the few hours I had, but as I forgot my hat I was getting a bit of a burnt head, so I had to adopt the Ian Spriggs method and chuck my towel over my head! Well I certainly enjoyed this impromptu river session, and the fish were all in cracking condition, Conham Park has always been to my mind one of the best areas to float fish and it still doesn't disappoint.
A few points to update on my last blog: 1) The Winter League Final is Sunday 12th July, not Sunday just gone like I was told, so I could have bloody fished!!!!!
2) The match I fished after my 21st birthday was won by my then team mate Mark "Podge" Jefferies. It was Mark who reminded me of this yesterday (no doubt he was cidered up on Blackthorn) and said he was as at least as drunk as me on this match, and I have absolutely no reason to doubt he was! I expect Mark won the match with Bream on the feeder because he was useless on the float. (Only kidding Mark!)
3) Glenn Bailey also reminded me that he won the superleague on the T&B canal, yeh I remember now Glenn always managed to snare the skimmers on the T&B. I think he did well there because it was bread fishing and his colour blindness did not cause any issues such as using white maggots on the hook instead of red!
I might get out this Friday fishing, don't think there are any matches on a Friday though, but again looks like I have other commitments on the weekend.
LATE NEWS - CIDER FARM LAKES MATCH RECORD BROKEN AGAIN ON YARLINGTON LAKE PEG 13. Pellets shallow was the winners method, how I fished it last time I was there and failed!!!! (If I keep mentioning this place on my blog I might get a discount on the cider!)