I decided late on Thursday to go fishing Friday, the main reason was to fine tune the new rigs I had made up at home and then do a bit of fishing, I was also keen to fish a waggler and get some bites! I had a quick chat with Keynsham legend Warren Bates and we decided to try Bath Town. We've fished this stretch about 3 times in the last 3 years and always had lots of roach and occasional big perch.
As is usual Warren took the downstream peg (first peg above the Windsor Bridge) and went a few yards above him. Chatting to some locals they advised they rarely saw any anglers here. As I was going to be doing my rigs I had no plans to ball it in with gbait, instead my plan was loose feed hemp and caster at 9mtrs and then simply maggot 2/3 across for the wag. THE PLAN WENT T!TS UP, I had forgotten all my pole rigs! Oh bugger... Warren lent me a 2.5 grm rig to which I tied a 18 B611 to 0.1 hooklength, using no6 Preston fluro elastic in the pole. I set up a 3.5AAA waggler 6ft deep with 1 no8 and 2 no10 down the line, with same hook but 0.12 hooklength, this was because I was hoping to nail a few chub.
I was concerned about bleak being a problem so I chucked a few big handfuls of bait on the pole line to get some down, but as it turned out although there were a few in the peg they never had a go (there were hundreds of bleak below the bridge). I started on the wag as my expectation was the pole line would take a while to come to life. Warren balled it in next to me and then proceeded to run the rig through without getting a bite, it took him 20 minutes to get a bite and he had a decent 6oz roach. On the wag I had no bites at all, and I had deepened it to 9ft and added a couple more no8 shot, still no bites. A look on the pole produced no bites either! I was now getting a bit miffed, no rigs to sort out and no bites meanwhile Warren was getting the odd roach that were all 6oz.
I should say that the river was very clear, hardly flowing and we had a down stream wind to contend with, not conducive to good sport, plus they were taking down the gas towers opposite which did make a bit of noise now and again! Eventually after 1 1/2 hours I had a bite on the wag ( I was now down to a 22 B611 and 0.1 line) and missed it, next chuck in the same place the float goes down again fish on! Get it in close and it snags me and I lose it.... oh lordy! It didn't feel like a big fish so I reckon a pike took whatever it was under my feet. I kept on deepening the wag to try to find the fish, about 20 mins later I get 2 6oz roach in 2 chucks then nothing. Eventually I started to get a few bites, mainly from perch and again they were decent fish all 6oz to 1lb, I even had a 12oz roach on the wag. Then it went dead so I tried the pole again, and I was suprised when I had a bite first chuck and a 8oz perch, 2 more perch in consecutive casts and then a lull before a roach then nothing.
Back onto the wag and I had a good spell getting a few bites, again mainly perch on single maggot. As I took a phone call from Glen Bailey I hit into a good fish, it held steady and then just came off. I reeled in to find the hook was gone and as I had no excessive pressure on the line I can only assume I had been bit off. I also hit a decent fish on the pole which felt like a perch as it bounced around under the pole for a while but then suddenly it went across the river and the hooked pulled out, either a very big perch pr a pike took it.
I ended with around 10lb of fish, all quality fish that had never been caught before! If I had had my rigs with me I would have given the worm a try and am sure would have had even more perch. Warren had more than me thanks to a 6lb pike he landed. This fish had killed his peg earlier, and after a biteless hour he reballed it, eventually the roach came back but so did the pike and I saw a huge fish follow in one of his roach. Had it not been for the pike I'm sure he would have caught more.
We both agreed to come back here again when there is some colour in the water as a really good net of big roach could be on the cards. Plus you can play spot the English, as we had Polish, Americans, Australians and many other nationalities pass us by on the day!