The bit you should read.

I’ve always been an angler and after around the country moving I wanted to discover and document the best places to fish (where ever I might be) in the way of rivers, lakes, canals and ponds. When previously fishing in South Wales I often fished in club and winter league matches, however living up north presented me with new challenges, venues and angling clubs that I acquainted myself with. Now down in the South West I plan to do the same.

This fishing blog details my angling adventures around the UK (although depending where I am in the country I also sea fish from both Boat and Shore, Carp, Pike and Fly fish). I will be giving a summary of 3 values considered by most anglers as well as the additional Disabled Access rating. Since being diagnosed with CIDP and regaining my motor function Disabled angling and Disabled access is now something I always consider when visiting venues. They will all be rated on a scale of 1* to 5*;

1. Fishability *****

2. Accessability *****

3. Value for Money *****

4. Disabled Access *****

I think these 4 points are the key issues which are readily identifiable with all anglers. Feel free to take a look and add your own comments along the way!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Trip #34 – Berserk for Biscuits.

After my fantastic days fishing at Riverside recently, when I had a few hours to spare on the coming weekend I thought it would be rude not to nip 15 minutes down the road to wet a line, and try and add to the Carp tally. Unlike my normal fishing outings, where I am prepared for all outcomes (whether it be float fishing, ledger fishing, pole fishing etc), today I would be taking 1 rod, 1 reel and 1 bag of bait. This is slightly alien to me, but it does allow for more mobility on the bank (not that I am particularly mobile at present). Fortunately my Dad was with me and he would be acting as my trusty fish spotter while I targeted the little bleeders from the water’s edge.

Plenty of space to fish!

I was only going to be fishing for a few hours, but felt confident that if I could get the fish on the feed quick enough I would have some good results. When we arrived we fired out a few pouchful’s of dog biscuits and wondered how long we would have to wait before the fish came calling. About 15 seconds was the answer. The fish were on the surface in no time, and the fish topping ranged from tiny little Roach to fin perfect double figure Carp. Higher up the bank, my Dad was already telling me he could see fish coming towards the biscuits from the island, so wasting no time I set up my controller float rig and cast out among the fish.

I had packed light and was prepared to be mobile(ish)
Using a controller float is a great way of get your floating bait out and into the fish if they are feeding at distance. But unlike using the pole, I wouldn’t be in as direct contact with my hook bait as I would like. Also the wind blowing across the lake meant a steady “tow” was causing my line to bow which could make striking at distance more difficult. I sank to the tip of my rod and retrieved a few times to sink the line to my float, hoping that would be enough to help me connect with my first fish of the day. 

The slurp of carp rising was increasing and after just 45 seconds of waiting a fish appeared from behind my hair rigged offerings and slurped it down. The float vanished, the fish charged off and I was in! For 30 seconds the fish charged up the lake. This felt like a good fish. I wasn’t hanging about, time to bring the beauty home. In my haste to turn the fish I pulled the hook! Disaster! Fish 1 – Paul 0. I had a few biscuits ready to go and quickly had another haired on and was back in the water. The fish were still going berserk for biscuits and I was in again within 5 minutes. Again, it was a lovely fish, and taking my time I managed to get it to the bank. 

My Dad was dutifully firing out dog biscuits to keep the swim alive whilst telling me where to cast for the bigger fish, and it wasn’t long before I was in again. This time my hooklength snapped! Utterly furious I stepped up the breaking strain of the line and was determined to connect with more fish. I had noticed that the much larger fish held back, and were more hesitant about taking the baits off the surface. The wind was also picking up, which meant the underlying “tow” issue meant casting further to catch these fish was proving more difficult, and my float was determined to be pulled away from the island and into the open water where the fish were smaller.

2 lost fish later and I finally had another one on the way to the bank. This one, although smaller was putting up one hell of a fight, and continued to flap around crazily after I had unhooked it. It positively jumped back into the lake on release, and I’m pretty sure it went back to feeding on the biscuits! An hour followed and I landed another 2 fish ranging between 4lbs and 8lbs, but lost another 3! Another snapped my “beefed up” hooklength and one spat my biscuits out at the net! Fish 6 – Paul 4. I was not impressed by that score line, but can’t complain at was a great way to spend a few hours on a Saturday morning.

This is a great fishery and, as I have said previously, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a few hours of fishy fun. There is a specimen lake at Riverside which I am yet to try (I aim to shortly), but if it is as full as the back lake, hopefully the fish coming to the net will be bigger and better doubles (providing they don’t spit the hook first!).


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