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20.1.17 Iced over lake

Posted by The Flying Tench , 20 January 2017 · 0 views

3-5pm   AT 4 deg C   WT 0-4 deg C  Beautiful clear blue sky, little wind.
The fishing shop manager had warned me that this high stock density lake might be iced up, and he was right. But along the north bank which had had most of the sun there were a few inches of water, and under a willow tree the ice only started 15 feet out. I cracked the ice at one point to put in my thermometer, and it came back registering 4 deg C, but presumably the temperature over much of the surface was lower at 0 deg C!
I was hoping for roach or perch and float fished maggot and caster under the willow tree just inside the ice line. It was a bit cramped with my 13 foot rod, and I had to gently hand to hand it out, a bit like pole fishing. Likewise landing the fish. I started with a size 20 barbless hook, but lost the first 2 fish so switched to an 18. Perhaps really small hooks are better with a barb? I tried the technique I had learned earlier in the week in a Thames lock cut of jigging the float in case a fish had the bait but was not moving with it, but only had one fish this way. For all the rest there was a definite if gentle bite.
The eventual catch was about 16 fish, all roach, with several around half a pound and the best two 10 oz and 14 oz. These both took caster. I was pleased to be out on such a beautiful day, and delighted to have caught some fish that needed the landing net despite the cold water.

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