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Bayleaf the Gardener

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Bayleaf the Gardener last won the day on March 14

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  1. Right. An evening unaffected by snow showers where I can have a crack at what I imagine are large-ish roach in the swim where I can consistently catch half-pounders. Though I get a tiddler first cast, it's quite slow despite regular gentle loose-feeding of two swims. I finally get most bites fishing at around 7ft deep. The biggun's remained elusive, though I did end up with fourteen roach in a few hours, five of which between six and twelve ounces. So the big ones remain elusive, though all the larger ones show battle scars, and having caught pounder-plus perch from this swim, think life must
  2. Having sat since first light and with no sign of fish life, I was comforted when the bailiff turned up suggested I was doing the right thing, method feeding towards the island. He suggested I change my pale pop-up hookbait to a fluorescent wafter. In the few minutes that we spoke, three carp jumped clear of the water by the island in front of me. After he left no more fish rose. A coincidence, surely?!? Later on a chap came and set up along the bank from me. He cast out then turned to start hammer in his umbrella ground pegs. Within five minutes his electronic alarm buzzed and in came an
  3. A lovely day to be out in the early Spring sunshine; unless you were a fish, who kept well out of the way. No bites all day (yet again) on pop-ups, bread or pellet. My get-out-of-blank float road was also untroubled all morning. I had some bites when set overdepth but no takes, which made me think that the crayfish have woken up again. Come the afternoon, the clouds rolled in, the breeze started and I scraped nine roach, the biggest a welcome three ounces. Ah well.
  4. Having fished after work a week ago in twenty-three degree heat, this Tuesday I hoped that the day's snow showers were over and I'd just have the north wind to deal with. No such luck. I was hit by a 15-minute blizzard that dropped 2mm pellets of white around me while the wind took every bit of feeling from my fingers. Surprisingly perhaps, I had by then managed seven roach, one about half a pound, which made it worthwhile despite the early finish and chilblains.
  5. Different day, same cold, north east wind but this time no prospect of later sunshine. Wanted a swim with the wind on my back rather than in my face, so chose the far east bank of Dobsons for the first time. From this end of the lake I could see nine bivvies set up. None of them seemed to catch. For the third session on a row, I didn't get a touch on pellet of wafter on method feeder all morning, fishing up against the artificial island. Kept a float on second rod and eked out just the one solitary roach again. Bit disappointing, but with the cold wind I did not expect much better. What do the
  6. With the partial release of lockdown combining with the Easter weekend, the Dobson's car park was rammed full, and bivvies had appeared all around the nearby lakes like mushrooms on a dewy field. Good Friday? Pah! My preferred swim was surprisingly free, but this turned out to be in the face of a north easterly wind was cold enough to have me returning to the car for furry hat, scarf and gloves after twenty degrees plus in the last few days. It was really cold and didn't the fish know it and kept well out of the way. Mercifully the sun came through by the afternoon, the sunlight glistening l
  7. Yesterday I took a look around the lakes after work. No sign of fish despite the sudden burst of twenty degrees, apart from one swim at Knotts in which I watched two carp basking in the reeds not 5 metres from me. So that's where I went today, though typically, no sign of carp either basking or otherwise. No takes on various methods, and a handful of roach and a perch for about a pound on light float tackle was disappointing, but as with all fishing trips, there was some magic. This came in the shape of a grass snake that swum across the lake to me, raised his head at the wooden frame of
  8. 8am Saturday morning and I was amazed to find the car park at Rawlings Retreat empty. Against the general populace , who tend to go Willows and fire against the island from the west bank I chose Alders feeling that less pressured fish might be hungry fish, and spent the day there on my own. After a couple of hours of nothing I was starting to have another think, when my lift-method float zipped under, and a lovely 5lb 6 bream soon came to the surface and offered no resistance to being dragged back to the net. Hoping that I might have found a shoal there was no further action apart from st
  9. A day to fish, and with heavy showers and winds forecast I chose the south bank of Knotts, being protected as it is by the banking of the canal behind. At one point I thought I saw bubbles in the next swim, but there turned out to be furry yellow pussy willow catkins being blown into the water from the trees behind. Nothing was interested in legered baits all day, be it pellet, method feeder, pop-up, bread or corn, so I set up a second rod with float and size 18 hook and the pint of maggots i generally carry for tough days. Fishing less than two rods out, and feeding the occasional nu
  10. Arrived for my short session to be told by an angler on the car park bank that he'd had nothing all day, so walked round to my usual spot on the south bank. Though a warmish, bright day, and conditions still, virtually no fish activity on the surface apart from the occasional tiddler. With nothing happening on leger, I set up a light float rod and missed several bites before landing two roach, one as big as three ounces. Ah well, at least it wasn't a blank. The only other highlight was the Chinook that flew over. There's not been a rock record made that wouldn't be improved with the thud
  11. Ha. You got to love those fish. One day you think you've got this angling lark sussed, the next you're at the same swim but without the cold northerly wind - and nothing even waves a fin. Turned out to be an exercise in sittin' on the dock of the bay, watching the my neighbour rolling his bait boat back and forth. I'm sorry, but these just seems too unfair on the carp. At least casting way into the distance to within a foot of an island takes skill. You earn the right to catch those fish. I can't do it, so don't try. Anyway, I prefer fishing the margins. After all, if these beachcasters wer
  12. I hadn't counted on there being quite such a chilly north-westerly wind today that kept me feeling uncomfortable all day. I kept changing tactics and baits looking for fish, and had just the three bites to keep me warm, but a 100% hit rate with two (for me) whoppers and a beauty made it a great day. 1- Common - 10:30am- method feeder/halibut pellet - 3 rods out near overhangs- 9lb 2oz - good fight, took line several times 2 - Tench - 3:15pm - double maggot float fished less than 2 rods out - 4lb 12 oz - another good fight on lighter line and small hook. Unusually for Dobsons, no pr
  13. Thanks, gents. Yes, I took a look at Wylies last year before joining NAA - It looked fab, but I decided to stay local as most of the RDAA waters were a fair distance away, and the chaps I met on the bank were particularly rude. Maybe I'll risk the occasional £10 this summer, take my gardening gear and see how it goes. I've also been looking at the Court Farm (Aldermaston) website - membership is a lot more, but not ridiculous. Do you fine and knowledgeable chaps have any experience if it?
  14. Managed to squeeze in three hours before sunset. Two very polite and courteous young chaps were carp fishing from my favourite swim that produced the tench last weekend. They were casting further than I can drive my car, which is fair enough, whereas I would have plopped my bait less than two rod lengths out. There's room for all methods. So I went round to swim 44, into which the surprisingly strong wind was blowing. The books say that the fish follow the wind in readiness for all the food that gets blown in, but whenever I've tried it, like today, it's rarely gone well. I tossed one li
  15. Ha ha! That's brilliant! Martin Strike can become 'Mini Star Trek' or 'I'm Stinker Rat'. I think tench have to be my fave, with their skin silkier and eyes cuter than a supermodel. There surely isn't a more evocative moment in fishing than while mist wisps over the water at 4am, those frothy bubbles rise by the lilies near your float, while mist wisps over the water at 4am. Pure Mr Crabtree. Chub come a close second, not just because of their rarity value as far as my fishing goes, but their contradiction of gluttony and shyness. A bit like me really!
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