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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. I had the same car park experience on Tuesday (though there were 2 others fishing Alders) I've no faith in dead maggots (which presumably don't wriggle!) yet they are said to be fab. I've caught quite a few carp/tench on artificial corn on the method feeder, or using the real stuff as loose feed on the float. I suspect they pop-up which I guess makes them either more or less attractive to fish depending on your view. They are easy to hair rig with a bayonet too. I suppose like any bait, it's down to what you have confidence in. I also soak them in a flavouring, but a bit like you with your garam masala in with the maggots, I'm not sure it actually makes any difference, or even sticks as it hits the water, but it helps me have faith. I stayed until 10pm on Tuesday and had no issues with the crays (nor the fish after 9pm), but that could just be coincidence.
  2. Aw, Chris. I had pretty much the same evening at Alders on Tuesday. I'm curious to hear how the over-70's match went earlier on the day of your visit. I read somewhere that artificial corn/maggots etc are left alone by the dreaded crays. Any thoughts?
  3. You earned your luck with that change of tactics there. A gift from the bream gods!
  4. Hi Imp Ah, we all have sessions like that - well, I do. At least you didn't fall in after your seat. Maybe use one of two of those slugs for chub? As a new member of GUGGS, I can tell you they recommend a gudgeon friendly set of scales (around £6, mine arrived yesterday) and you are also allocated a codename! You sound like a gudgeon-whisperer, so perhaps you should join...
  5. Arrived at 3:30pm for my Tuesday evening fish to find the Willows/Alders carpark with just one space left. Willows was very busy, and though folk said they were catching, I opted for the always-quieter and beautiful looking Alders, which had just the two anglers fishing. As it was hot and sunny, I gave it a couple of hour on the method feeder (no bites) before switching to float and starting to ping in the maggots, as demonstrated to me by the Welshman last Saturday who I watched pull out tench after bream after tench. It was a slow evening. It never did 'wake up' as common wisdom dictates. I saw it though for 2 tench and 1 common around the 1lb mark, and a few roach and perch. Changing depths/bait made no difference. Very disappointing. Fish 1 Martin 0
  6. Chris, I loved the gudge piece - horray for them indeed. My first (independent) fishing trips were on the wide River Thames with my pals at Kingston as a 12-year old in 1975. Having spent the week reading of bream and barbel in the Angling Times, then spent our pocket money on maggots and coffin leads, we sat the the bank and chucked out as far as we could, doing our best to bounce in-off the Kingston Royale or any other large boat that chugged by. Of course we never saw a single bream or barbel, and with the river fast and deep, bite indication was impossible (apart from the occasional bootlace eel), but we worked out that if we waited until a yellow car passed over the busy bridge, if we wound in we'd almost certainly hooked a Gudge, or if less lucky, a ruffe. Some days this 'technique' had our catches in triple figures. Happy days. Imp, thank you for the tips. Much appreciated, How did your trotting go? I found the flow frustratingly slow at Speen Moors the other week. Maybe this rain might have pepped it up a bit. Both. GUGGS have added both the Town Stretch and Hambridge as venues to record Gobio catches on. What heroes. I think what I like about the gudge most, apart from their beauty, is that they are so friendly - they rarely if ever flap around in the hand they way that, for example, a roach would. I think that rather than 'catching' gudgeon, they ordain to visit you. And they are so chamois-leather soft: surely the most strokeable of fish.
  7. Crucian-tastic. Well done, Chris - you earned that one. And an early night too!
  8. I spent the first willing my rod tip to tremble while listening to fish after fish being pulled in at the next swim. I walked around to see if he was using magic beans for bait and met a charming Welshman who clearly knew his stuff. He told me there was little point legering against the central lily pads, no matter how accurate my casting had been to get it there, as these grew on a submerged island not far below the surface where as the fish were feeding at the bottom of the slope leading up to it. This made sense, as I watched him pull in another tench and a 4lb-ish bream that he seemed to consider a nuisance. He told me the secret was to keep pinging in maggots every cast and build up the swim, then to 'keep chucking the bait in' as if the tench or bream were around they would hoover it up in no time. He said he'd tried corn before (I was fishing with corn) worm and caster, but only maggots 'got them fizzing.' He pulled in a couple more perch striking at bites I did not register on his antennae float. He added that it was an early mornings and evenings venue and so was about to pack up. He kindly offered his swim to me, and suggested I kept catapulting the maggots while I brought my stuff over. A lovely guy. In the 'new' swim, I endured one heavy rain downpour, but brought in 3 roach (one around 6ox), a skimmer, just 5 perch (I'd had over 50 there earlier in the month much closer to the bank), 8 rudd (to 3 oz) a 1lb common and 5 tench, the biggest being 3lb 12 and 4lb 8. Thank you, my friend. I look forward to my next visit.
  9. Storm Evert? Pah! It was as still as can be when I arrived at 5:45am. But by 8, the aspen tree was shimmering its leaves in the increasing wind and by 11 I was struggling to lash the brolly to my seat as incoming rain hit me horizontally. With the air pressure falling below 1,000mb anticipation was higher than ever, and the fish pretty much obliged, in the morning anyway. Mirrors of 4lb 12 and 5lb 6, a 1lb tench and commons of 9lb 8, 7lb 12 and 6lb were all most welcome. Come midday however, with the swell coming across like the North Atlantic, the bites stopped altogether even after I moved to a sheltered area where I thought that fat, lazy carp might be avoiding the flow.
  10. Lovely to sit in the southerly breeze after last weeks heatwave, and even better to completely miss all of the threatened showers that scudded by. I tackled up where I thought the wind would be blowing the fish towards me under the surface chop, but nobody sent them the memo. Nothing for over two hours, then in a millisecond, the world went from silence to chaos as the rod reared into the air and the tip bent round like an Allen key as the alarm screamed out in, erm, alarm. Whatever had taken the wafter sheared across the lake pulling yard after yard of line. I judged that it was headed towards the far off lily pads where I have lost fish before, so tried to put additional pressure on the spool with my hand. It made little difference. Still roaring, and judging it not far from the snags, I made to tighten the clutch. Mistake. I lost one of the silly little washers on the reel spindle switching a spool some time ago and it hasn't worked effectively since. My gentle half turn managed to lock it completely and the 8lb hook link twanged in a second. I've lost so many fish lately. No more bites, apart from one jingly-jangler that brought me the greediest roach in the world - a 4-ouncer that had a go at three pieces of artificial corn. With the breeze easing as evening progressed, I switched to float-fished maggots one rod length out. As well as another roach and a nice perch, I hit into a shoal of small bream, catching 10 of them between 2 and 6 ounces. I've never caught so many in one go. The maggots also accounted for a beautiful 8lb Mirror who fought long and hard and made the evening worthwhile, if still over 20lbs short of my Willows evening trips of May and June.
  11. Hi imp. Ah, the mighty gudgeon, the most characterful fish in the canal. If only they grew 5lbs heavier. Have you heard of the Grand Union Gobio Gobio Society (Google them) - its a fantastic tongue-in cheek site for all fans of the gudge. I hadn't either, but I stumbled across them last week they accepted me as a member on the strength of that photo.
  12. After yesterday's slowish day at Willows, I decided while driving down Muddy Lane to try and make my recent luck change and turned right to Dobsons. My favourite swim was free, and with the forecast rain and lower air pressure after the previous week's heatwave, the omens were good. The fish thought so too, at least in the first few hours, when my method feeder was hit hard six times to my right. Whilst I was snapped twice, the other four bites did not connect which made me question once again how self-hooking the method feeder actually is. Allowed a second rod on the lake, I alternated between method feeder and float to my left on the other. No bites at all on the feeder, the float brought in 21 perch in two sessions, including some fun and feisty stripeys around the 12oz mark, plus a single, small beautiful golden rudd. Could/should have been so much better - but that's fishing.
  13. My anticlimactic July continues. At least it was only 25 degrees rather than the 30 of the last 7 consecutive days. I should have known it would be tough when I tackled up and made my first cast to find I'd not threaded the top two rod rings. Sounds incredulous, but in my defence I was being attacked by early morning mosquitoes and was bitten several times in the process before running back to the car for the Deet. There were tempting patches of feeding fish bubbles before 8am, and I was snapped up float fishing close in by something that went off like a rocket. Schoolboy error: I hadn't set the drag, and that was that. Managed an 8oz bream, a 3lb 3 mirror, and commons of 3lb 6 and 1lb before the sun drove the bites away. With nothing happening on my rod, I had time to watch a couple of kids, and later on a viking catch many carp off the surface with dog biscuits. They seemed to manage it without the plague of water fowl that have totally scuppered my previous efforts to the point where I didn't bring any baits. With nothing happening on the bottom, I raised the float and went light for another bream, 3 roach and 34 perch of up to 8ounces, probably averaging 3oz. With my session having to end before the cool of the evening returned, my final cast brought a 3lb mirror. Four carp in a day can't be that bad, but when none hit the 3.5lb mark, it can only be a little disappointing
  14. Yes. Horrid, isn't it. I'm off to Willows as early as I can rouse Friday morn, but I'm not confident. I'm guessing the river fish tend to stay low hiding from predators in the fierce sun.
  15. A bonus 75 mins fishing in the 6th continuous day of 30 degrees temps with searing sun. I don't have waders, which limits me, I believe to just two swims, both adjacent, so with 15 mins of baiting up time, a half hour in each is probably about right. Not a lot around today, just half a dozen small roach and a chunky 8oz dace, but I did end with my favourite fish, the gudgeon. Not much to report about the fishing, so here's a few gudgeon facts: - As well as being the most characterful fish in the river, it has the most splendid Latin Name: Gobio gobio, which translates a little offensively as 'small bait fish' - The Dutch call it a 'riviergrondel' - Now, this will impress you. The gudgeon is capable of emitting squeaking sounds, which are believed to be a means of communication between individuals - some studies have shown that the Gudge makes up to 45% on a kingfisher's diet and 50% of Czech otter's. Boo! - They are all members of the carp family and can live up to 5 years - The Grand Union Gobio Gobio Society (GUGGS) has a vibrant website with (currently) 617 members
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