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Bayleaf the Gardener

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Everything posted by Bayleaf the Gardener

  1. Great news. Don't know how you do it! My best for the season is 1.5lbs! Could I ask what your loose feeding strategy is? I trickle 6 or so maggots each cast when trotting, and the occasional squeezed walnut-sized ball of liquidised bread down the middle line.
  2. Oh dear, Chris. Just the four chub, but glad you got a biggie. Also good to see some nice roach, though - I haven't seen one bigger than 4oz all season myself.
  3. I know, I know. With the river season drawing to a close, I should have had a bash on running water, but the chance of those Willows carp was too much. If only they sold hindsight at the tackle shop as well as boilies because Willows was hard going today. The north easterly wind though not strong, brought a real chill that kept the fish low and sent me back to the car for my winter layers. Of the ten or so anglers, I think more than half blanked. surprisingly, I was not one of them, catching one of the fifty or so 3lb carp stocked a few weeks ago. It could have been better: I'd mucked up
  4. Well, after three fish in the final hour on Wednesday, it was no surprise I chose to go to Willows again today. Eben better, I was the only angler there all day but I soon began to cotton on why. It might have been four degrees in the car, and the efforts of morning gardening had been exhilarating, but there was a cold northeasterly breeze, enough to create a chop on the surface and have me pulling a second coat on. I tossed out the method feeder with a pink pop-up that scored the other day and dug on my pockets for gloves. I speculated that the fish may follow the wind, so set in it's face in
  5. I know!- thank you. I'd already utilised it a few times to correct my typos and couldn't be bothered to go in again!
  6. I bumped into the Newbury Fisheries Manager walking back to the car after yesterday's blank. 'Why don't you try Willows?' he said. 'They'll take a pellet.' So this afternoon I took some pellets and myself to give it another go after blanking there last Saturday. Tackle: method feeder, banded 8mm pellet - First Red Robin and then halibut Tactics: I scattergunned my casts, one every 20 mins, looking to search out fish rather than focus on one area. 3 hours in, not a touch. The forecast 'possible shower' turned out as 2 hours wet and non-stop rain. I prepared wording for this blog and ano
  7. Thank you. Chris! I'm already a day ahead of the curve - just noticed the 3rd of March is tomorrow!
  8. Had a couple of hours to fish until sunset this afternoon. Blue sky, glorious early spring feel, but high air pressure and chilly later on. The canal is maybe 30ft wide and 3.5 ft deep in the centre. No boat traffic. Slow flow. Tackle: Waggler float -slightly heavier than I thought when I tackled up - shotted 'shirt button style' (4BBs, 3 no6's), 4lb mainline, 2lb hook length, size 18 hook. Tactics: Fished mainly central channel to two thirds across. Mixed up fishing overdepth, just above the bottom (as determined by float not dragging) and up to 2.5ft deep. Bait: Maggots. started wi
  9. 15 - I know! As a gardener, my services are less required in Jan/Feb so I take good advantage on the bankside. OK, the fish don't much like the cold, but I struggled to catch anything other than the odd trout from several trips to Speen Moors and while one happy Bulls Lock gave me a surprise couple of grayling (and 10 minnows- beat that!), my return visits yielded nothing in either the stills, where I though they might be holed up, the crease with the mainflow, or alongside the south bank. I really enjoyed my January trips on the Lamborne, but there's more anglers there than pedestrians in Ne
  10. Envious of those minnows, Chris. How d'you do it? You didn't say how many? If anyone can catch 'em it's you! I drew a blank at Willows today. Fish seemed to be coming out to others on pop-ups, but none on mine. Also tried worm, bread and maggot at times, but not a bite. That's 6 blanks in 15 trips in Feb. I don't think you can doubt my enthusiasm or persistence, but I'm evidently the antithesis of a fish magnet.
  11. Ah, that's how you do it - you bomb them out! Thanks Chris.
  12. Aww, what a shame. Still, a great bag none the less. I fished from the wooden footbridge on the Kennet stretch nearest Guyers Lock yesterday. It seems such a good spot, but apart from a 3lb 8 brownie and one lost fish of similar size on your patent red sweetcorn. (could have been the same fish) I struggled for a bite despite regular and gentle loose feeding and occasional conker-sized ball of liquidised bread. I feel I'm just a subtlety or two from hitting the dace/chub etc. In my post-fish self talking to, I decided that maybe next time I should use a heavier float than the 5BB wire-bottomed
  13. Ah, avoid the cold:sunshine combo. Another nugget to put on my spreadsheet of Plumbisms!
  14. Well played, Chris. I'm just back from a blank (not a touch) this afternoon at Avington. Shame about that perch. I presume you go wading at Hambridge. Must be chilly around the ankles.
  15. Yes, that breeze was a little penetrating. I braved Speen Moors and lost a chub (I guess) legering cheesepaste, before my hands felt warm enough to set up for my first attempt trotting with a centrepin. This went particularly well, I endured relatively few tangles and found casting and float control much easier than with a nasty fixed-spool. This said, I again had no bites at all, which I put down to shyness brought on by the cold and that wind, though seeing your post makes me think it was more my personal ineptitude. To avoid a blank, I stopped off close to home at Greenham Mill for and hour
  16. Hi Richard - I've just seen your comments several days on. Thank you so much for your detailed and much appreciated recommendations. Love the comment about leaving the fixed-spool at home - having blanked again last Saturday thought of leaving the whole kit and caboodle at home next time.! It was an inspiration and an annoyance to bump into Chris on the bank and loiter in the undergrowth behind him. He made it look so easy, and having returned to my own swims and not have a bite all morning, made me realise that I needed to up my game/tackle. Chris' willingness to put up with my banal qu
  17. That's good advice. Thank you. I've been looking at on-line reviews and prices all afternoon and have the brain capacity and facial expression of a bleak
  18. Yes, bless those perch. My biggest this year (either side of 2lb from Avington) came on prawn, which I have not tried at Enbourne yet. Hmm, note to self there. If I get a 15ft rod, I'd be pretty much able to drop one on their heads! I've seen chaps using a pole to get right in among the reeds, but somehow pole fishing doesn't appeal to me. I think I'm too clumsy for starters.
  19. Ah, Chris - don't be embarrassed - we've all got our hooks caught in the trees before! Smirk! Thank you for your supportive words: but knowing you, your solitary gudgeon came in at 3lbs! I am not disheartened, honest, and do remember when in my first angling life back on the River Mole in the 90's, I did seem to get 'luckier' the more time I'd banked on the banks. I need to start thinking like a fish again rather than just looking like one. Thanks for the Harrison link - they look beautiful. I was having a look last night at 15 footers and found Cadence rods - who seem to be at leas
  20. Chris, I am delighted to see that we do have something in common after all: we share the same model of weighing scales. This said, I agree with your 'last knockings' perch findings, and have enjoyed some good last hours on worm/maggot fishing as close to those reeds as I can get. The only fish I've caught at Enbourne of more than a pound have all been pike, so very impressed (as usual) with your two two-ponders.
  21. Changing swims at the very same Speen Moors this morning, I stumbled across my fishing guru, Chris, extracting his line from the branches of a tree, a most ungodlike position I have often found myself in. All retrieved, he regaled me with details of his catch for the morning thus far, pretty impressive considering I'd not even had a bite. He was kind enough to answer all my questions about tactics and methods and allowed me to watch his next few casts, which resulted in 2 of the smaller fish mentioned. but confirmed what I was doing wasn't that wrong, but there were some subtle tweaks I could
  22. I had a go at a can of sweetcorn with red food dye the other week - but only managed to turn it pink!
  23. Well played, Chris. A fine return. Trout for tea again? I presume you are maggoting for these. I drew a blank (not even a bite) in a pinched few hours at Bellwood on Friday - I should listen to your 'no lakes after October' rule, but with the air pressure really low I thought I might at least get a bite. Funny enough, fish were moving in the margins and some healthy bubbling, but would not be cajoled. I took a few mackerel strips to Enbourne yesterday afternoon for a 9lb pike and one another which I felt was a good return. Not fished Speen Moors yet - might buy some maggies and have a crack ne
  24. At least I spared you my Roachford and Chubby Checker routines!
  25. Ah, those were the dace my friend, they'd make your rod tip bend. Sorry about that. Just channelling my inner Mary Hopkin.
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