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EASTER WEEKEND


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I'm just home after a long weekend away, camping on the banks of the Shropshire Union Canal at Grindley Brook. Or is it the Llangollen Canal? Even the BW lockie didn't seem to be sure! There is one point where it is signposted as both! It appears it may be the Llangollen arm of the Shroppie, but it used to be the Ellesmere, so opinion is divided....Unfortunately I never managed to fish on the canal, so it doesn't really matter.....I'll save that particular debate for my boating forum!

 

Just look at the view from my tent! Only twenty steps from the door to the lake! I could practically cast from my sleeping bag....(and I would have done, if I'd thought I could get away with it!)

 

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And how about this for a bivvie? Oh yes, if I'm going to bivvie up, I'm going to do it in style!

 

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The best thing about it was that I didn't even know the lake was there until I arrived! It's not advertised on their website. I didn't think I'd be allowed to fish it, but was told "go ahead, although there are only tiddlers in there". Apparently most of the anglers who had visited the site turned their nose up at it, because it only contains roach, rudd and perch....more fools them! They went a couple of miles away and paid for crap (sorry, carp) fishing, whilst I had this little gem all to myself. OK, it's not ideal, and perhaps not what I would choose, but it was on my doorstep, it was all mine, and it was free and stuffed full of hungry fish! I will fish just about anywhere, given the chance. After all, I'm still learning, and each place I fish teaches me to look for what's there and make the most of it. I'd have a go at fishing in a bucket if I thought there was a chance of catching anything!

 

I spent just a couple of hours each evening over two nights, and banked a total of forty roach and a huge rudd, despite the icy wind and the hailstones! I don't possess any scales, but several of the roach were over twelve inches in length, and fat as anything. I don't think I've ever seen roach with such fabulous bright red fins. They were just perfect! I'm sure that they were larger than my current PB roach of just 1lb, but unless I go back with scales, I can't be sure. The rudd was an absolute beauty - all golden flanks, scarlet fins and a whole lot of attitude! I also managed to bump off the one and only perch I hooked, which was a fabulously fit and fat specimen, which I'd guess was approaching two pounds, although it fought well above it's weight! To say I was gutted doesn't even begin to describe it. Perch are, and will always be my personal favourite fish.

 

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Being a very small and new lake, (the site was only opened in 2003) there were virtually no features to fish to. It wasn't actually designed as a fishing lake - it was one of two that were dug to take excess water from the fields higher up, and they'd stocked it with fish to give their grandchildren something to do. Over the years the fish have thrived though gentle neglect and the lack of serious fishing.

 

The other lake was wonderful - although smaller, it was much deeper and with many more features, but it was also snag city, so I decided to give it a miss. I wasn't equipped to fish it safely. I'd only taken my telescopic rod with me, and just two floats and a tub of shot, so I didn't want to risk losing any of it, even though whilst I sat there one morning I saw perch hunting which by my reckoning were well over 2lbs! Goodness knows what monsters are lurking in there, never fished for....I think I may well pay a return visit to this site!

 

The smaller lake by our tent was incredibly weedy and overgrown, but with my polaroids I was able to locate a couple of decent clear areas down by the triffids. One was close in on the left, and the other over towards the right. I fished each one on successive nights, and had to rely on attracting the fish rather than going looking for them. I was surprised how easy it was, with a tub of bread mashed up with some chopped worms. It seemed the obvious choice, as these fish were used to the bread thrown in for the resident ducks. Within just fifteen minutes of dropping in the feed, I had fish after fish, all caught on the drop. One minute there wasn't a fish in sight, and suddenly my swim was literally bubbling with them.

 

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What did surprise me was how closely shoaled up the fish were. If I cast to just the right spot, an area of about four feet across, I caught fish. If I cast outside this area, my bait would be ignored. Clever things, these fish....

 

I just wish I'd managed to bank every fish that nibbled my bait, as I missed many more than I landed!

 

Still, considering the dreadful weather, which included one of us (not me, I hasten to add - I need my sleep!) having to get out their sleeping bag at four thirty in the morning to help add some more guy ropes because of the raging gale, I had a good couple of days. It wouldn't have suited everyone, but it was great fun for me. My friends quickly learned to humour me, and glasses of Guinness were forthcoming, delivered to me on the bank.

 

I couldn't fish during the day, as this was supposed to be a camping and walking holiday, and it would have been rude to ignore my friends just because of my obsession with fishing! However, I'm pleased to say that they did humour me in the evenings....

 

All in all, a good weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed.

 

Janet

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Nice one Janet! I reckon that your an expert pleasure angler .............................because you certainly get the maximum pleasure out of all your trips! for me thats probably the most important thing and one we can all easily forget.

And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

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Sounds like you had a great time! Those roach sound great, did you get a pic? I bet you can't stop thinking about those big perch sauntering around the snags... :)

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music

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Unfortunately I didn't get any pics, apart from the first fish, which was all of about two inches in length, and slightly smaller than the worm it was trying to swallow! I'll post it when I get it, so you can all have a laugh!

 

It was quite difficult, as I was on holiday with friends who unfortunately don't share my obsession with fishing. I really felt guilty just escaping to the lake for just a while when I should have been drinking wine and socialising. Wine? Fish? No contest.....

 

After the first couple of shouts to "come up here and look at this...." I started to notice that sort of vacant look....you know, the one that's reserved for the imbecile family member?

 

Oh, I'm now SO familiar with that look!

 

Janet

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Sounds like a whole lot of fun. I bet you'll be going back!

 

Those fish sound pretty big. I've not got the books here at the moment - can someone please post the weight for length tables for roach, rudd and perch? Chris Plumb?

Wingham Specimen Coarse & Carp Syndicates www.winghamfisheries.co.uk Beautiful, peaceful, little fished gravel pit syndicates in Kent with very big fish. 2017 Forum Fish-In Sat May 6 to Mon May 8. Articles http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/steveburke.htm Index of all my articles on Angler's Net

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Sounds like a whole lot of fun. I bet you'll be going back!

 

Those fish sound pretty big. I've not got the books here at the moment - can someone please post the weight for length tables for roach, rudd and perch? Chris Plumb?

 

Nice one Janet, glad to see you survived the weekend. ;)

 

The weight for length scale for roach is, (all approximate remember)

 

8ins----0-04½

9ins----0-08

10ins----0-13½

11ins----1-02

12ins----1-03¼

13ins----1-08½

14ins----1-14¾

15ins----2-05½

16ins----2-14

17ins----3-07

 

John.

Angling is more than just catching fish, if it wasn't it would just be called 'catching'......... John

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another good story of your action Janet! i had been waiting for one for a while! hopefully it wont be too long before i have another to share.

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Thanks for the list John. Very interesting! I was reasonably sure that I'd beaten my PB of 1lb, and judging by the fatness of them and reading that chart, I think I did.

 

Most of the fish were unhooked in the water, but I was able to measure them reasonably accurately as on one of my trips to the Ribble last summer, Martin gave me a "Measure Net" landing net, which enabled me to just lift them out very quickly, check the length, then get them straight back.

 

After a weekend like that, I'm seriously thinking of investing in some scales. I bought a cheap set when I first started, but consigned them to the bin as I didn't trust their accuracy, and I really didn't like faffing around and keeping fish out of the water. Now that unhooking and handling fish has become second nature, I think that perhaps I should get some, just so I know for sure when I've got a biggie! I still enjoy catching whatever is daft enough to take my bait, but it would have been good to have reported accurately about the fish I caught this weekend, instead of guessing.

 

Can anyone recommend a reliable, accurate and easy to use set?

 

Janet

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