General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

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General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:00 pm

I'm a much conflicted angler, who can't really decide which fish to focus on. For a few years (though mostly the 2014 season) I've been pike fishing in the Scottish Highlands, and I've had just over 300 pike since, then, of which about 45 were doubles up to 18lb 4oz. I've very much enjoyed it, but I'm at the stage where I'm a little bored with that water and would like to catch something a bit bigger. The trouble is that I've been conditioned to be quite impatient, as according to my diary, a fish comes every 45 minutes (with a run every 30 minutes or so). There aren't too many waters that are that productive.

So in an effort to find something a bit closer to home, I've branched out into pole fishing 6 months ago. I've always had the usual waggler rod set up at the local trout fishery for the roach, but pole is far more effective.

So I split my time between the trout fishery and a local coarse fishery these days. Both have some pike, but the pike in the main loch at the coarse fishery are fickle buggers. I've only done 2.5 days on it and only have a couple of 7 pounders to show for it. They run to low to mid twenties in there, but I don't have that kind of patience.

The pike at the trout fishery are much more obliging, and I usually get one each time I fish for the roach. The feeding roach attract the pike in and it's only a matter of time before you get one (they usually show themselves, either attacking the net or switching the roach off - twitched roach on float is quite effective). At the moment on the trout fishery I'm wading through vast numbers of small roach, as the large roach rarely show through winter. I catch plenty of trout too, as the single maggot and size 24 hook falling every 30 seconds gives plenty of opportunity for takes.

I was out today on what was a fairly calm, quite mild day. Bright intervals with an intermittent breeze from the east. I have for months only fished the peg at the western end of the lake, but they struggle with algae a bit there, and the scum on the surface made my peg unpleasant to fish. Being a creature of habit, this was annoying. So I moved my stuff 50 yards along the bank to a peg I'd plumbed the other day on the edge of weedbed. 8ft of water 10ft out. Perfect on the 3.3m pole for speed fishing. Before moving, I'd had about 60 roach in 1,5 hours and lost a 2lb rainbow at the net.

The new peg was a revelation. Not only were the micro roach a little larger (about 35 to the pound rather than 45), there were also more of them. The first 1.5 hours yielded 148 roach and it was fairly steady thereafter. Had a jack at 3.5lbs on the pike rod on the edge of the weedbed (only one rod in at a time, so it wasn't in for long. Lost a chunky brown trout on the pole too. It was only on for about 10 seconds, but long enough for me to see it.

Finished the day on 500 roach (for about 14lbs), 3 micro perch and the aforementioned pike. I left a pike rod in whilst tackling down and it screamed off (I mean 10m of line in a couple of seconds kind of screaming) but nothing there on the strike. A large brown trout I expect.

Very pleased with the session - pb on the roach number by 140 and good to try a new spot. Frustrated to miss three trout, but ho hum.

In England at the weekend and intend to try a commercial fishery in Northamptonshire on Monday.


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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  piketastic on Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:57 pm

Very interesting read . One thing I would say is do not discount that original water or a big one will definitely come out of there and come back to haunt you.
Phenomenal amount of roach your catching, I know people on here who wish for a few lively roach now and again on those slow barren days. Myself included!
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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:48 pm

It's really only me that fishes the Highland water. It's about 10 acres, and I'm just not sure that there is anything larger than what I've caught in it. There have been numerous fish that have been repeat captures (one or two fish as many as 7 times) so I reckon I've caught most of them by now! I'm planning to head out a few times this year, though I'll wait for better weather.

I've really been enjoying match type angling of late. I'd always poo pooed pole fishing, but I find it most enjoyable. Playing larger fish on the pole on light elastic and line is a proper challenge. I've managed to clear Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, so there will be a few more entries Very Happy

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  lowdouble on Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:18 am

That sounds a very rich in food water. class fishing too. the painful truth is that big pike are hard to find (not catch) and big fish are usually known fish so the pressure is on them all the time. ive learnt that hard waters produce the biggest fish, but i am talking of one run a session if your lucky. I alternate between runs waters and hard waters to break the boredom. but to honest jacks bore me after a couple of runs, and when your not fecking raging when you miss a run bounce bounce bounce it shows how complacent I am. big girls still make my legs shake lol. its a tough decision, runs or boredom. You will get one soon Laughing
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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:28 am

lowdouble wrote:That sounds a very rich in food water.   class fishing too.   the painful truth is that big pike are hard to find (not catch)   and big fish are usually known fish so the pressure is on them all the time.  ive learnt that hard waters produce the biggest fish,  but i am talking of one run a session if your lucky.  I alternate between runs waters and hard waters to break the boredom.  but to honest jacks bore me after a couple of runs,  and when your not fecking raging when you miss a run bounce bounce bounce  it shows how complacent I am.  big girls still make my legs shake lol.  its a tough decision,  runs or boredom.   You will get one soon Laughing  

At the moment you're not having to choose between and runs and monsters though are you?! Laughing

I reckon I just fundamentally love fishing. I'm not really bothered what I'm catching so long as it's fun. I love the challenge of speed fishing, as in how quickly can you pull the fish in, unhook, keepnet it, swing the rig back out again and chuck a few maggots in for rebaiting. About 35 seconds seems to be the limit at the moment! I also love landing bigger fish on light tackle - had a 5lb 12oz brown trout the other day on the pole that took nearly 15 minutes to land.

Pike are outstanding though. If the water was closer to my house, I'd be there all the time (as I was three years ago when I was working there regularly. I even rented a house 50 seconds drive from the loch to fuel the addiction, well and for work too!).

Come spring, should anyone in the locality want to come, I'm happy to take someone out on my boat. The pike average 6-7lbs and there are millions of them!

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:09 pm

06/02/2017 - local trout fishery. 5 celcius, frosty start, building easterly finishing with rain last thing.

The breeze was a pain today. Only 4 or 5 metres per second, but enough that you miss the subtle bites on the pole.

Ended up with 250 roach, a single micro perch and 5 trout. Trout were in this order:

Brown trout - 4lb 6 oz. Took a wobbled dead roach. The set up was 4" roach on one treble hook, a double A shot at the hook to weigh it down, nothing else on the line. Cast, let it sink for 10 seconds, slowly retrieve. This fish followed me back all the way to the bank, sat and looked at the roach for 15 seconds or so whilst I twitched it, and then it took.

Brown trout - 5lb 1oz. Again wobbled roach, mid water this time. About three casts after the first one.

Rainbow trout - about 2lbs. Went back to my peg to catch a couple more roach for bait (rather than lifting the keep net) and the first fish is a bloody rainbow. Good fight though.

Rainbow trout - again, about 2lbs. On the pole. Can't remember much more than that.

Brown trout - 5lb 6oz. On the pole, single maggot. Took about 10 minutes to get it. Great fight.

I wobbled the dead bait a bit more, off and on and had a couple more hits, but no fish. A pike followed me all the way to bank in the exact same spot as the first trout, but despite my best efforts, just stared at the bait and wouldn't take.

Generally, I'd prefer to catch pike on the pike rod and trout on the pole. The brown trout don't offer much resistance on the pike gear but are fantastic fun on the pole.

Interestingly, all the activity on the wobbled roach happened at the leeward end of the lake (which had ice first thing). Nothing at all at the windward end.

Back out tomorrow. To be stiller, with a bit of drizzle in the afternoon. Suits me better. I hate the wind.

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:47 pm

07/02/2017 - local trout fishery. 3 celcius for most of the day. Drizzling to showering 80% of the day. Very light breeze from SW, though water near enough calm. Quite a lot of cold rain overnight.

Another excellent day. I certainly prefer flat calm to wind. The roach were very steady all day, and whilst there were no mad rushes, it was steady all day. Ended up with 510 roach (bag weight about 14-15lbs), with one total surprise of a 1lb 5oz clunker (which ties my PB). I thought that it was a trout initially, though it quickly puzzled me as it didn't knock the pole end like a rainbow and didn't have the weight of a brown trout. I was more excited than a pig in shit and was shaking for about 10 minutes afterwards. It's been a couple of years since I had a roach approaching that size. It was such a stunning fish that it is now resident in my pond (with my mirrors and commons).

On the trout front, it was very quiet in the morning. About another 6-7 fisherman on, and one chap had two and another 3. Other than that, the others were blanking.

Picked up mid afternoon though with a couple of brown trout in quick succession on the pike rod (float fished small roach). First one was a new pb of 6lb 10oz and the second 4lb 12oz. Then got a blue trout of 2lb 4oz on the pole (don't usually weigh the stockies, but wanted to check that my guess of just over 2lb was correct). Great fight off it too. The stockies fight extremely inconsistently. One will drag in like a sack of potatoes, and the next (same size) will run you around for 5 minutes, acrobatics and all. Lost a further blue trout and that was that.

Out of the 510 roach I got 30 great hookbaits for piking tomorrow. I prefer a small hook bait and they are generally 5" long. There are four of us out tomorrow with me guiding and fishing. 8 rods, so should land a few. The water we're going to has only produced a couple of 7 lb fish for me so far, so I'm hoping to improve on that tomorrow. One of my friends coming tomorrow once bested me on a day where I blanked, and he landed his first pike at 10lb 2oz. I'm hoping that there isn't a repetition of that tomorrow! There are lots of doubles in there and some twenties too, so fingers crossed.

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:11 pm

08/02/2017 - local coarse fishery. 3-5 celcius all day but felt warmer as wind was minimal. Not sunny but not grey either. Lovely day.

Out with three friends for a spot of piking. Went pretty well to be honest, with the larger fish coming from the main loch and the three smaller fish from one of the smaller ponds that ought not have pike in it at all.

Had 7 rods in the water for most of the day with one rod twitching and wobbling a roach on the move.

First fish came to me at 11lb 7oz, though was preceded a few minutes earlier by a dropped run (same fish I guess). Fat fish, but doesn't look it's size in the photo as I'm not holding it well, and being 6ft 8", all fish look small!



Then on the off chance (seriously not expecting anything), I took one rod up to the smaller pond and wobbled the roach. Three casts in a three pound jack.

Then two of my friends did precisely the same, and strangely all three fish from that pond came from exactly the same spot. 4lb 15oz and then 5lb 8oz, which was Ross's first ever pike (I think the grin betrays that fact):



Went quiet for a bit and then 15 minutes before home time one of the static rods in the margin (deep margin, 20ft out, 13ft deep, float fished roach) tore off. Decent bend in the rod for Callum and a nice double banked at 12lb 15oz:



Still seemed like fairly tough piking as it was fewer than one fish per rod, but could have been much worse!

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:39 pm

10/02/2017 - 1 celcius, minimal breeze, snow showers most of the day. Cold!

Very tough today. Was due a shit day, in fairness. The roach were barely biting and catch rate was 1/4 the normal rate (107 total). Nothing large either. Still managed a pike on float fished roach whilst eating lunch. Packed up the pole at 14:00 and spend the rest of the afternoon twitching roach. Had a number of follows, 2 lost fish (including one that felt fairly large in the midwater) and a 4lber at my feet again. They seem to follow all the way back to bank and more often than not take at that point. Good fun - watching the take is always exciting.


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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:24 pm

Couple of hours out this afternoon out on the canal for pike. Nothing. Hate canal fishing - so featureless and barren. Pegged up at a pontoon area where ducks are fed (bread thrown in, attracts bait fish, attracts pike, or at least that's the theory) but pointless really. The bitter easterly wind didn't help either.

Out tomorrow at the game fishery, and weather forecast is excellent.

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:33 pm

15/02/2017 - local trout fishery. 5c, still with tendency to easterly, rising to 9c, sunny intervals.

Good day out today. The still conditions aren't completely favourable as this fishery struggles a fair bit with algae, which forms on the surface. I thought I'd try a new peg though didn't last long as there were few roach there.

Plenty of fish today, though the roach were quite slow.

Put about 70 roach in the net before wandering round with a 6ft 6" Abu Garcia Devil light spinning rod and a small roach for twitching. Had a brown trout at about 4 and a half pounds. Much more fun on the light rod - it was bent double. A lot of follows and missed strikes. Need to sort the rig out and perhaps include a trailing single hook as missing loads of takes.

Settled back onto my peg and almost straight away had a great run on the float fished roach on the side of the weed bed (fishing 7ft depth over 9ft of water). Took quite a bit of line, so knew it was something larger and had what is the largest pike in the water. 10lb dead, up from about 9lb start of October. A lot fatter now, and growing well.

Another brown trout on the roach rod - took quite a large bait and only 3lb 8oz!

Rest of the day the pole proved most successful, with a total of 250 roach bagged, a couple of lost rainbows and 2 rainbows landed and a blue trout. Total bag weight today about 31lbs.

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:43 pm

I didn't see that, but I shall continue my blogging there! Thanks for the heads up Very Happy

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:54 am

That would be ideal, many thanks Cool

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:58 pm

16/02/2017 - local coarse fishery. 10c, mild, rain in the morning, 7-8 m/s breeze from south west.

Funny sort of day at Magiscroft. Given that the carp don't do much first thing in the morning in winter, I opted to twitch a deadbait around the smaller pond for pike. Only issue is that I forgot to take any roach yesterday, so didn't have any bait. My efforts to catch a roach on the whip failed miserably so I gave up and bought some sprat. Sprat are crap for wobbling as they have such a rigid action and are too soft. I'm blaming the bait, but had no pike. My dog had the sprat for dinner!

So moved to the top pond (home of larger match sized carp - 1.5 to 3lbs) but they weren't interested. It is really the first warm day for a while. Had a tiny chub.

Grabbed lunch and moved down to the Island Pond (some larger carp, but mostly recently stocked small carp at 2-8oz). There is a reed bed that always holds small carp and between 13:00 and 17:00 managed to get 50 fish (for about 7-8lbs). Nearly 30 were small carp, just over 20 were small barbel and again, one small chub. So good fun, but the fish were a little on the small side for me. Back to the trout fishery next time I think.


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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  lowdouble on Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:28 pm

Nice reading J, and great smiles too. thats what fishing is really about. Enjoyment☺
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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:38 pm

lowdouble wrote:Nice reading J,   and great smiles too. thats what fishing is really about.  Enjoyment☺

I just love fishing in almost all forms. Can't really be fussed with fly fishing (seems like too much effort) and not really one for doing days and days for only a few runs. So long as the float keeps going under I'm happy. Truthfully, the trout fishery is my favourite at present. When there isn't anyone else there (which isn't often) the owner lets me put out a second rod for the pike whilst fishing the pole for the roach. This is for me perfect - constant little roach (with a chance of larger roach, or indeed any of the trout) on the pole, and pike and brown trout on the pike rod. The pike are growing quickly in there (might do 4 lbs a year, or more, depending on how much they gain over summer) and should provide some very interesting sport by next winter.

Chatting to the fishery manager at Magiscroft today, he's convinced me to target some of the larger carp on the pole in the main loch. He did an evening with an angler last year fishing close in on paste and very heavy elastic. They had 9 fish to 16lb, which has got to be terrifying on the pole!

Looking forward to the warmer weather for a bit of boat based piking too. I will try to get out before then, though the loch in the Highlands I fish doesn't perform that well in winter. Might have time at the end of next week.

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:41 am

I've quite a large pond in the garden with a lot of carp in it. Mostly fairly large (up to 6.5lbs). I also have 25 smaller mirror/ghost crosses growing on in a holding tank - this is the largest and most stunning of them:



I put him, and 9 of his largest and prettiest companions in the main pond this morning. Should grow a bit quicker in there.

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:27 pm

19/02/2017 - local trout fishery. Moderate breeze from south west. 12c and overcast.

Not a bad day, though the roach really were a struggle to find. Managed to get 140 of the little blighters, but did spend a few hours twitching the deadbait around with a reasonable amount of success.

I missed a brown trout early on - must have been half asleep as it took it right in front of me. Lost another later in the day, but did get two browns with the first at 8lb 8oz and the second at 4lb 10oz. The larger is a pb by nearly 2lb.

Also had two pike. One on twitched deadbait (which took right in front of me - quite exciting to see the take) at 6lb 8oz. It fought much harder than the larger brownie. The second pike was foul hooked on the pectoral on the pole and was interesting to land on light roach gear (6lb 2oz).

Over to the coarse fishery to take advantage of the last warm day before the weather breaks. The garden pond is the warmest it's been in 4 months (11c), so the carp should be feeding well.

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:27 pm

20/02/2017 - local coarse fishery. 12c, mild, occasional light shower and bloody windy (8-10 m/s).

Uninspiring day overall. Twitched the deadbait for an hour first thing (saw another chap land a nice 14lb 6oz pike on his first cast, the lucky sod) then proceeded to fish the pole in the margins for 4 hours on one of the ponds. Had 85 fish, mostly in the 2-4oz range, mostly carp with a few barbel, chub, roach and a perch. Couldn't fish a longer line due to the wind, so packed that up at 15:00 and moved onto one of the ponds that has pike. Twitching and static deadbaits yielded nothing. The bag weight of the carp etc was probably about 10-11lb.

Crap weather for the rest of the week, so not likely I'll be out. Have meetings and site visits to do up north so planning to try to get out on the Highland loch at some point for the pike. Need a proper pike session!

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:16 pm

24/02/2017 - local game fishery. 3-5c, gentle SW breeze, clear start, becoming overcast and light intermittent drizzle later on.

Bit of an average day today. Heavy, cold rain (sometimes snow) the day before had both cooled and clouded the water. Had a couple of brown trout on twitched deadbait early on (4lb 8oz and just under 3lb) but nothing else. Bumped off a couple of rainbows and lost one at the net on the pole. Need some attention here as missing most trout on the pole now. Hook issues I suspect - I had a pack of Drennan size 24 hooks previously that were fantastic, but through them now and their replacements seem to be a bit useless for losing trout.


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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:38 pm

27/02/2017 - local trout fishery. Gentle SW initially, changing direction throughout day. 3-6 celsius, occasionally bright.

Good day overall. Had 325 roach (they were pretty steady throughout the day) and a very large rainbow.

Just after 10:00 I hooked a lump on the short pole (3.3m, no extra sections, though fully elasticated with hollow 9) and proceeded to play aforementioned lump for nearly 20 minutes. After lots of strong (though nothing spectacular) runs, managed to slide the net under a rainbow of 8lb 4oz. What makes me doubly lucky is that in the effort of netting it, the hook bent out and pinged off at the moment it was netted. Size 24 to 3lb 6oz line. Very lucky indeed! PB rainbow by nearly 4lb and hardest fight I've had since I was a kid. Most chuffed.

Had a pike around 16:30 at 8lb 2oz on float fished roach. No sign of brown trout at all today. I think that this was due to the heavy rain clouding the water terribly.

The rainbow:




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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:39 pm

02/03/2017 - local trout fishery, light frost to start, bright with 7-8m/s SW turning to cloud and heavy shower mid afternoon. 6-7c.

Bit of a rubbish today to be honest. Pitched up in the usual post and had to move due to the wind and lack of roach. That put me in the sheltered corner which the roach aren't so keen on in winter. Nevertheless managed 175 fish, but they were tiny today. Real fingerlings and a struggle to get pike bait. Managed a small jack (4-5lbs) eventually after it took the bait three times. A small rainbow on the pole (2lb is) that didn't fight hard but for a spectacular jump and a small brown trout on twitched roach (about 2.5lbs).

Just waiting for the weather to warm up a bit before trying the new coarse fishery....

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:51 pm

Accidental fish today at the trout fishery. Popped in on my way to work and failed to get to work. Helped a guy get brownie on twitched roach (plus miss another 4 takes). Once he left I asked a friend to show me how to cast a fly and got a rainbow on my third cast. Lucky bad lad, I know!

Another 30 minutes of mostly awful casting didn't result in any more fish, but I did get to grips with the theory, even if I couldn't reliably implement it.

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:59 pm

05/03/2017 - local trout fishery. 5-7c, shower in the morning and bright and sunny for the rest of the day. Minimal wind.

Mediocre today. Heavy rain overnight had further clouded the water, and there were a lot of people fishing today (and admittedly, it fished quite well for rainbows). I think I am now at the stage where I've dented the roach population and I might struggle to get another 500 fish day unless I give them a rest and allow the shoals to regroup.

Anyway, ended up with 280 roach, all small. Did have a couple of takes on twitched roach deadbait, but far less activity than usual.

What was odd, and indeed quite amusing was that I bought cockles as a bait/food for my home aquarium fish. They are supposed to be good for large roach, so I popped the 3.5m whip out with half a cooked cockle and it was immediately taken by a rainbow. Then, a little later in the day when I went back onto the cockle I had a 4lb 12oz brown trout. No other trout activity at all all day. Need the water clarity back to improve my fishing there.

Itching to get out at the new coarse fishery, but too cold at the moment.

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Re: General fishing blog of a conflicted fishing addict

Post  J Robinson on Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:21 pm

10/03/2017 - local trout fishery. 4c rising to 10c, overcast with very little wind.

Great session today. Changed pegs again to one with a nice marginal shelf. Plenty of roach there throughout the day, though they did tail off in the later afternoon. Joined by two friends in the afternoon, with a mini roach competition on the pole top 2s, and both of them getting brown trout. One of them is a complete novice and he had his first ever trout which was a brownie at 5lb 14oz! The funniest thing is that it fell to a single maggot (hooked incorrectly) on a size 14 hook! Goes to show that presentation can at times be irrelevant!

Anyway, I had a lovely little 3lb jack pike first thing. Very fat.

Then the trout went as follows:

7lb 6oz brown trout. This came on the light pole. So size 24 hook, single maggot and 3lb 6oz line. Good fight off it (just over 10min) and second largest brown out of there (and largest brown on pole).

Then lost another very good fish which took the hook. I suspect the previous fish had weakened the knot. Annoyed!

Had a rainbow at around 2lb, that was also a tagged fish (free permit). It was returned though as I'm not on kill permits and always return all trout.

Then had a brown trout at 4lb 10oz on prawn.

Over the course of the day I lost a further 2 trout. So 6 hooked, 3 landed.

I ended up with 366 roach, and with the roach my friends had, the total was around 500.

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