Saturday, 25 April 2015

The local


Two more three hour evening sessions down on the lake with the full intention of finding how big the roach go.
The wind, what there as of it on my first evening, was blowing in my left ear, unlike last night down my neck, this indicated it was somewhere from the South East. Last night it was blowing quite a bit, straight into my face so a Westerly!
The biggest problem is finding a bait that doesn't appeal to the carp that frequent lake.
So after a bit of fiddling with all the baits available to me from the home stockpile, I've worked out that hemp is still a great attractor, including carp, and that bits of worm work better than whole far.
Both days were predominantly roach, using the laying on method with just enough weight four inches from the hook to show a pick up.
Last night was better, as I concentrated on the piece of lobworm. But, I still got bugged by the carp,including one that snapped me up!!
The fish below was the best of the bunch, so I hope there are some bigger parents to be found

Must clean my lens of eel slime!
The bird song I couldn't identify sounds like a pied flycatcher, but I'll record it next time to double check.I may have been influenced by the view of what may have been a spotted flycatcher, it's not that sound though.
Heard my first chiffchaff of the spring .
Still no swallow's down there, although one single bird flew over the house yesterday!

 I'll take some books with me to Suffolk, in the hope I can gain a bit more knowledge of where the bigger fish, if any, may hang out.

White Hart Ludford.

White Hart, Ludford
The village pub once again has won the Louth District Overall pub of the year award and is on the CAMRA top 200 local pubs list.
It is now being checked out for the Regional pub of the year with secret CAMRA visits!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Spring has sprung

First swallow
Spotted overhead from my garden this Tuesday 21st April.
 Judging by my Cyprus experience the martin's and the swifts will arrive in about a month, the swallows were nest building when we arrived on the 1st March well before the swifts and martins who turned up just before we left !
Two nests in the garden,a song thrush with four eggs, and the great tits are active in the nest box, relieving my lawn  sorry grass of some of it's moss.
It's noticeable that the female does all the work though, but  it's not lined yet and I've not seen them for a day or two.
The new lake.
I have to say sitting by my "new" lake a couple of times this week for this years campaign has made me feel good.
Looking back to the old lake
Listening to the sky larks, watching the buzzards wheeling overhead, and sparrowhawks at work
The birdlife is in full swing, I shall need to get my call recognitions sorted out though, as there is a least one bird I don't recognise.
From a distance I spotted him moving up to the trout stock pond!
It's good job really that I have plenty of distraction,because grabbing a bite from the underwater world is at the very best slow.
The lakes, being spring fed are, I think, just a bit cold.Time to get my thermometer out, just to see when and if a change takes place.

Anyway, sitting last night at the shallow end,hoping the water may be just a tad warmer, it wasn't long before I noticed, despite the very warm sun, that the wind was an easterly, and was blowing straight down the back of my neck.
I persevered, put the hood of my sweatshirt up, and stuck it out for about three hours until the sun sank below the hills.
My "groundbait" was hempseed spiced up with some aniseed, and a few grains of sweetcorn.
Bait tonight, cockles, prawns and lobworms.
Cockles for the first hour produced one "bite" probably a carp moving through my line.
A change to prawn and a good bite, which was a carp giving a pretty good show of itself until a hook pull, judging by my inability to control the fish, my guess is, it was a foul hooked in the tail!
So another piece of prawn, some nudging of the float, followed by a slow run and I struck into what immediately felt  to be something different.
It didn't take me long, judging by the fight, to know that an eel had taken the bait.

 It seemed to me to be my biggest ever eel, so I thought I would weigh it. At 2lb10ozs it was 2ozs below what I caught, also accidently, on the Thames a year or so nets are in a hell of a state, currently drying out in the sun.
Another change of bait and I landed my first carp of the day of about 8lb, the bait lobworm. A few more twitches, but that was the last fish of the afternoon.
So two fish in three hours, it didn't matter a jot, in fact I shall probably go down again tonight, having fully "groundbaited" the swim with the leftover hempseed that has been fermenting in the bucket for well over a week.
3 hours of relative peace and contemplation.

No sign of swallows

Time to go

After thoughts
Apologies,thanks to those readers who responded to my roach identity request. confirming it was.

Off to Suffolk for the week soon for another holiday. This time staying in a self catering cottage in the grounds of a pub with it's own brewery! Not decided yet whether to take my travel rods and tackle
We've also booked a sea cruise for early next year going across to the Amazon and West Indies.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

We're back

Winter break
All in all the experience of a month away in a warm climate has been good for us.
Our next step will be for two months, probably February /March next year.
Apart from Cyprus Airline problems(they went broke)our direct flights to and from Cyprus didn't happen,so we had to go via Athens, adding substantially to our travelling time.
On the way back the gales seriously affected flights in and out of Schiphol.
The experience has taught us some good lessons about organising our future trips and accommodation for our ongoing quest to change our life plan,in the not too distant future.

Away day
Another trip, this last Thursday,out with the old boys of The International Drinking Society. 
This time a delayed celebration of my birthday, and so it was my turn to find the location.
I chose the The Lamb, a Young's pub in London WC1.

On arrival I thought I had cocked it up, the pub was shrouded in scaffolding a blue plastic. 
I thought,oh bugger,another 20 years of being reminded that I had once picked a pub in Bishopsgate which turned out to to a hole in the ground, awaiting a skyscraper office block to be built!
Fortunately it was open,although somewhat dark inside.
I ordered myself a pint of Special to see if the Young's moved to Bedford had changed the brew. I have to say it seemed as good as it was when brewed at Wandsworth, but there's been a lot of water under the bridge since I last had a pint of Special in a Young's pub.
The other old boys drank the Ordinary,so after swiftly downing my first pint, I also decided the better part of valour was to stick with the less alcoholic brew.
So we drank, and chatted and tested the menu for about 6 hours. My 8 pints went down very well, and had no affect on my equilibrium, which is not surprising I suppose,taking in the time into account.
Back in the early days we had to fit in a least that many pints in less than 4 hours, and I seem to remember you could tell you'd had a drink then.
So after a stop in Starbucks with a cup of coffee and a chunk of carrot cake, I was back on the way to Woodford Green for an overnighter and a BIG breakfast in the local cafe before my 3 hour drive home.

A couple of late afternoon trips down in the valley since returning from Cyprus.
This year I'm going to concentrate on the bigger of the farm's ponds. 

The first pond, the most natural has probably shown me it's inhabitants now.
I have caught carp to 10lb 6ozs, perch up to 3lb, crucians and roach to around a 1lb, rudd to 8ozs a couple of small chub and eels to around 2lb 8ozs.

The eels intrigue me, so perhaps I'll have a session or two, just fishing for them.
The bigger pond, I think can show me bigger roach, it should have some tench too, I know it has bream, all in all a bit of a mystery still. 
I'll need to overcome the carp problem though.

Identification confirmation needed

The following photo's are of what on catching I thought was a roach. Looking at the pictures now of the "roach", the eye and the tail don't look quite right!

Any views please?

What is it coming to?

Breakaway Impact Lead I'm not going to name names, but there is an individual who owns a "specialist" bait company, is a barbel catcher and claims to use these contraptions for fishing the Trent.
He got more than a "3 foot twitch" on facebook!

We have the great tit pair once again testing out the nestbox, but it's a late start this year, so we shall see if the bees beat them to it!
We had a number of visits over the spring from long tailed tits, they are a cracking little bird ,but I think unlikely to nest in our plot.