Sunday, 23 April 2017

FLOAT OR FLIGHT?



Since drawing a 'that'll do for now' line under a suitably satisfying big canal roach campaign the inspiration to write had waned with the slipping focus and lack of direction associated with the close season.

Attention has now turned, more by accident than invention, to a smaller but reliable local reservoir offering good fish across a range of species. Carp 30lbs plus, Tench over 6lbs, Rudd over 1lb, Roach to 2lbs, Perch over 2lbs, Pike to double figures and Crucians to at least high 2lbs.


There is an additional bonus of these waters and that is migrating bird life and so whether to float fish or enjoy the flight of incoming migrants before producing this flannel was the potential conundrum.

But no!

Armed with bite alarms rather than quiver tips or float rods both could be targeted; well, until a bite came of course! Mind you my concentration did lapse to a passing common sandpiper while I was playing a fish at one point.

Is he a birder who fishes or an angler who birdwatches? The crunch would come when a rarity appeared at the same time as a bite. I'm pretty confident the bite would win but, once hooked, that fish would be played on autopilot for sure.

I've fished the Res a number of times in this spell including all four mornings over the bank holiday period and have been completely mesmerised by the quality of fishing and the ever-changing birdlife at this peak migration time.

Sand and house Martins, swallows and all three breeding wagtails, including two of the most stunningly brightly coloured of british birds, the yellow wagtail, together with the aforementioned sandpiper and increasing warbler species numbers, including the (hardly common) lesser whitethroat, all made those slack spells between bites as fascinating as could be.

Shrews argued in their shrill almost inaudible way beneath the rocks and anglers, birders and dog owners passed every few minutes, many of whom kindly shared the time of day for an engaging minute or two.

Feeding the swim each trip made sure of early bites the next day as the fish got used to food being there.

The quality of fish for a venue that is not widely known outside the local area is very surprising and over that ten day period or so, with the The Boy Wonder also on the case on two occasions, we managed the following little list of maximum species sizes:
Perch 1.2.5
Rudd 12ozs
RoachXrudd hybrid 1.4.8
Tench 5.2.0
RoachXbream hybrid 1.6.0

The highlight however was a roach of 1.10.13 which, with gargantuan incredulossity, was caught again the next day at 1.10.3! Followed a week later by one of 1.8.10 amid news of a two pounder a few days ago.


TBW would disagree however....for him a tench would do nicely thank you, to add to his winter first of the species of 2lbs or so.

Naturally, in keeping with his 'anything you can do' nature, he breaks that p.b. with a fish of 2.14 only to follow it with one of 4.9 a few minutes later. I'm really beginning think I should not encourage him further and perhaps buy him a subscription for Macrame Online. (Why would ANYBODY do macrame? It doesn't even look good).


So the Res is serving a purpose and giving us a few clues for the rapidly upcoming Bloggers' Challenge 2017/18 at the same time.

Speaking of which...

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Dear old over-pressured Russell (new blog, new job and all) has created the self-calculating spreadsheet to include the three new smaller species. A WhatsApp group for more immediate sharing in the excitement of captures is under preparation and thus we are requesting last orders for a place in the stalls on the start line come 00.01hrs on May 1st. Don't be shy, it's just a bit of fun.

Please see the previous f,f&f post for further details, which will also take you to Russ's blog to register. Bear in mind you don't need to be a blogger as long as you know one!

All entrants will be contacted with necessary detail this week.

It stands to be an epic campaign!

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Chance encounter...
Bumped into Eric Weight author of "Artificial Lite" blog and talented photographer, and his angling mate Pete, this week. Chewing the fat bankside we covered various unfathomable subjects including the fact that the vast online angling video library that is YouTube does nothing to help those who don't get a bite within 'X' minutes. As Eric put it, "None of the films show you that do then". "Because no one would watch them", was added.

Watch this space.

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Meanwhile the bankside grapevine brings news of a new possible biggest ever canal roach in the form of a 2lbs 6ozs bejewelled beast from the zander-improved Grand Union very close to where much of the FF&F winter challenge was undertaken. The captor is sending me some information and so I will update this news in the next post.

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Chance encounter two/too:
Same Res., same result.

I bump into a fellow Warks blogger. This time Daniel Everitt, "The Lure of Angling", who was his usual deep-theoried, impeccably-enthused self, in pursuit of float-fished tench...until he relented and the feeder rods came out of the car. Anyway, the rest is a tale for him to tell in his own time.

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Some unbelievable migrants to another local reservoir these past few days also...


Black-winged stilts. A bird in the flamingo class for the impossibly evolved...and severely beautiful, elegant creatures they are too. Let's hope they stay