Saturday 30 May 2020


Date fished 30/5/2020
5.30 am until 12.00pm

Today I fancied a change.  With Ellis busy, I decided to stay local and fish Tilcon for the Bream again.  Leaving the Hybrid feeders in the cupboard I decided to change and fish one rod on a simple safe lead clip system and the other rod was to be fished with a float!! I had wanted to watch a float for a few hours and hopefully see it disappear.

GURU micro lead clip

Drennan loaded floats

With more hot weather forecast a dawn raid was the decision. Alarm set for 4.40am, I was driving off  by 5am. Arriving, tackling up and fishing by 5.30am. These are the best days!

I decided to change baits too. Opting for robin red pellets in 6mm on a band for the float and 12mm hair rigged on the ledger, instead of Marine Halibut.
I was using a hook length with hair rig stop attachment I had not tried before too! It was a day for changes.

I am not sponsoured by Drennan! 

The ledger was cast to the edge of the lillies and I scattered a few pellets over the top. At this time of the morning the lake was alive. Carp crashing through the lillies to my right like earlier in the week, obviously still getting jiggy and plenty of fish showing on the surface.

I set up the float to fish flat on the bottom a couple of rod lengths out. A scattering of 6mm pellets and I was fishing. The hours ticked by, and sitting in the shade of a tree because I had left my cap at home, I must admit I was getting a bit chilly! A few cups of coffee and some movement and things were hotting up.
I missed a couple of quick bites on the float and things were looking promising. A few other anglers joined the party and with Heart FM in the background it was nice to hear people catching, even if I wasn't!

I say the hours ticked by, it was still only just 9.50am. My ledger rod hooped round with a positive bite.  I had already stopped float fishing and the rod was stored behind me, so I was on the ledger rod straight away.
The tell tale 'pull and float' tactic of a Bream was obvious. A lovely Bream coming across the surface to the net first time. As I rested the fish to get the mat ready, I looked at a fin perfect Bream. The fish was angry and tried to swim off with the net! Who says Bream don't fight? This one was a warrior!

A quick weigh gave me 4lb exactly. I was happy. A few precious photos taken and the Bream was away. I watched it swim down the slope, giving a quick tail flick as it disappeared.

I float fished again for a while, feeding a few pellets each cast but had no more bites on this. I packed it away, will try again with maggots or worms next trip maybe, or in the Autumn.
Sitting behind the ledger rod, the sun got higher and higher until it was threatening to warm my exposed "40 year old man's solar panel".

Product Trademark and Copyright obtained! 

I am sponsoured by "Chumbley Head Gear!"

It was a perfect morning on the bank. I enjoy the buzz of other anglers around me. It makes fishing as social as you want it to be. In these time of social distancing, which we all observed, it was nice to be alone with my thoughts of tackle changes whilst within the comfort of a club.

It was soon time to pack up, with Puff daddy  'I'll be missing you' on Heart to my right,  I felt I was being serenaded and it was an appropriate song to end on.

Tuesday 26 May 2020

Living the Bream

Date fished 26/5/2020
6am until 1pm

Now, it may be a bit premature to start with the Bream pun title but let's give it a go.

After yesterday's indifferent performance, today was going to a peaceful day on  Tilcon (Ryton) to target the Bream.

The alarm went off at 5am, "Don't Bream, it's over" playing on the radio. I was mostly packed, so a quick wash and breakfast and I was away.  Arriving at the lake early, (5.45am) I fancied fishing in a swim right by the car park.

Setting both rods up with Hybrid feeders is very quick. Within 10 mins I was fishing with both rods and having a sit down. The lake was alive, fish topping, crashing about. I was certain of a fish or two. Line knocks showing me fish were moving about.

Suddenly at 6.35am my right hand rod hopped over and the lillies crashed apart. This was no Bream. I was on the rod straight away and got the fish back in the open. A spirited fight played out and soon it lay in the net. A lovely Tench for first thing in the morning. At 3lb 9oz, no monster but a good example from this lake, so I was pleased. A few pictures and off it swam.

I had reeled in my other rod while the Tench was in the net, so I could do pics etc with no distraction. I cast this rod straight back out.
I turned to 're bait the Tench rod and I heard the bait runner going and my rod going towards the lake! I was on it straight away, this was a much bigger, powerful fish, defo not a Bream! As I picked up the rod, the fish was just in the lillies and at a right angle.  Ping!,  the hook came out, a bit straighter than when I cast it in!!

Changing the hooklink, I quickly cast both rods back in and sat down. It had been a crazy 10 minutes! I was hopeful for another quick chance, but sadly the fish were not so obliging.

At 8.30am my left hand rod gave the tell tale wobble. I picked it up and it felt a decent fish. It was not fighting like a Bream, but glady it was! I had come to target Bream and finally I had one. It looked bigger than my last two,
"A new pb?" I thought.

This looked like a proper bream, deep, bronze,  thick and rough to touch. It was in full spawning mode and covered in tubercles.
This was the type of Bream I had wanted to catch.  A calm procedure followed. Other rod brought in, fish resting in the net. Unhooking mat wet and laid out. Sling wet and rung out. Scales set to zero. I was starting to enjoy this fishing lark, not bad for 30 years!!

At 4lb 2oz, it was another pb!! I was really chuffed. It had worked. Not sure what "it" was, but if I find out, I will tell you.

As I fished on, Carp crashed around in lillies far to my right and the heron flew twice overhead. It was a perfect morning to be out. Another bite on the left hand rod, and a small gonk came to say hello. Hooked fairly in the mouth on a hair rigged 8mm pellet! It has been a while since I caught a Gudgeon, and this one was very welcome.

A few knocks happening throughout the rest of the session, but it seems I made best use of the early start. As I packed up to drive home, the grin said it all. I certainly was like " The cat that's got the Bream."

Monday 25 May 2020

Even "commercial" fish take a break!

Date fished 25/5/2020
7.30am until 4.00pm

Today was going to be a hectic day. Ellis and I, whilst adhering to social distancing, went to The Oaks at Sessay. With its 10 lakes stocked full of Carp et al and memories of last time where we couldn't lift the net, we were up for a bumper catch session.

With the tackle packed into the car, I was ready. I set off early and met Ellis about 7.30 am. We had decided to fish Oak lake, as last time there (poplars) were lots of 1-3lb carp and F1's and we thought we may target bigger fish in this lake, although not the specimen lake.

Walking around the lake, it was very busy. Big areas were taken and keeping to distancing rules we opted for a quiet corner. Ellis able to cast to a bush on the far bank and I was going to cast to the point of the island. We both started with Hybrid feeders with pellet banded on a hair rig.

I cast in and sat back waiting for the action to start.  A few knocks and that was my lot.

Ellis on the other hand, started where we left off last time and quickly had 3 fish in the net, (2 carp,1 skimmer).

I was sat in the dark in more ways than one, and no fish!

Eventually a twitch and I hit the bite. Not quite the fish I was after, but it was not a blank.

A move was in order, so I went the other side of Ellis so I could also cast to the magic Bush!
Soon we were both fishing against the Bush feature and getting line bites.

The owner, clad in mask and gloves, then came round for payment. The exact money was put in a kids fishing net that he held at arms length, and we took out our ticket. A quick squirt and rub (hand gel you pervs) after and we were all safe!

The fish were cruising around under the surface, occassionaly taking food off the top. We both switched to floating bread to tempt them from the top. The fish, as the title would suggest were indeed having a break. They were not necessarily feeding or spawning. They were chilling. Sometimes feeding sometimes not.
A few fish were being caught around the lake, but not nets full like before. Not even level 3lb tc rods on top of a rod pod with alarm and 100 kilo of bait was working.
I switched back to ledger and fished on. Ellis suddenly jumping up as his rod hopped over, "On pellet?" I asked.
"No, worm", his reply.

Quick as a flash, I changed to worm and cast to the Bush. My rod twitched and I struck. Finally, a carp was in the net.

As the afternoon drew on, we switched between ledgering and floating bread,  but not alot was working.

Ellis slipping lower in his chair until finally his eye lids got too heavy.  I looked up to see his rod hooping and the bait runner starting to turn, I called him awake and he picked up the rod to land another carp!! He was catching more than me in his sleep!!

More and more carp cruised around, soon my swim looked like a pond. 20 plus fish just mooching about. We were getting line bites and could even see the fish as they were brushing the line. We were not catching anything though.

With a long drive home and hot from the sun, we decided to finish early. If we were catching we may have stayed, but for some reason the fish were not interested.
Two trips from the same venue, could not have been more different.
I can't purely blame Covid, Cummings or Ellis. Afterall he was reasonable,  he didn't snore once!

Thursday 21 May 2020

Blogger blanks!

Date fished 20/5/2020
14:30 until 21:15

The alarm went off at 6am and today was like any other, I was going to work. Into the bathroom, wash, brush teeth before getting dressed. Then a leisurely commute down the stairs to work at the kitchen table. But unlike other days, after work I was going fishing!
Making use of the light evenings, I decided to work until 2pm and then have the evening for Bream at Tilcon. Two rods, both with hybrid feeders filled with pellets and differing pellets on the hook was to be the tactic.

I could end the blog here, such was the success but then you would not be able to see all the scenic photos I took! I must admit, I got a bit carried away.
Arriving about 2:30, I had a quick chat with some other anglers, it would seem the lake was very quiet today and not many fish had been out. I was surprised not to see any carp cruising on the surface, the car said it was 25 degrees and it felt warmer with little breeze.
I settled for a corner swim where I could target tree features to my right and open water straight in front. With the rods all ready set up, it was a quick process to get them ready for action and I was soon fishing.

I was casting fairly regularly but with little action. There was a large shoal of Roach cruising just under the surface, their silver glinting in the bright sunshine. I was trying some different pellets in the feeder that I had and I think I had made them too wet. They were a little bit clumped together so I left them in the sun to dry a bit more. Seeing them looking so wet bothered me, so I got the box and a stick and started giving them a stir.

Now, I have lost count of the number of times I or other anglers have said a bite came when they were having a wee, drinking a cup of coffee, looking at their phone, watching the kingfisher or stirring their wet pellets! I saw the rod twitch, bounce and the line peeled off the bait runner, I dropped my stirring stick and picked up the rod. I struck into thin air, the fish had gone!
There was a lesson here!

Soon, 2 club committee members came to inspect my membership card. Asking to see it, I got it out of my box and showed them. "Ah, its the Blogger!" was their warm response. "It was great to read your last blog, well done" they praised.
This was great to hear, its so nice to know other people enjoy my ramblings, I write this for me, but I am happy you are reading it too!
We talked all things fishy, and with every great myth, they threw cold water on the 14lb Bream. My new target is 9lb, that'll do!

The afternoon was hot, I had a few knocks on the rods, but maybe only an indication a few fish were brushing the line. They were not really feeding. I presume there had been a lot of anglers fishing since last Wednesday, with their new found freedom so maybe the fish were full. I certainly wasn't, and it was time for dinner.

As the evening drew on, the lake came alive. Fish were topping, midges were whizzing about. It looked idyllic. The occasional police siren or speeding motorbike breaking the peace.

A little after 9pm it was time to call it a day, after all I had a short drive home before tomorrows commute down those 14 stairs.

As with anything in life, there is measurable success and failure. Some may argue this blank was a failure. I would argue it was a mixture of both. I had an enjoyable evening on the bank, learnt a pellet stirring lesson, got trigger happy with the sunset pics and took my first step to International Blogging Stardom!