Saturday, 13 August 2022

Loaves and Fishes

Date fished 13/8/2022

5.30 am until 11.30 am

Hot weather continued and with much of the country declared as "in drought", I decided to stay local and fish early morning. A 4am alarm is currently not too early, so I was up and soon ready to go. I drove the short distance to Tilcon in 13 degrees and thick fog. 

The lake was low, not unlike many rivers and bodies of water up and down the country. It was also covered in a damp fog, it actually felt like it was raining there was so much moisture in the air. As the pylon hummed and crackled, I set up the float rod. 

I had decided to leave the sweetcorn at home and only brought breadcrumb as loose feed and some slices of bread as hook bait. 

It took a while for some interest, but soon the float was disappearing, a nice palm sized skimmer the first to want bread. 

I was then getting regular bites, as I chatted with a Carp angler (Mike) who set up in the swim next to me. We both commented on the weather, we both had suncream and sunhats although the fog was so thick we could barely see the other side of the lake! It burned off, but not until after 8am.

The next run of fish surprised me, it was tench time. I caught about six tench in a row. I didn't expect tench to want bread, cue the tuts at my ignorance! Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised!

I missed many more bites as Mike and I chatted with Dave. I didn't  miss the tench that tried to take me under the floating island or the roach bite that Dave spotted for me. It seems even when you are not fishing, you can't help but watch a float. Thanks Dave! 

The sun was now completely out, had burnt off the fog and was warming everything up. I had a proverbial net full of fish, at least a dozen tench and half a dozen silvers.

It took alot of will power to pack up as Mike cooked sausages, the smell making me hungry. But pack up I did. It was a great morning, I started with only bread, but definitely turned it into loaves and fishes. 

As for feeding the 5,000!? Well, Mike was lucky he didn't have to feed me as I just made myself a sausage sarnie too!! 

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Fishing with Stan

Date fished 9/8/2022

8am until 2pm

Six anglers (five spectators) descended on Potwell fishery in Broadwindsor for our annual family fishing trip. Our holiday had already been fish related when the Dawson's moved house and I was asked to "catch" the fish from the pond. Just a small net was needed, unfortunately! 

The three Northern Chumbleys, one Southern, the eldest Dawson child and his mate Stan were the anglers. Plenty of pellets, sweetcorn and some stale cheese scones that were crumbed filled the bait boxes, whilst float rods, ledger rods and a 4m whip was the tackle.

Rupe started on the ledger whilst I set up float rods for the others. A quiet start but as the hour approached, Rupes rod whipped around and the spool started spinning. Rupe played the fish to the net and the net was soon full. A 5 lb common carp the first fish of the day. 

Several small roach then took a liking to the sweetcorn and soon the anglers were getting a good few lightening fast bites, most were missed though. Stan then arrived, he had never fished before and was keen to learn. I had not started to fish yet and became "teacher" to set Stan up. He was soon casting with great accuracy and feeding too. The fish, not himself, he didn't eat until he caught! More to come on that. 

Davey's fish

Sam was getting lots of bites and I was jumping between the kids as each called louder than the last. ( Reminds me of a game we used to play at school). Sam connected with a bite and caught his first fish, he allowed his brother to hold it too. 



Finally Stan caught a roach, but it came off whilst we were landing it. We would of called that his first ever fish, but we hoped more was to come! 

Lunch was started about 10am and Eddie helped to polish off everything on offer! Hats were very much needed today, even under parasols. The hats were swapped about and soon I was wearing Martha's. But not until after she had caught her first fish of the day, she actually did it all on her own. 

As the morning turned to afternoon, we fished on. Stan stayed in his spot and kept up the feeding. He was soon rewarded as his float sailed away, this was no roach. He played it well and after a few long runs from the carp it was soon ready for the net. Stan played it over the waiting net as Rupe held it steady. 

Hat swapped

We weighed this fish, a lovely mirror carp of 7lb 4oz.

We let the fish rest a long while after the battle

Stan was now able to eat his lunch! Everyone had caught something except me by now and as our numbers dwindled to go visit the horses, I got a go with the ledger rod. I needn't of bothered, the early afternoon temperature was boiling and we decided to call it a day. Technically I blanked, albeit I only fished for less than an hour during the hottest part of the day, that's my excuse! 

Call it beginners luck, I call it skill and persistence. Stan was patient and kept casting and feeding in the same spot. We never got round to using the whip, maybe I was too scared to try. Stan had already given me a whiping with the rod, I didn't wanna be shown up anymore!! 

Hooked on fishing! 

Saturday, 16 July 2022

Walk the walk

Date fished 16/7/2022

5.30 am until 10.30 am 

Today's trip was very different. I don't think I have ever done this before, except when on family holidays as a child in Devon and the fishing was on site. My friend, Duncan and I once cycled to a lake in Binfield, where we grew up and fished but I had never walked to the fishing venue, until today. 

I got up early as the warm weather was still with us, I believe it is peaking this weekend, early next. Many rivers/clubs have closed to fishing as their water levels are so low and oxygen levels are depleted. I decided to therefore stay local, fish a relatively deep lake and combine it with my first ever pedestrianised fishing trip. 

Now, I usually say I am going to fish light, but given I was walking from home, I went even lighter. I had light mayonnaise in my egg sarnie! Armed with leftover bait from my last trip, a 7ft ledger rod and some bits I set off up the hill to the lake. It's not particularly far, but a grin like a Cheshire cat kept me company on my stroll. 

Less than a mile from door to swim, arriving at the lake, I opted for the swim Davey was in last week, it was one to the right of Rupe's and my swim. I like this side of the lake, and tend to fish in this area when I come. 

Instead of doing twizzles, I found some feeder booms that I used to use all the time. I had forgotten I had them, I think they work perfectly. 

I cast to a spot I had thrown a couple of handfuls of feed and waited. I was hoping to catch an early tench wanting a breakfast. I was only successful in catching a hungry Adam with my homemade flat sausage muffin! 

There was plenty of bubbles and fizzing in the spot, the fish were feeding. I cast to the same spot and got plenty of knocks. It was not until 7.30am that the rod was pulled round and a fish was on. I played it away from the spot, it went towards the reeds and the barbless hook came out. I was left with some slime up the line and cursing that the short rod was not ideal in these swims. I rebaited and cast back in. 

An hour later the rod was off again, this time I won the battle and tench number one lay in the net. 

The next two hours brought three more tench and no more lost takes. So, it seems the short rod was more than able to deal with the reeds either side of the swim. 



The next few casts were met with fish taking the bait on the drop. I get that with a float as the bait falls slowly, but never understand how a fish can take a bait sinking quickly with a ledger weight attached, but they do! Well, the rudd do.

Caught two rudd

On my next cast, the rod was away as soon as the bait hit the deck. This was no rudd though and the fish was away around the lake. I brought it back and it was soon in the net. My fourth tench of the morning.


As the sun came round to directly in front, I kept applying suncream to my knees. The bait box was soon empty and the only bit of corn was on the hook. A sharp pull of the rod was missed and I took this as a sign to get on my bike (metaphorically). 

I walked back through Hexham with the rod and net made up. I got a few comments from passers by, most notably from an older man wishing me luck on my trip. 
I informed him I had caught 4 tench and was on my walk home! 
He laughed saying " You talk the talk and walk the walk!"

Saturday, 9 July 2022


Date fished 9/7/2022

10am until 3pm

The parents are up, the offspring has had a birthday. This can only mean one thing,  a family fishing trip. 

Martha was singing in Carlisle with the choir, so birthday boy suggested we go to Wydon Water in Hexham to see if we could catch another tench. Rupe, Davey and myself were fishing, mother was spectating. 

We settled on 1 point for a roach or rudd, 7 for a bream and 10 for a tench.  Although I think we lost count of the one pointers! The rudd were certainly hungry and active. We caught alot (estimated at a billion!) of them in the 5 hour session. 

Rupe was into fish first, his float not even settling before a rudd took the sweetcorn on the drop. This was to happen many more times. I started on the hybrid feeder so I could assist with the float fishing champion. 

Definitely a shorts and flip flop day

My parents soon arrived, having dropped Martha at the Abbey. Davey was soon catching rudd too, but quickly hooked something that was not a small fish. A lovely tench of about a pound soon in the net. This was modelled by his favourite northern grandson.

Rupe continued to catch rudd. And soon overtook Davey even though he had caught a ten pointer. I was still on 3 so completely out of the race, maybe that's why we scrapped it before the end! 

We stopped for lunch and all sat together and had a mini picnic. The star of the show was not my egg sarnies, nor homemade brownies but the 5 litres of water I brought!! 

Back to the fishing, we waited to see if the tench bubbles that were fizzing around Rupes float materialised. It was here that he uttered the phrase, " my float is getting some a-tench-tion. I have no idea where he gets this language from?!? Even when a while later he was in a right tangle he came out with "is it really buggered dad"!? Haha, I blame the parent (s). 

Suddenly my rod swept around and the spool started to spin. This was no rudd. I played the fish that was over the other side of the lake and then up in Daveys swim, and Rupe expertly netted it. A nice tench of around 3lb, again modelled by myself and my favourite son.


We left mid afternoon as it was getting red hot. I think the sun had affected my head as I clearly thought a 3lb tench was going to break my pb, which is 5lb 4oz. Seems daddy wanted to get all the a-tench-tion!! 

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Four hours

Date fished 5/7/2022

3.11 pm until 7.11 pm

I decided on a short evening session back  on Tilcon.  I had spent the day in the office so it was on my way home. I had the float rod, some sweetcorn and some left over groundbait/bread mix. Perfect! 

I left the office at 3pm and at eleven minutes past I was parked up. There were a good few cars already there and about 10 other anglers fishing. Always great to see other anglers. I chatted to a few as I picked a swim.

I was set up fairly quickly and a few balls of bait was thrown to the chosen distance just off the lillies.  The lake was low, but surely that makes it easier? The fish are more concentrated?! Well, that's my theory. 

I was soon into fish, some hybrids, roach and skimmers first onto the sweetcorn.

Quality roach

The quality of roach was really good. They were all palm sized, I assume four to the pound? More experienced match anglers can correct me as I have never weighed a palm sized roach, I am not sure what they weigh. I weighed a huge roach once and it was ten ounces so I may be way off. It was a quality fish every chuck though. 

Palm sized skimmer

The silvers kept coming and I was getting into a good rhythm. Next time the float dipped, there was a little more resistance. A nice bream of about three and a half to four pounds. It didn't leave the water as I unhooked it and returned it to the ever shrinking lake. 

Plenty more fish were caught, a perch some more silvers and then finally not the green giant but a lovely green tench.

I must have caught 35 to 40 fish, one day I will keep a note. I wanted to catch 50 and call the blog "bullseye"  but I was happy with the ending. I got into the car and looked at the clock, eleven minutes past, exactly 4 hours!