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! 

Sunday 3 July 2022

Fuzzy duck. Does he? Ducky fuzz

Date fished 3/7/2022

6.15am until 12.30pm 

I decided to fish a different area to where I normally fish. It's a club water I have fished before, but looking through my blogs, it doesn't feature often. That is either because it was pre blog time or I blanked. Back in the old days when I was more vain, I used to only blog when I caught. I regret that now, as the blogs are a record of all my fishing trips and not just the "good times". Arguably some great sessions have still resulted in blanks!

I was planning on going yesterday, but an impromptu birthday celebration of Mexican food and Jurrasic World meant I needed to delay until today. 

I arrived early and made my way to the river, I had been given some advice on where to fish and took that advice willingly. I set up the float rod and the feeder rod. I planned to alternate between the two whilst feeding loose maggots and using breadcrumb/ groundbait mix in the feeder. I had bread, worms and maggots as hook baits. 

I got settled in a nice swim, bait waiter, chair and rods all ready to go. Am not really a tackle tart, but do enjoy on the odd occasion it looks smart! 

I started with the feeder. I cast to the spot where I had chucked two balls of my groundbait mix whilst setting up. It wasn't long before the rod was giving a knock, a perch the first fish. Next a chublet, into the keepnet they went. Several more perch soon came and it was a fish a chuck. I missed quite a few as some were on the bait before I even put the rod on the rests! There were some ducks in my swim, they dived down for the bait a few times but mostly they were not in the way. 

I soon had a few perch in the net, including some bigger fish. I almost wanted to catch something else. I changed to the float and trotted down the swim. Second trot through, the float buried. The perch were everywhere! Fourth trot down another fish, a roach this time. 

A few spots of rain hit the river, I put on my coat and sat it out. I was quite wet, but it was so warm as soon as it stopped I started to dry off. 

I enjoyed watching the float, but had not noticed the ducks return. They enjoyed watching the float too! Two of the younger ducks started to peck at my float. Then the inevitable happened, I caught a duck! The line just above the float was wrapped onto the duck, the mother was going ape, the caught duck also not that impressed. I started to pull the duck towards me, so I could untangle it. The line then snapped and my favourite bolo drifted away. I got the net and went to the next swim, I manged to get the float. It was complete with trace, hook, weights, bait and the loop of the trace intact. I was glad no line was caught on the quacking fella as it sped away with the rest of the family! 

I tied the trace back on and continued to fish. I know!! Who would of guessed? I have a favourite bolo float!?!? 

The commotion didn't do great for the swim, it was a while before I caught again. More showers followed and the keep net that I had taken out to dry off on the bank was now getting wetter than in the water.

The rain carried on, so I decided it was time to pack up. It was just a shower, but I had caught a few and was happy. It had stopped raining by the time I walked to the car, but some torrential rain as I was driving back probably meant I had made the right decision. 

The best of the perch and 2 non perch

15 perch, a roach and a chublet. Not gonna worry the weighman today, but certainly gave the duck a thought of hoisin sauce!