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Diary of an average angler

This diary dates back to a holiday in 2003 when I think the urge to get back into fishing took off.
From around 2007 the trips became more frequent with 2010/11 probably being the peak of activity.
Things again pick up in 2020 - a sort of rebirth!

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The Clay Pit (15)

Side pond

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Arrival time: 09.00
Weather: Slightly chilly start with freshening wind but became warmer later.
Tackle: Greys 12' Prodigy TX Float rod, Allcocks 4" centrepin, 4BB waggler (with 1.2g olivette), 6lb line direct to 14 eyed hook.
Baits: Sweetcorn, bread flake, cheese paste, worm.
Fish: Seven tench, 8 crucian, one small rudd, perch & carp.

After some challenging sessions on streams, not helped by extreme temperatures and low water levels, I fancied something a bit easier. A few hours at the Clay Pit on the relative easy side pond was just what I needed and, in the event, it proved to be a very productive session.

I got my usual spot, noting that the water level was down, not unsurprising after a remarkably dry June. The water was also very coloured. I started by loose feeding with sweetcorn and with the same bait on the hook. I didn't have too long to wait until a crucian obliged. A great start as I love crucians. Not long after, what I thought was another crucian turned out to be a small tench, the smallest I've taken from this pond. Things then went quiet for a while.

Trying a worm I wasn't too surprised when a small perch was taken. It had taken the hook deeply and although I got it out I'm sure I injured the fish. I decided, therefore, not to continue using worms. I continued with corn, taking another crucian, a rudd and a very small carp, while missing many bites that I assumed to be smaller fish.

Playing crucian

Playing a crucian
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crucian comes to the net

A crucian comes to the net

crucian

Crucian

first tench

The first tench - weighed - 2lbs 10oz

another tench

Another tench

A change to bread flake, using an out-of-date seedy loaf, quickly produced a bite but I only felt the fish, which seemed better than a crucian. The next bite on bread resulted in a hooked fish, once again feeling quite good, but it came off after a few seconds. The larger bread bait was obviously attracting better fish. The next bite proved more successful with a tench of around 2┬Żlbs coming to the net. Bread was clearly the bait to use but unfortunately I didn't have a lot of it.

I was still missing bites but it wasn't long before another tench was landed, this time just over 3┬Żlbs. Another tench quickly followed.

I then had a period where I caught a few crucians before switching to cheese paste, the bread having nearly run out, which at first also attracted crucians. Having caught the previous tench at around 11.00am, at 12:30pm on cheese paste another tench came to the net. This was followed by two more tench before I packed up at around 2:00pm. The tench were still feeding and I'm sure that I would have caught more if I had stayed longer.

The final tally was seven tench, with eight crucians along the way. A truly wonderful five hours fishing that was much appreciated after three trips to streams that tested me while not offering much in return. But that's river fishing!

© 2024 Robert Bassett

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