River Great Ouse - Offord (19)
Arrival time: circa 11.30 at swim
Weather: Bright sun with a chilly SE wind.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Rapidex 2400 centre pin with 5lb line, waggler float, 16 to 2½lb hook length.
9ft Shimano Aero X1 Finesse Feeder (1.0oz quiver), maggot feeder/link leger, 5lb line, 16 to 2½lb hook length.
Baits: Maggot with hempseed attractor.
The idea was for a fun few hours catching perch or whatever else turned up, based on my catch a few weeks earlier. But things turned out very different today.
On my previous visit I had intended to float fish a narrower section of the channel but a strong westerly wind ruled that out. I instead fished further along, legering rather than with a float, and caught quite a few perch as well as a roach and a bream.
Today the wind was SE making the swim I had intended to fish last time more inviting. I set up and although I knew that the channel was deep, I was surprised when it plumbed at about 9-10ft.
I decided to fish just beyond some dying vegetation having introduced some maggot and hempseed feed. However, the slight flow dragged the float into the vegetation so I instead fished to the side of it, holding back the float and adjusting the dropper shot to rest on the bottom. I also used a maggot dropper to accurately place some maggots and hemp.
I really expected some early action from the perch at least, but after an hour I hadn't had the slightest indication of a bite. I decided, therefore, to move to the swim that I had fished on the previous occasion.
The wind was much more in evidence at this swim and I changed to a feeder rod with a maggot feeder. If I expected early action from the perch, I was to be disappointed. Once again there was not a hint of a bite.
I swapped to a simple SSG link leger at one point to reduce the disturbance caused by the feeder entering the water, only to lose my terminal tackle when I cast into a tree! Eventually I reverted to the feeder as the link leger wasn't holding position because of the flow and the downstream wind.
The only bit of excitement was when something big hit the feeder or the maggots on a retrieve, arcing the rod and taking line from the clutch. But whatever it was it soon let go. There were what I think were a couple of small fish scales on the hook, the maggots having gone. It could have been that a small fish was on without me realising and a pike took a bite at it. Whatever the case I'm sure it was probably a pike involved.
I did try worm just before I decided to pack up for the afternoon but that was no more successful than the maggots.
So, my last day on the rivers before the end of the season ended in disappointment. I had chosen the Top Stream as a spot where I thought I would catch after weeks of battling against heavier water after chub. A relaxing end to the season if you like. But, as alway where fishing is concerned, don't expect things to turn out as you planned.