Well it's turning out to be fishing sessions of firsts. Last month my first Trout and this month my PB Bream, just shy of 3lb. I went to Mill Dam on 6 March and although the sky was clear the water was very cloudy and higher than usual. After just a few casts with good old reds my float moved slowly across the water and then disappeared and I was into my first and as it turned out, my only bite of the session. It didn't take long to land what felt like a dustbin lid and there in my landing net was the biggest Bream I'd ever caught. I don't usually weigh fish but I weighed it and the scales showed just under 3lb. I continued to feed maggots and had regular knocks and saw fish activity but I didn't get any more bites. I packed up and went home a happy Retro Angler!
A 3lb Bream from Mill Dam.
Over the weekend I bought two 'new' rods. Shown below; an Aqua Superb, Lee of Redditch three section, 11ft cane rod which needs re-whipping. Plus, a two section Japanese, Kiraku cane spinning rod which originally came in a long box with two more sections, accessories and could be used for fly fishing as the handle is adjustable.
Inspired by my PB Bream the week before I went back to Mill Dam on 13 March. The water was still high but not as cloudy and there were a few anglers set up when I arrived. Soon after, two council employees showed up and cut some tree branches damaged during storm Doris. The result of this maintenance was a few large branches landed in the edge of the lake, no doubt frighting the fish...not a good start! The temperature was around 14 degrees and the sun was warm on my back as I fished red maggots with my Redmayne & Todd bamboo and cane rod and Ambidex 2 reel. Another angler arrived and soon after one of the anglers on the opposite bank landed a few small Rudd. We all fished on with few signs of fish and around mid-afternoon I finally got a very shy bite and landed a Minnow! I fished a little longer then decided I hadn't blanked and called it a day.
Mill Dam Minnow!
After blanking at Mill Dam - except for a Minnow - I decided to go for a day on the canal and on 17 March I headed off to Stenson Bubble with my newly purchased Aqua Superb cane rod and Marco Cortesi centre pin reel. I set up at a spot I've fished successfully before and baited reds on the hook and loose feed. To begin with there was a good flow on the canal and a slight breeze so I trotted a quill float to get some practice trotting. With some signs of fish but bites lacking the wind picked up and the flow slowed down so I changed to a waggler float. Still no bites the fish activity ceased for a while, then it started to rain, the wind changed direction, the rain stopped and started again and the wind changed direction yet again. I tried some worms to tempt a Perch but still no bites and worms used up I went back to maggots on the hook and ended the session with a blank. A little disappointed as I've had some good sessions on this stretch in the past, I packed up. Apart from the weather and not catching I got some practice with the centre pin reel and it was a nice, quite spot to spend my day off.
My 'new' Aqua Superb cane rod looking the part with a (not yet retro) Marco Cortesi centre pin reel.
Looking at my fishing 'to do' list for 2017 I decided to go Pike fishing on my next session, so on 26 March I headed to Stenson Bubble. I went below the lock thinking this would be an ideal place to find a Pike or two. After setting up a Daiwa ledger rod with a Mitchell 410, 10lb line, I adjusted the Pike float with the double hooked small dead Roach bait flat on the bottom. I sat back and waited, it didn't take long before there was fish activity, the float bobbing about and bubbles showing. I gently picked the rod up and waited for my inner Mr Crabtree to tell me to 'strike'. A little more float movement and I struck and reeled in hoping for a bite. Unfortunately there wasn't a fish on the end of the line and this occurred several times over the next few hours. I could see lots of fish activity all around; bubbles, fish darting about just under the surface and topping. After some lunch I decided to have go lure fishing with my 'new' 5ft Kiraku spinning rod with another recent purchase, a Black Pince, bought as part of a job lot. After trying a few different coloured jigs and spinners and not getting any takes I went back to the Pike fishing. Watching the float and getting distracted slightly by passing boats and fish activity I wished I'd brought a pint of maggots and float fished for silvers! Following more activity from the Pike float and several fruitless strikes I wondered if I was striking too early, but I was trying to find a good balance as I didn't want to deep hook a Pike. Not long after I decided to call it a day and try again another session. Even though I didn't catch I'd had a good day, with temperatures reaching the mid-teens and the sun was warm on my back.
Stenson Bubble below the lock