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A belated happy new year!

Happy new year piscators. I trust you all enjoyed the festive season and celebrated the new year safely and sensibly. I've not fished since mid-November for one reason or another, but this month I ventured out.

After buying half a pint of maggots, a small tub of worms, and hearing fellow piscators saying Birch House Fishery was fishing well I thought I'd go there and see for myself. I set up on peg 19 of Teal Lake, which is a canal-shaped lake, and it was great to be back on the bank, wetting a line for the first time this year. I'd soon set up a 3 piece, 10' split cane rod and Ambidex No2 reel with a small float, and it wasn't long before I was joined by a Robin who took some maggots into the trees behind me.

The Roach started taking the maggots first on a size 16 hook, but after a few hook-pulls, I changed to a size 14 hook and managed to land more Roach before the Perch moved in and took both, maggots and worm hook baits. After a cloudy start to the day, the sun came out and temperatures reached 9 degrees centigrade, with the air pressure quite high, around 1033hPa.

Between bites, I threw a few maggots on the ground beside me for the robin, who got used to the sound of the maggots landing on the dried leaves, and after a while, a female robin joined the male.

Fishing just over a rod length out, off the marginal shelf, a buzzard flew overhead as I caught a nice Gudgeon which is a fish that always make me smile nostalgically. A lovely quiet day's fishing on a mild, late winter's day and a wonderful way to start the year's fishing, £6 well spent.

I did fit in a second session this month, a week after the first, this time on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Findern, at a familiar spot by bridge 21. With temperatures reaching 12 degrees with a cool westerly wind of 12 mph, I set up the same tackle from my previous session with leftover maggots and worms. The long and the short of this session was my first blank of 2023! I saw plenty of fish darting about but didn't manage a single bite, even though I moved twice to what I thought were likely spots. I packed up and decided it must have been a bread day!


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