Shy bites and line bites

After a dentist's appointment on a mild, mid-March day, I headed to Birch House Fishery and chose peg 18 on Buzzard Lake to give my Masterline Avon AV110-C Carbon Quivertip rod a go. I baited up with some red maggots and casters and set the rod up with a recently purchased, Daiwa J1350B reel, small maggot feeder, and a size 18 hook. It's been several years since I've used a carbon rod. I'd forgotten how light they are!

Shortly after casting I started getting line bites, although I missed most of the shy bites, so I scaled down my end tackle changing the feeder for a small bomb. I soon landed a few small Roach and one a much better size. More small Roach followed and it was nice to be ledgering again, touch ledgering to feel those really sensitive nibbles on the bait.

After a few hours the bites on the ledger slowed down and I noticed fish nearer the surface and even a few Carp topping near the far bank. I switched to my favoured method of float fishing with a small inset waggler, fishing about two feet below the surface. The bites started again and after landing several smaller Roach the float disappeared and the line spooled off. This was no Roach. I'd hooked into a lovely scaled Mirror Carp which gave a half-hearted fight abefore going over the net hoop.

Although the south-westerly wind was a bit chilly, it was great to get out after all the recent storms, and the ducks, coots, moorhens and noisy black-headed gulls joined me in the Spring sunshine. I think I also hear a ruffed grouse drumming to celebrate the longer days of the new season.

I hadn't been to Robinwood Fishery for a while so I decided to pay a visit. It was a warm, sunny Monday morning late in March and we'd had a good week or so of warm sunny weather and night-time temperatures above freezing.

Spring was definitely in the air as I set up my Avon Quivertip rod and Mitchell Match reel with a light ledger rig. Most of the maggots from my previous session had started to turn and I'd bought a loaf of bread on the way. I cast out a single maggot from my peg on Lake 4 over mashed bread and casters, and waited.

There were two other anglers who'd been on Lake 4 since early morning and they said they'd both had a few Carp, so I was quite optimistic as I sat in the morning sunshine wishing I'd not worn a thick, long-sleeve shirt. Time passed and I moved the bait around on different spots and changed bait a few times without hooking a fish. I decided to change tactics and went on the float as I'd seen fish near the surface. I soon began to get line-bites but didn't hook anything and after seeing the two other anglers catch another fish each I remembered I had some fake corn. I changed back to the ledger after three hours without a bite I finally hooked into something and got my first run. Shortly after a nice Mirror Carp slipped over the net.

Spurred on by my success I cast out the fake corn again. One of the anglers came over for a chat and I watched the wildlife for a while. Everything from a spider spinning a web in the reeds, to a quartet of drakes looking for suiters and a pair of Canada geese getting amorous on the lake! I also heard the buzzards in the distance.

The anglers who'd been there since early morning packed up early afternoon and about the same time, two other anglers arrived and fished on the opposite bank to me. One of them landed a nice Carp after about 15 minutes fishing and as I waited for a second fish the wind got up and changed direction putting a ripple on what had been flat-calm water. I hoped the ripple on the surface of the water might give the fish more confidence and it wasn't long before more patience in the spring sunshine was rewarded with another nicely scaled Mirror Carp, a bit bigger than the first.

I decided that I'd enjoyed my day in the sunshine and caught a few fish and thought it was time to call it a day.

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