Cold Weather Coarse Fishing

These days if I’m lucky enough to get a fishing session authorised by the other half, I really want to have the best chance of catching. This means I need to find somewhere that is fishable and I have confidence tht at least some kind of fish are present. This normally means a few hours of scouring through forums and the Enviroment Agencys website checking river levels, which are inevitably unfishable every time I have a session planned. If anybody out there is a domesticated father, like myself, with responsibilities limiting your fishing time follow this strategy.

With flashbacks of nearly drowning fresh in my mind during my recent outings on the River Taff. The descision to avoid running water was easily made because of reports of high water levels at all my local fishing spots. The low water temperatures also crossed a lot of still waters off the list of proposed hunting grounds. Eventually, me and my fishing companion for the day Jack, decided to fish Cefn Mably Lakes close to Cardiff. I have fished the complex once before on Horsehoe Pond and somewhat uncharacteristically I really bagged up as well.

I really wanted to fish the float during this trip, I was even armed with a couple of pints of maggots, but the wind and low temperature lead to a really so start so I copped out a set up a simple method rig, as modelled by Jack below. As usual the key is to hit the same spot time and time again, although when it is cold you do not need to recast any near as frequently as a warm summers day. On the day though, I was chucking bombs all over the place, it seems that the media stereotype is true and now that I have a child, I have become the spasticated dad that can’t complete menial tasks like casting a method bomb at least within a few feet of where it has just been retreived from. Despite my casting inaccuracies I did manage to bag up a few nice bream but all the carp where had by Jack who had built his swim much more effectively throughout the day and really cashed in as the sun set.   

Canada Lake Lodge

I have always said that instead of getting married I would rather spend my 15 thousand pound wedding savings, on a nice shiny BMW. I honestly think this is a sentiment shared by most red blooded exectuive men. However, I recently visited somewhere that rocked my staunch anti wedding beliefs. The place in question is Canada Lodge Lake, a seriously picturesque fly fishery tucked away in the valleys a few miles North of Cardiff.

The fishery also functions as a wedding venue, I can see why. It really is a lovely setting, almost of out of place, tucked between farms in typical welsh countryside. My old fishing buddy Ben came along for the day, his second ever fly fishing outing for rainbow trout. As we sat on the love swing overlooking the lake we held gently held hands and discussed tactics. We were only interupted by the showing fish from all corners of the lake and the wedding party which was in full swing next to us.

The weather on the day was warm but it was overcast. I decided to try and stalk some fish out of the margins due to the waters clarity and lack of sun. I fished one fly, just a small black buzzer. After creeping around the bushes for a few minutes I managed to hook into a 2lbish trout hiding under some overhanging branches. The fight was short but sweet and the trout was quickly skating towards my awaiting net. Not many pictures from the day but there will be more from this fishery in the future.

 

2014 a statistical review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Tri-Nant Fishery

Unknown to most the Royal Mint where all coins are crafted nestles in the South Wales Valleys, a stark juxapose between the rich and the poor. Perhaps, the Royal Mint was set in the Welsh hillside to create jobs and industry after the decline of the pits. Perhaps it was a good ol’ fashioned “Fuck You!” from England to Wales, both of these options appeal to me as a well natured southerner.

The untold wealth of the English and the miserable existence of the Welsh was not the only set of opposites in the valleys last week for there was also a show down between perhaps the finest coarse fisherman and the worst. Jack v Ben round II.

We fished at Tri-Nant Fishery just north of llantrisant, a small complex which was empty on the day. We fished the carp only lake, both opting for different methods. As any true sportmans will tell you the nature of the pursuit amounts to much more than the weight of the bag. Hence, I loaded my rod with a subtly balanced float rig, the thinking mans approach.

Of course, Ben opted for the all together less rounded, knuckle dragging method feeder. The easy way out, if anything. Below are the results, Ben had biggest bag and biggest fish….. but he basically cheated.

Forgotten Photos

Yesterday, I rediscovered some lost photos captured within a dusty old memory stick tucked away in my old oak desk, which I write from now. They were taken by my time served fishing companion Jamie, a Yorkshireman living in Manchester, fishing with a Hampshire man residing in Wales.

My own photos usually require an accompaniment to supplement the story told. Fortunately, bumf is not a prerequisite for these photos instead have some words which start with P: Jamie’s photos portray proceedings perfectly, a perpetually parched panorama painstakingly pictured …….errrrr penis.

Cefn Mably Method Feeder Madness

Cefn Mably is perhaps one of the most established fisheries in South Wales, a complex consisting of 8 lakes with the needs of the specimen hunter and the humble tiddler basher a like; it should also be noted that the on site tackle shop is simply to die for. Situated just off the M4 between Cardiff and Newport, location ain’t too bad either.

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On the day I fancied a mix bag and I had been drooling ovler the Horseshoe lake online for the week leading up to my little excursion. Home to some enormous perch, carp to just under 10lb, the odd barbel and match man’s favourite the slab. The lake itself is very nice indeed as I strolled along it’s banks I pondered which tactic I should employ. There was plenty of marginal activity and I am sure classic float fishing tactics would coax more than a few of our finned friends bank side. Whilst unpacking my trusty old Wilson barbel rod I couldn’t help but notice the gentle stirring of water around the lilies in the centre of the lakes. At around 5 metres range, with a bit of a breeze blowing across the water, I decided that some classic method feeder tactics might be more appropriate.

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One thing that has really improved my catch rate in the last few months when fishing these packed commercials is my rediscovery of the line clip. To really maximise your catch I really would suggest giving it a go. One thing to consider before deciding whether to clip up or not is that it can be slightly risky when not fishing tight to an island. If you are fishing open water there is every chance that the fish will pick your bait up then try to get away in the exact opposite direction of you. In this situation you have no shock absorbency from the rod, if you are a sporting gentleman then your suitably light line, matched to your quarry will be no match for an angry lump of a carp. In the perfect situation, an island will provide the perfect barrier to force the fish to scamper in a direction which will not overload the line directly.

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So the clipping up process, stage 1 is to have a “lead about” with an unarmed i.e. hook-less rig which could be just your feeder held on by swivel but without your hook link attached. Once you have found your range and a good spot which you have ascertained to be the underwater equivalent of a carp dining table, introduce a few feeders worth of bait to the swim, then lock and load a baited hook and recast and you have my virtual word that your bait will be all wrapped up in a neat little package sat atop a pile of freebies. Just be careful when a powerful fish takes they can give your rod a really good tug hehe.

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Bait wise you can’t go far wrong with any of the usual suspects, on these venues I personally think that the humble Robin Red pellet takes some beating. For my feeder mix I tend to go for a mix of Dynamite Bait 2mm Halibut Pellets, some cooorrrn, the cooooorrrrn juice and of course ol’ faithful Marine Halibut ground bait. Season to touch with some lake water. You want a mix which squeezes together into a nice ball but doesn’t sludge up and will easily crumble if rolled in your hand. I try to go as dry as possible, the best indicator that you need more water is when upon the cast the feeder flies for miles and launches a cloud of ground bait high into the air which will then gently patter back down on you and your friends head. Or in my case just my head. Solo.

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Anyway to prove that sometimes I kind of know what I am doing here’s the fish in a handy little gallery. Click through for some surprisingly feisty carp, a great fight on 4lb line. Tidy!

 

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