Friday 29 April 2022

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.20

I've been enjoying this float fishing of late and the lift method I've been employing has taken me back to one youth where my twin brother and I used to get on our Kamikaze bmx bikes and ride the few miles to Packington Somers. Ok centrepins were a pipedream but we managed quite well with the little bits of tackle we managed to cobble together. 

Somers has changed so much when we used to fish 35 years ago, not just in landscape but also the fishing, back then it was all about variety and not bag weights like it is in todays modern commercial fisheries, where two keepnets are often needed for an average day and three for a good'un.

We rarely did anything but float fishing mainly because we were limited on the gear we could take on our bikes which were more Shetland ponies than Shire horses. I still remember till the day when I spotted a nice float stuck in a tree and fancied adding to my mediocre collection, which is where it went a little wrong. 

You see I could take off double denim no problem when I was a kid, but that was a only a hindrance when upon climbing the tree to retrieve the float, the last reach with my finger tips the main branch snapped leaving me to proceed to go head first in the drink. 

Thankfully I managed to grab the float mid flight and held it aloft when entering the Anniversary pool post crucian catching. The problem was denim hold water like a sponge so after wringing the clothes out the best I could I had to make my way back home looking and feeling like a drowned rat.  

My brother wasn't bothered as he just gained another pint of maggots from his diminishing stocks and he could also get the best peg as up and till that point, he'd only managed a few small roach and not the crucians and small tench I'd managed to catch. 

Oddly carp didn't really feature in our intended quarry back then even though BIG Molands Mere had some right lumps where the carp fisherman used to often wrap their lines around the electricity pylons in pursuit of the big'uns. It was all about float fishing and anything caught over a 1lb was a bonus fish. 

Anyway back to the fishing, a local trip again where I had earmarked a couple of swims to fish groundbait and maggot again to fish for a few bites. Naturally I'd also have a Zander sleeper rod out but I also wanted to see if there were any carp lurking in these murky waters. 

The last swim you see had a group of carp tucked up in the usually thick but now thinned down 👎 cover and were they there to target for during another session ?

Now it was warm, very warm, in-fact I was a little overdressed and an hour in to the post work afternoon session had to roll my sleeves up and take my thin jacket off. The sun was very strong indeed which ain't good for fishing really but at least the disco maggots were up for a rave after being confided to the fridge !!!!

I was fully expecting a blank after a few boats went by,  but with the groundbait swirling and whirling on the surface doing its thing under the surface it provides some scent for the fish to home in on.

Even when the cut is moving back and forth it's surprising when fishing overdepth lift float style just how well the float holds stations. A tell-tale classic lift bite with fifteen minute of getting the floats out a fish was on, and it turned out to be a roach that had recently been in the wars with one of the predators that swims here.

It lived to tell the tale thankfully but I did feel sorry for it as it looked like it would be vulnerable to another predator attack. 

No more bites after that so I went on the rove to the next swim I'd singled out before I'd even started the session. There was always carp here year on year but recently the cover had been thinned out to Right Said Fred proportions and after the floaters I'd pinged out were hoovered up by the moorhens with no sign of carp, it sort of kiboshed a potential session here in the future. 

Even the Zander sleeper remained biteless and yet here I rarely blank for Zander, in-fact it is one of those go to swims I got to if I'm struggling for bites.

In these shallow waters you see, Zander love to tuck themselves tight to the cover and if the cover has been removed its effectively taken the roof of their heads. It's a familiar story on many of the local stretches sadly in-fact the swim where I have spotted a 20lb carp and hooked and lost two canal fish, those fish have buggered off to. 

Luckily though out of the blue the float lifted a couple of inches clear of the drink and a fish was on. I initially thought it was another eel, but no after a spirited battle it was one of those hard fighting roach bream hybrids that frequent these mucky waters.

That fish came a few minutes after a boat had passed so it just goes to show how well these fish are adapted to their habitat. If you've not fished this canal it is turbid and turd like for much of the year but there are still some nice fish to be caught. And that was that, no more bites, no more fish so after a couple of hours I decided to call it a day and get home for a well deserved glass of wine. One of those weeks sadly, fishing the much needed tonic. 


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