After a practice session at Sharnhill yesterday, I’m not going to sugar coat it. It’s going to be tough.
Jerry and I fished about halfway down the lake on opposite sides and fished different methods to that which the other was using, to ensure that we covered as many options as we could.
Jerry fished mostly with a float rod fishing with maggots just beyond the rod tip. He later tried a groundbait feeder under a tree.
I fished about 6 or 7 meters with a pole and pellets and well as maggots in the margins.
The weather was warm but, there was a cold breeze from time to time that seemed to change the fishing.
Jerry caught well to start with catching more than 40 fish, some of which were net worthy sizes. It was thought that if the fishing was like this Saturday, we could see double figure weights of small fish. But then the wind changed, and the bites stopped for him. When it was slightly in his face from his right (SE), he caught well. But it changed to off his back (W) and the bites disappeared. He switched to the feeder with ground bait and within 2 minutes he was battling a good Carp of 6lbs 12ozs, the only ‘proper’ fish of the day.
My day was totally different. It took me a long time to get started but, once I did, I struggled to get any bites with maggots at 8 meters. I changed to 4mm expanders with dark groundbait at 7 meters and almost straight away caught a small Carp of about 10zs. The fish in my swim seemed to feed for a while when any breeze happened, but soon stopped because the wind was cold. Jerry and I spoke about Barometers and how the fish respond. I think there was a lot of that going on today. I had some other Goldfish and Crucians with the occasional small Carp and ended with 22 fish. Nowhere near the weight that Jerry had.
Neither of us had a bite in the last half an hour.
Our conclusion was that juniors will need a pint of red maggots (I would ask for a handful of whites to be thrown in too), some 2mm micro pellets, 2 & 4mm expander pellets (Soaked the night before), and some dark groundbait (Either Sonubaits F1 Dark or Dynamite Cool Water Dark). It might worth taking some 6mm Luncheon meat and/or Sweetcorn. You may not need it, but it will give you another option if things dry up. A couple of slices of bread is always worth having with you in cold water conditions. I can not say this strongly enough. BE CAREFUL HOW MUCH YOU FEED! The water and the fish are still cold and, although it may look coloured, it is still quite clear. Cold winds will affect the fishing in both directions making it unpredictable. The best advice we can give is to start carefully and if you find some fish in a certain spot, catch as many as you can before they switch off. If you do start to catch fish, don’t fill them up with loose offerings. You want to feed enough to keep them interested, but not too much that they do not take the hook bait. Make a circle with your thumb and forefinger. A ball of groundbait should be no bigger than that…About the size of a 50 pence coin no more than 10 minutes apart. Do not feed more maggots than you can pick up with a pinch. Remember, cold fish do not or can not move far to find food because of the energy they use doing it. Once they use up their energy feeding, they will stop and recharge. You will then have to look for another ‘patch’ of fish to catch until they too will stop, and so on.
The only method we did not try was a straight lead or bomb with either meat, corn or bread on the hook. Casting this around your swim will not introduce any bait to fill fish up with, but may offer a passing Carp a free morsel of energy to boost it a little. With this method, you need to cast often to find the fish because they won’t come looking for it.
Take it easy, fish sensibly, and think about what you’re doing.
Don't forget the AGM/Presentation evening on Thursday starting at 7:30pm in the Weymouth Angling Club Bar behind the Range. Jack Cryer, Austin Scott-Kennedy, James Oram(?), Jack Copp and Ollie Smith, this means you! Please come along to support your fellow juniors if you can.