Thursday, 19 June 2014

Trying something new

Had a thought!

Following on from Tuesday nights session and catching the eel, I thought I may have another angle to try, so I contacted my mate Baz Fisher for some advice, as he has become a bit of an eel fanatic lately.
So I kitted myself out for a sleeper rod approach to see what I may find in the first lake and to carry on float fishing..
the view of lake one from the top

My first cast was into the channel area below that tree on the right in the picture above, I sat on the left.
I had set up my 1.75 Fox barbel rod my Shimano 4000, with a size 7 barbless ESP G4 Raptor, a very light running lead and about a foot of Kryston super Mantis at 15bs, on 4lb Maxima. 
So, not quite fully armed for the job!
It got immediate attention to my three lobworm baited hook, which I put do
wn to the rudd population fiddling with the worms. 
Leaving the rod on the pod with the balearm off, I put myself a dough bobbing on the ground which needed a foot or so of a run before it hit the rod.   
Then set about putting the float rod into action in front of me.Once again this put me into the small roach and rudd population, but not for long as I saw the bobbing scoot across the ground and hit the first ring of the rod.
Remembering to put the balearm across before striking, I knew immediately that I was into an eel by the fighting action, felt quite good too. 
Heavily out gunned, it didn't take me long to net the eel.

I thought I would let the fish calm down and get it weighed, just to get an idea of size, but as you can see from my photo, and I hadn't noticed, the hook had come out. The eel made it's escape!
I baited up again and put my float rod to one side,  caught a small roach, a perch of about a pound and hooked one more eel that dropped off at the net, smaller but very brown colour, compared to the silver of my first fish.
I think I may have learned at least two things from this first attempt, there are eels in the lake and perhaps a barbed hook is necessary for eel fishing?
Next time I shall be more prepared.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Ah, that's a bit better

I often wonder if.....
.....people are that interested in what at times becomes a daily blog,or a diary?
Whatever, I'll stick to doing it as it comes,so to speak!
The rivers at this time of year have never really appealed to me, unless I'm invited out, or when I went through the phase where barbel were the only fish for a while.
So this year I've decided that still water probably means more to me,  my fishing roots in Essex didn't really encourage me to fish the rivers.
So practicing on the small waters down in the valley will no doubt assist when I move on to some of the other fisheries available to fish in this area, plus one or two invites I have had recently to fish further afield.
Anyway, I decided to go down again and to go to the first lake, there are carp in there but not in the numbers that disturb a good days tiddler snatching!
So I decided to fish with sweetcorn over a few grains of hemp each cast, it worked for a while with a few roach and rudd, but no sign of the crucian (or the carp).
Switching to worm was quite quiet but I did catch one crucian and a couple of small roach and rudd.
Switching again this time to some small prawn, which are just a tad close to being past it, and immediately started to catch crucian, all under the rod tip in about four foot of water.
I suppose I had a dozen or so up to a pound and thought, should I say hoped, that perhaps mum and dad would be about.
It was not to be, and as darkness began to set in I had three carp on the trot, not bigguns, but I didn't mind so much today because they hadn't interfered earlier in the evening when my bait testing was on the go.

 A couple more crucian and a small tench, to round off the evening which was somewhat disturbed by my final fish, an eel of probably a pound, which found a hole in my landing net and  went through up to my float, do you think I could unhook it ?
Nope, so I snipped the line by it's lips and let it live another day, thinking I bet Pauline asks me why I didn't bring it home.....and she did!
So next time I'm down, I'll go back to the second  lake again and try the prawn approach there, who knows mum and dad may be in there?

The glorious 16th!

The valley revisited
The crack of dawn didn't quite work out!
I awoke at 3:15am and fell back to sleep until 7am, so decided a dusk session would suffice
disturbed a few on arrival
I was really hoping I can get some idea of the lake two content, but I'm afraid the carp are probably too numerous.
Baiting up with hemp in the hope of attracting roach, failed.
In my younger days fishing some pits in South Ockendon I would fish for roach with hemp and do very well, hooking the occasional carp and being given the run around was quite thrill, and to some degree looked forward to.
Now? Well they are a bloody nuisance!
I had just got myself a few small roach and was hoping for better fish as the evening progressed, even a couple of nice crucian showed up and gave me hope.
BUT, it wasn't to be, I was then snapped by something motoring off across the pond, and on re-tackling landed the first of a dozen carp.
So I gave up, I don't know whose idea it was to fill every single piece of water with carp, so I suppose I'll just have to find a way of not attracting them, and just putting up with the occasional one!

the first crucian

the first about 9lb

the last

I'll give lake two another go tonight, without the feed, just to see what else is lurking about. 
Or, if the mood takes me I'll try to get on lake 3, the small triangle shaped water, as I've not really tested that yet. 
The only think putting me off is that the track leading to it is still very wet. As I turned up George was towing a fly fisherman off the track a bit further up, so we shall see.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Tomorrow it all starts again!

A mist in the valley

One trip out in the week to lake number 2 in the valley.

A very misty late Monday afternoon session, all very quiet and almost spookey. 
I hoped to continue with my exploration of this lake primarily to seek out what dwells within
On the last visit toward dark I had seen some quite good fish porpoising but was unable to identify them in the gloom. They didn't appear to be commons, but may have been bream or crucians.
With that in mind I groundbaited with sweetcorn and chopped worm.
As it turned out no real showing of fish this night, no expected commons at all, just a few roach, rudd and some little skimmers.
I stayed until I couldn't see my float, and watched as the geese(greylag and canada) came out of the field and into the lake with their noisy approach and continuous plops as the many youngsters dropped of the opposite bank.They've had a very good year

I'll be down the the sound of the dawn chorus tomorrow morning to " celebrate" the 16th like I used to many years ago in my younger days when tench fishing. 
Any tench in the lake? 
I don't know but will try and find out.

Another trip down to London with the ol' boys, this time to Islington for Ivan's 69th!
We couldn't understand why he had picked this pub, it's in a residential area , but he told us, he couldn't think what to do, but seemed to remember we'd crawled Islington in years gone by. 
In the majority we didn't agree, but accepted that sometimes we just didn't know where we had been!Crown
Anyway. noon found us at The Crown, a Fullers pub where the landlord thought he was doing us a favour with a pint and a sandwich on "special offer" for £10!
Well, we sat outside drinking our five pints eachof London Pride at something in excess of £4 a pint served by a South American young lady in something like a pair of frilly knickers. That didn't stop me insisting that at four quid plus a pint, she should at least fill the glass to the pint mark!. I'm not tight, you must understand this, but when I can get a better pint at £2.70 it does make me wince, just a tad!
We decided on elsewhere for food, and Ivan chose "something different", as he was paying, we had no choice.
It was a climb up to the second floor to a fairly basic cafe around the back of The Angel station,  the food was pretty good from a short chalk board menu. I had a veggie Thai curry and a good share of two bottles of Merlot!
We then moved on again to what is a Nicholsons pub, The York, in the High Street where we had more red wine and London Pride and...more food, bangers and mash, before calling it a day....and it was still light!
For the first time in a long time I felt unsteady on my feet, but put it down to the stitching on my sandals(which I'm told are now in fashion) coming undone and loosing the support they gave for my size 12 's feet.
Anyway, back to Ivan's for B&B and some healing coffee in his back garden edged by Epping Forest, to bird and fox watch.
I think I had a fairly early night, but was up at sixish feeling pretty good and ready for our Turkish Full English at 7am. 
Home by 11 after a straight forward three hour journey from the bottom of the M11, looking forward to my next trip down in mid August..

Friday, 6 June 2014

As the sun goes down.....

6th June

Another visit down in the valley.
Left home at around 4:30 having decided to give the second lake a try out. I armed myself with worms, bread, prawns and soft hookers.
I also took with me some liquidised vitalin, it's been in the garage for some years unopened, so I gave it  a long whiz in a good few batches and then added some Teme Severn additive, that had also been in the garage for a while unopened.
I had hoped to see what else may be lurking in this biggest and newest of the farmers reservoirs, unfortunately I was troubled only by half a dozen 6/7lb carp to test my Aspindales Aero and the Purist ll.
Having persevered until 10pm, I thought I had better give it up for the day and followed a young hare all the way up the hill to the main road, he ran straight and true along the field side turning off as we got to the hedgerow bordering the road, quite a sight to see,and as always I was hoping he didn't veer across in front of me, as they are prone to do !

Bees nest
I think I've identified the bees that have taken up residence in the nest box formerly occupied by our regular great tit pair.

They appear to be the tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) a very recent incomer to the UK from the continent. They have a habit of taking over nestboxes, and as a result are rapidly expanding their numbers and their range, having now reached southern Scotland. They do get agitated when I knock the box to see if they are still at home and send out a small force to investigate. I keep well back!

Investments update.

As I mentioned I invest in  a few AiM companies, a risky business. I didn't invest anything I couldn't afford to loose though.

cancer research
One of my two cancer research company's (the break even one) has released the following information today.
Scancell Holdingsplc
All indications are that they could be winning the fight...... have a listen.

My oil company investment is now showing me a return of 288% at today's close of the stock market.
As would be expected, I'm quite chuffed, my  initial investment is building nicely.More news on a second well being drilled, is expected next week

Another freebee!
On reaching the age of 65 I've been given another benefit, this time courtesy of the National Health Service.
"I am inviting you to attend a screening appointment.Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening is being offered free of charge by the NHS to all men in your area during their 65th year"
The appointment was yesterday, so after an ultrasound scan(* during which they discovered I was expecting triplets) I was pronounced well within the boundaries of no risk of a weakening of the main artery and won't ever need to be tested again.
As a firm supporter of the NHS, I'm relieved that there are still sufficient funds available for preventive medicine.

*My excuse for a beer belly!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Back in my stride

Down in the valley
The first thing I notice, down in the valley, is how much water there is compared to my last visit in April.
I decided I would fish the first pond, it was full to overflowing. In fact at the bottom end, it was emptying across the track and back into the spring fed stream.
I think I've mentioned that all the lakes/ponds/reservoirs are spring fed, well the ground/chalk must be saturated.The water table full to the  brim!

My bait today is a choice of worm,bread, prawns and some, as it turned out, not so soft, hookers.
Hempseed for loose feed.

My intention was to fish for perch, crucian and roach, as it turned out my first cast with a big dendrobaena was a perch of 2lb14ozs. I thought it was bigger!

I'm outahere!

So feeling quite confident I carried on with the worm, but very soon found that no matter what bait I was using, the hemp had attracted some hungry carp, so many in fact averaging around the 7/8lb mark, that they became a nuisance on my relatively light tackle.
I had a couple of roach and rudd but the carp were just taking everything I threw at them.

the first
the last

I packed up early, well before the sun set and the geese moved onto the bigger lake!

The insect bite on my elbow, isn't!
In fact it's something called  Olecranon bursitis or student/plumbers/miners elbow, brought on possibly by too much leaning on my left elbow sitting at this infernal machine.....or on the bar!
I went to the doctors because the swelling was now down to my hand. So I saw the nurse practitioner and I'm now on, for the first time ever,as far as I can recall, a weeks supply of antibiotics, topped up with Ibuprofen.

Share update
Regular readers may wonder what happened with my shareholdings in AiM companies.
Well, I've reduced my holdings to some extent to pay for holidays etc, but I retained 3 companies.
Two in cancer research and one in oil exploration.
The bio technology investments are still plodding on, one on paper showing a loss, the other holding it's own, but I knew these would be long termers.
My third the oiler, by the name of Lenigas has been promising good fortune for sometime and yesterday released news of it's first completed drilling of one of 30 proposed wells in Trinidad, and they have hit the motherload.
As a result my holdings increased in value by 169% yesterday!
With 29 wells still to be completed I'm expecting an exceptional return for my original .78 of a penny per share!
More holidays?

The song thrush nest now has 5 youngsters, but the parents are not doing much damage to my snail and slug population, the veggies are a complete waste of time this year!
Distance shot of the young

The International Drinking Society
Our regular gathering of the old boys, will be next Thursday at a Fullers pub in Islington, not far from the Angel tube. I see the pub shuts at 3pm though, my guess is that at 69, Ivan may need an early night...we shall see.