This long hot spell has made it very difficult and the fish were hard work. Liam had a lovely Rainbow of about 3lb on a spinner, I lost 3 fish on the fly…back to the drawing board!
We went to Mill Barn today in Great Wakering, Reservoir Lake, half way along the main bank. With this heat I thought a bit of pellet waggler or bagging waggler would be the way forward.
We could see fish all over the top, but you are not allowed to surface fish here so that's out of the question.
Liam mixed up the groundbait, a mix of Nash Fish Frenzy Halibut and Strawberry Method Mixes. To this we added Monster Crab pellets in 6mm. In this heat I thought it should cook nicely in about 90 minutes, but I'm not sure I would have eaten the result of this mix to be honest.
Liam was spraying 6mm pellets out about 20 yards, after 5 minutes he cast the pellet waggler out and was in to a fish almost immediately.
It took 3 casts with the bagging waggler for the fish to get on the groundbait mixture, then it was manic, non stop action.
Several other anglers were catching on the bottom, but as it warmed up their bites started to dry up with just the odd fish coming to their rods. We had double hook ups non stop for 4 hours until we called it a day because it just got too hot.
There are some decent fish in Mill Barn but they are hard to get through to because of all the smaller fish. But Liam managed to catch several doubles to 14lb today, not big in the grand scheme of things, but for someone learning the ropes these are good fish to cut your teeth on.
We also managed to get into some cracking Roach and Rudd, all taken on 6mm Nash Pellets. I was using a mixture of Peach, Strawberry, Scopex and Monster Crab, all chucked together in a bucket so every time we rebaited we had no idea what one we were using. Didn't seem to make a lot of difference though, the fish loved them all.
Even the Bream liked them and I managed to catch one of about 2lb8oz on a pellet waggler a foot under the surface in 10 feet of water.
We arrived early and set up, baiting the swims and getting everything ready. We couldn't buy a bite for an hour but then managed to get the roach on the go, landing a steady stream of them to half a pound.
After a lot of messing we finally got a carp on and it went straight in to a reed bed. Oh the joys of fishing lol
We did get it out and the student went on to land it. Not a monster, but very welcome with very changeable conditions. 6lb Common taken on a combi link with Nash Twister and Amber Strawberry pop up
The forecast was mixed with warm, bright conditions starting the day with lots of rain forecast for later on.
We got the rods out in good spots, end of an island on a gravel bar, tight to some lilies, under some overhanging trees and a small bay to our right full of Norfolk Reeds.
Trickling in bait we could see movement and were getting a lot of line bites, but other than that the alarms stayed silent. I set up a whip and Adrian was quite happy catching roach and gudgeon on maggots down the edge. Then the rod in the bay wrapped around and the alarm screamed...game on.
It was apparent that this was a small p and not the lump we were hoping for, but it was very welcome. A nice Common of 9lb on the mat, taken on a lead clip, missing link hook link and Fang X hook, Monster Squid 10mm tipped with a little piece of fake corn.
A few minutes later and the rain started, with it the lake burst into life. In the next hour we had 5 more carp, coming to all the rods.
There wasn't anything big but 6 carp all around the 7-9lb mark made good sport for the student.
I am not allowed to use the photo's from this session but here is one of Charlie Hind who was helping out with one of the fish.
There were 4 other anglers on the lake when we arrived and I was pleased to see a few fish coming out. We set ourselves up with method feeders and mixed up the ground bait and cast a few times to get some feed in the swim. Here you generally need to get really tight to the island, it is quite badly undercut so the closer you get the better.
Within a couple of minutes the first fish was in the net, not a big fish but a great start. It died a death, bites dried up, no sign of fish anywhere, it was like someone had turned the power off.
The other anglers started moving swims looking for an area that might be more productive. I was happy with where we were and told the lads to keep working, keeping it tight to the island.
Through hard work and trying to get the baits in the right place they ended up with a fairly good result with 9 fish apiece, having lost a few during the fight.
Good accurate casting made the difference, getting the feeders right in through the overhanging grass into the undercut banks.
No monsters, most of the fish were 2-4lb with the odd larger fish, but in tricky conditions with everyone struggling it was a reasonable result
I was working with 3 lads this morning and another 3 this afternoon. We picked a large swim that afforded lots of access to a reed bank opposite which we knows holds fish.
Baiting up with Nash Baits Amber Strawberry 10mm and Monster Squid Red in 15mm we set our stall out for the day.
We had to work hard to get the fish to come out of the reeds to pick up a bait, casts needed to be really close to get them out of the cover. Trouble was there was a lot of roots and detritus when you got close and that was going to cause trouble.
Drop off leads and pop ups seemed to be the way forward with braid hooklinks, so I stripped back 10" of Missing Link and used it with no coating. I added a little bit of Kryston Drop Em to make sure the braid sank and wasn't fluttering about. Hooks were the ever reliable Fang X in size 10s.
The lads all worked hard and didn't really get the rewards they deserved. 2 fish landed this morning and 1 this afternoon with 5 missed takes and 3 dropped fish to boot.
Typical though, the lads left and as Josh and I packed away 2 rods went off together, not 5 minutes after they had gone. So we finished with a double in the net just to round things off nicely
Nothing of any size but all fish are welcome biggest to fall was 9lb8oz
Caught on Nash Peg One Transformer rod, a range of camo diffusion end tackle and 2x10mm amber strawberry boilies.
We were on the feeder today, 3 different methods of fishing it though. Block end on a running rig, method and cage fished with a helicopter rig.
Very soon after starting the maggot feeder was twitching away and they started getting loads of small roach with the odd skimmer thrown in. The method stayed very quiet with hardly a knock but the cage feeder with heli rig was starting to get amongst the fish. A series of half decent roach, skimmers and bream to around 4lb either coming on double maggot or a piece of corn.
Things went very quiet for half hour then the rod twitched and the student struck and the rod buckled over. My immediate thought was carp or tench, but this wasn't fighting like one. After a few minutes this long shape appeared through the murky water, a pike! Now we know why the swim had died. Foul hooked under the chin, size 16 hook to 5lb line, light feeder rod and a lot of fun.
It took a while to recover the fish so Josh held it in the water for about 5 minutes until it swam away strongly.
They then started to get a few perch to just over the pound mark, plus roach to half a pound and more bream to about 3lb. A constant stream of activity, a lot of bait and a lot of fun for the lads.
Though the maggot feeder did ok, the cage feeder with a mix of Fish Frenzy Tilapia and Halibut method mixes fished a bit dry with maggots on the hook seemed to be the killer method today. We had to shorten the hook links until we got it right as they were missing bites or getting deep hooked fish. Once adjusted they were all hooked in the scissors perfectly.