Monday, 21 March 2011

Byers Farm 19/03/11

I managed to negotiate a few hours fishing on Saturday and decided to go Byers Farm for a session. I'd wanted to try somewhere new but couldn't make my mind up where to try and was mindful of the fact I had to be home by 3pm.

A friend had fished the bottom lake a few weeks ago and had caught a few decent carp along with a bag full of roach so I set my alarm for 7.30am with the hope that I would be fishing by 8.30am at the latest. Unfortunately I slept through my alarm and its reminders and only got to the lake at 10am! I'd been told meat had worked well for my friend and in the past maggots had worked well for me. In my rush to get to the lake I didn't check my box and just presumed I had a tin of meat and decided I didn't have time for maggots.
I got to the lake at 10am and discovered that I had no meat(!) never mind I thought I had corn, soft 4mm green fishmeal pellets, bread and that bag of halibut pellets that I used at Fairhaven. Went to pay with the £10 I thought I had but in fact it was only £5! So I could only fish one rod, I had hoped to use the pole and have a sleeper rod with a bigger bait on, today wasn't going well!!! But the sun was out and my favourite peg was free.
I started by throwing two large handfuls of the green 4mm feeder pellet in by the dead tree along with a handful of corn. I set up a pre-made "margin float" rig with a size 12 hook, which I thought was a little large but as I was using corn(and I'd hoped meat) and aiming for the carp I thought it would be ok. Last year I had been snapped numerous times when I first fished here so didn't want to set up too light.
I was getting bites and nibbles on corn almost immediatly and within 15mins had my first fish.

A small roach.

The bites/pestering of my bait continued throughout the day and although I fed quite heavily about 10-20 pellets most put ins with the odd bit of corn I was struggling to get into anything big. I tried double corn, paste, worm and even a large piece of my pork pie but only small fry! I was also struggling with the small fish actually taking the bait. So switched the size 12 hook for a 16. This seemed to help make the bites more positive and resulted in a nice skimmer.

The sun had been obstructed by large grey clouds for the majority of the afternoon and with 3pm looming I was thinking that I was going to end the day cold and without a carp when the float went under and after a little resisitance this nice sized crucian came to the net.

I unhooked the crucian put another piece of corn on the hook and threw it out under my feet while I put the disgorger back. I picked up my top 2 section to begin shipping out when my line went tight! I had hooked into this small carp.

It gave a nice little fight and finished the day off well. I finished with about 15 small roach, 2 skimmers the crucian and the small common. Not bad but I had hoped for better. The guy on the peg behind me had started to catch nice sized carp at around 2pm. When I left at 3.15pm he had 5 between 1-5lb all caught on prawn about a meter out next to some reeds. The pond has an island that you can fish from and I think they patrol this island, and appear to have a taste for prawn! Also at this time of the year I have noticed that the bigger fish seem to wake up around 2/3pm they did at German Lane and again today my biggest fish came near the end of my day. Lessons learnt include:

1. Decide where you are going in advance so you can plan your baits and methods needed.
2. Actually check your box for said baits, dont assume they are there!!
3. Take enough money so you can fish with 2 rods or buy meat/prawns off other anglers!!
4. Have a big lie in and go fishing in the afternoon once the bigger fish have also woke up.

Fingers crossed I can get out on Wednesday this week and put right some of Saturdays misakes?
Until then, tight lines.
The Maggot Dangler

Thursday, 3 March 2011

A Day of Firsts

I was off work on Wednesday so after doing my jobs round the house (hoovering, ironing and tidy the yard!) I could go fishing with a clear conscious!
I've wanted to go back to Fairhaven in Leyland for a while but have never got around to it. The first time I went was in September last year and I blanked! But for some reason I keep getting draw back to the place, I know there's a lot of carp in and have heard good reports about the place in the summer months. So off I went with a bag full of pellets, corn, half a pint of red maggots and some worms. I arrived about 11am it was a chilly morning but dry and the sun was starting to wake up. I went for a wander around the lake there was two other fellas fishing one was carp fishing and hadn't caught anything and the other was on his pole he'd had a few roach. I didn't see any signs of fish so decided to fish in between two islands.

The left island was about 13m out this was to be my first line of attack with the feeder rod and I decided to fish about 5 m away from the right hand island in case the fish were swimming between the two islands.
I set up an open ended 20g feeder with a 8" hook length and size 16 hook. In the feeder I had mixed up some black breadcrumb with a new worm liquid stimulator to plug the top and bottom and used some new white crab flavoured feeder pellets (from in between. On the hook I used double red maggot. First cast and its a cracker right up against the island but due to trees either side of me I was having to cast overhead and it made a fair old splash on entry. I was worried that it may have spooked any fish in the swim but hoped the smell of both the pellets and liquid attractor might draw them back in! It didn't!!
After a few more casts and no signs of a bite I tried my second line of attack towards the other island this time I had worm on the hook. I'd been fishing for over an hour now with no interest from either swim and trying corn, maggot & worm. But the fish were starting to wake up and there was a few splashes and definite signs of fish movement as the sun started to come out around 12pm.
I had been feeding a pole line as well about 5 meter out on this line I was feeding maggots and soft green fishmeal pellets. I've been told that green paste works well on here in the summer so was hopeful these green soft pellets might work. I brought the feeder line in and put my pole out along with a small ball of breadcrumb and maggot on the hook. Within a minute the first fish of the day was caught.

Not a record breaker but my FIRST fish from Fairhaven, hurray!
Bites on this line continued throughout the day and I probably ended the day with about 15 in total I gave corn ago as well as hooking a green pellet but only maggot caught all day. I changed depth as the sun heated the lake hoping a bigger fish maybe near the top basking in the sun but to no avail. Though I did get about 5 decent sized roach throughout the day.

I switched the feeder to a small maggot feeder and took the bottom of so I could still use my breadcrumb/pellet mix. This was a lot better and didn't hit the water with such force! But I was still not getting any bites so out of desperation I switched to a hair rig I've never caught using a hair rig and I'm pretty dubious about it, I just don't get how they work?! I started with double corn but this wasn't working so again in desperation I turned to some 12mm halibut pellets I had bought a few months previously for barbel fishing on the river again never caught using pellet so wasn't too confident when I cast towards the left hand island, after about 15 mins the line starts to rise out of the water, I strike but out of excitement I think I strike too early and probably pull the pellet out of the fishes mouth before it can get on the hook!
It was 2.45pm and even the roach had gone quite I cast the feeder rod out to the right lake and start packing up the pole rig, at 3pm the rod goes, fish on!! After a spirited fight with a few runs once it was close in and with some major fannying around with the front drag easing the tension and tighten up I landed this pretty little thing.

The last fish of the day but my FIRST ever fish caught on pellet, and my FIRST ever fish caught using a hair rig set up. I was proper chuffed and another first the FIRST time I used my new scales to weigh this little mirror in at 3lb!
This carp made a pretty average days fishing pretty special and while I wasn't blown away with Fairhaven, it's certainly somewhere I will visit again and hopefully catch a few more of these elusive carp!
Tight lines,
The Maggot Dangler