Mag and wag, pellets and paste

Sunday was coarse fishing day, two pints of maggots and a couple of pellets please. The destination was the surprisingly beautiful Morgan’s Pond fishery owned by Newport Angling Association. This cracking little fishery is nestled on the western side of the city of Newport. In leafy surroundings, its a cracking little venue. The fishery consists of three lakes, the main lake, Morgan’s which is split at its narrowest point into School Pond (tiddler bashing) and Morgan’s (specimen bashing). As well as this there is a match style fishery at the front of the site called Woodstock, which I will hopefully be fishing soon.

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I’ve been doing a lot of fly fishing recently and I really fancied catching an array of species on light tackle, so I spooled up my old Drennan match reel with 4lb breaking, locked and loaded on a John Wilson Avon style quiver. Tackle in my hands I headed for School Pond. Upon arrival, I fished the margins not more than a rod length out. Classic maggot and waggler tactics, slowly building the swim until the fish were taking on the drop.

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It’s not hard fishing but its really enjoyable catching all these little beauty’s and as they say its a get scrap on light tackle. I’m no expert but this is all about slowly trickling in bait and probably the only thing which is vital to success is to ensure that you have plumbed the depth of your swim so you know your bait is just on the bottom.

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As the clock ticked by I was putting together a nice bag and it was really nice to be constantly busy; catching these little gems and setting them free. I even had a few roach, a species which I haven’t caught for ages.

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Biggest fish of the day was a bream of around the 2lb mark, probably slightly under but even this was a good little scrapper on the light stuff. It was covered in spawning nodules but still a pretty little fish.

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Whilst I didn’t manage to hook into any of the slightly larger fish I had a really great time at Morgan’s and I will definitely be returning soon to have a crack at School Pond. Being in Newport, this is of course providing that it doesn’t get nicked in my absence.

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The Bream Machine – Feeder fishing for slabs

Last weekend the sun was finally starting to shine in the North West of England. However, a bitter north easterly was still whipping across Cheshire, bringing freezing cold winds from the Arctic. Any fisherman worth his salt will know that these bitter winds are not conducive to fishing. However, I know a place jammed full of bream, tench and crucian’s, Cicely Mill. Even the most incompetent angler like myself should stand a chance of catching them.

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I believe it was Matt Hayes who said that the joy of catching bream doesn’t stem from the thrill of the fight but the precision involved catching them. Or words to that effect. He’s right too, catching a bream is akin to hooking a French man. That is  they give an initial burst of resistance followed immediately by complete and utter surrender. They are also very slimy. Because of this I would be fishing on light tackle – their uninspired fighting abilities I mean, not the fact they are similar to our cheese munching neighbours from across the channel.

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I fished the feeder using my trusty old Shakespeare lightweight fishing rod and a cheapo Drennan match reel that set me back the princely sum of 10 pounds. This reel was loaded up with 4.5 pound line and fished in conjunction with a small in-line guru method feeder. In the colder months I tend to use a groundbait style method mix but as the weather is finally getting better I decided to use an age old groundbait mix. This consisted of bread, hemp seeds and sweetcorn. I used the juice from the corn and some brown sugar for some extra zing.  Traditionally, I would use abit of corn as the hook bait when fishing the feeder but I went and got all modern on y’all asses and used a piece of fake plastic corn on a hair rig.

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There are two stages to successful feeder fishing. The first is to pick a good spot that is likely to hold fish. The second is to consistently hit that chosen spot with regular and accurate recasts to build up the swim. In this case it took around 2 hours of recasting every 20 mins before I started to get bites. But once they started they were a bite a chuck.

I went on to catch 5 bream average around 2-3 lbs with the biggest at 5 lb 2oz. Finally what you have all been waiting for – some pictures of me holding fish and also some pictures of fish laying on the ground.

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A Breaming Smile at Statham Pool

Having already tried and failed at Cicely Mill Pool recently I set my sights on another WAA club water, Statham pool. This pool is in the picturesque village of Lymm, coincidently home of Koala, a fishing company, from whom I have recently purchased a heavy duty padded fishing chair and I must say I have never had my arse touch such delightful cloth. Its built like a brick s**t house designed to stand the tough rigours of fishing and also to withstand the weight of ripped and rippled fisherman for hours on end as they sit and ponder “What’s it all about?”.

As I parked my car near the lake my heart was full of joy and wonder. As I strolled along I pondered upon the tranquil delights that awaited me. The fresh morning dew still glistened on the floor as I gleefully approached the venue that I had seen portrayed as a jewel in the crown of the Warrington Anglers Association ticket book. I skipped along the quaint winding path the weight of my gear hardly slowing me down in my quest for my first northern fish. I strolled along with the waters edge on my right, the surface glistening in the sunlight. On my left I was greeted with a familiar sight in the rural areas of the North, that is just a delight to witness first hand; a murder scene.

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I should say that this may or may not have been a murder scene, but being in the North of England it probably was. I’m not a complete moron though and I am not prepared to rule out the possibility that this was an al-Qaeda  bomb factory in the shadow of sub urban Lymm village. I would normally have a quick CSI around to find clues etc but I had bigger fish to fry/gently release back into the wilderness.

So, I settled down into my humble new home for the day out into the wilderness with only the noise of birds, wild fowl and heavy earth moving machinery from the building site next to the lake to keep me company.

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Whilst I have painted a slightly bleak picture of Statham Pool so far it is actually a lovely intimate venue that in a full spring blossom would look stunning even though some work does need to be undertaken at the lake regarding some of the pegs and some litter. It will definitely be a far more peaceful place to fish once the building work is completed.  The lake has only recently been acquired by WAA and I am sure they will endeavour to improve the current state of the fishery.

I arrived early in the morning on a very cold overcast day. En route I popped into the fairly new tackle shop Bridgewater Tackle, Lymm. They had a huge selection of tackle and baits, it seems to be a cracking little shop. My action plan for the day was to whack out a carp rig on a sleeper rod hoping for a bonus carp bite and then whilst waiting for the inevitable Statham Pool monster carp I would continually haul in roach in the 3-5 lb bracket. With this plan in mind I cast in the well over the top carp rig shown below off the margins of the pool, where I had deduced (probably incorrectly) the carp would be.

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After dropping the carp rig out, I set about sorting out my match style set up. I initially opted for a classic hemp and caster combo fished with the insert waggler about 3 rod lengths out next to an overhanging branch. For the next few hours I tried to build the swim slowly trickling in a few mags and hemp seeds at a time. Whilst there were signs of fish swimming around the swim they didn’t seem to be too keen on the caster on my size 18 hook.  I eventually decided to stop introducing the loose feed and switch to a small method feeder loaded up with some green Swim Stim ground bait.

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Eventually the change in tactics paid off and I landed a cracking little bream which gave an uncharacteristic fight for a bream probably cos its a ‘arrrd northern b******d.  Its funny though in the summer in the South I landed a 12 lb bream whilst fishing for carp at King Vincent’s Lake, Somerly. At the time I was like f*****g hell a bloody bream, I told it to get out of my sight, gave it a right hook and chucked it back even though it was a new PB. When I caught this little monster though I was over the moon if only I had knew how hard the fishing over the winter, in Manchester, was going to be.

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