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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


19/10/2022 - Back At Crabtree

Tench and float


The next day Martyn and myself were back at Crabtree, we had the pool once again to ourself, there wasn’t a breath of wind, sadly we had bright sunshine, also quite a drop in the air temperature overnight, which would perhaps slow down the feeding rate of the fish until later in the day, despite this I was going to bait with a mix of hemp chopped worms and bread crumb, in the hope of attracting some better fish into the swim later in the day. Occasionally we spotted a fish rolling on the surface, also a fish being chased by a predator.

Today I chose to fish with my Sealey Rover rod 11 ft 3 piece built cane rod matched with a centre pin reel loaded with 6 lb bs line, first I added a float stop, I chose to use a sliding float, this time a red tipped porcupine made by Sussex Mickey. The beauty of using a sliding float is get a direct strike straight through to the fish, without any resistance from the float. Finally I chose a size 8 barbless hook baited with two lobworms. Casting out I sat back and waited, for two hours, with no sign of interest, not even a single bubble, it was time for a brew.

At Last Some Pin Head Bubbles

Seeing the bubbles I glanced at my watch, time was 1345 hrs, a few minutes later the float moved across the surface submerging as it did so, as the line tightened with the rod top being pulled downwards, I made a strike, “nothing” I was annoyed with myself, retrieving the tackle I found the worms were a horrid mess. In the next half an hour I missed three more good bites. I then thought perhaps the weight of the hook and size of the bait might be the cause. I quickly changed to a size 12 hook, then baited with half a worm. It was a good move, I caught two tench in two casts, also lost another fish. I’m certain the weight of the hook and bait size made a difference. Sadly that was the end of the action, but I enjoyed every minute I was at Crabtree Pool.





A pair of mallard

There were several hawkers on the water

Lobworms were a top bait

Tench swim

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Martin James Fishing
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