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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


04/08/2023 - My last day of my holiday on a still water

Lob worms are well worth the price, a top bait.

Today I chose a new water about two acres, a lot smaller than I’d fished during my trip, I’d been told about the pool by a friend who allowed me to fish his trout stream last year. He suggested I asked Brian one of his shooting friends for permission who willingly gave me permission. I reckon he was impressed at the way I was dressed, wearing tie waistcoat also tweed sports jacket given to my by Pallenpool (Peter-Allen Jones) Brian said “You look dressed for a shooting day not angling”. We discussed shooting and angling experiences for half an hour, I was given a cup of tea with a saucer also offered some biscuits. We ended our conversation with please return anytime. The next day I sent some flowers to the house.

Float Fishing

I set up a float fishing outfit, 12 foot rod, centre pin reel with 4lb line, I chose to use a porcupine float taking 3 AAA shot with a BB shot on the hook link with a size 8 hook. Before deciding what to do next, I plumbed the area, find 3 feet a rod length out dropping off to about 5 feet, over a hard bottom what I presumes could be a mixture of chalk and clay, I then tried plumbing with Vaseline thickly spread on the plummet, but didn’t discover any fine gravel just the tiny bits of decaying leaves or weed. Dragging the plummet along the bottom I didn’t discover any snags, it seemed clear of rubbish. Thankfully there were quite a lot of reeds, including bulrushes and lilies, which would be areas I would fish. From what I’d learnt from my talk with the owner there were rudd, roach, tench, carp with an odd pike.


A Worm Approach


My baits were bread, corn and gentles, with 30 good size lobs, I chose not to put in any ground bait, just a worm bait to start with, chopping six or seven lobs in half, I threw them out into the area close to some nearby lilies, baiting with a large lob followed by a plastic gentle to keep worm from wriggling off the hook fish, I made a gentle under hand cast. Then laid the rod in a rest to wait for some action. While waiting I fired out some bits of bread to see what happened, within a minute small rudd were attacking the free floating bread which was soon devoured, but not before a predator struck into the small fish. I was often visited by moorhen sometimes by two of them also a pair of Great crested grebes, in fact there was plenty of bird life around the water. Some fifteen twenty minutes the float started moving across the surface, as it started to submerge I set the hook, immediately the rod bent well over, I was forced to give some line, after an interesting scrap where I was thinking what is this fish, it turned out to be a tench around 3lbs I was more than happy.A Big SurpriseThe next two bites were eels around 3lbs mark that put up a very good fight, lasting some minutes, there were several times I was forced to give line. Eventually I had the fish in the net, I couldn’t see the hook, presuming it was well inside the mouth of the eel, I didn’t want to dig around and perhaps damage this fish, an endangered species these days. I cut the line very close to the mouth then watched the fish swim off, this happened with the second one, I released this fish in the same way as the first. After an hour with no sign of a bite I decided to try a worm and corn cocktail, feeding a small area with chopped worms and corn to my left. While the swim was rested for a while I made a brew which was enjoyed with a steak sandwich I fried the night before.


Two More Surprises


I cast out a worm and corn cocktail bait, then sat back thing what a delightful place it was to fish, the moorhen appeared a few minutes later taking a bit of crust, then moved away no doubt to feed a youngster. I sat listening to the reed warblers also thinking of the large amount of Red Admiral butterflies I have seen on the Sussex trip, long may it continue.


Hooked Up To A Carp


I suppose I’d been waiting for over an hour before I got my first bite as the float just disappeared, with the reel screaming before I lifted the rod no need to strike. It was a long fight with the fish dashing off fast in several directions, I would get line back on the reel, then off it would go again. Eventually the well balanced tackle and many years of experience allowed me to eventually to net my reward, it certainly was a worthy reward, as I’d got another wild carp. Later in the session among a few tench and rudd, I had another wild carp similar in size to the first. So ended my still water fishing on this trip, I will be back in September hopefully I might catch a double figure wild carp.

A moorhen often come around looking for bread

A black tailed skimmer adult male in its final colour form

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Martin James Fishing
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