Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Cool for Cats

This time last year the catfish at Anglers Paradise switched on and a number of big fish were caught. Although the weather over the last few months has been colder than average I decided to risk a couple of nights after a catfish.

Easy Access Lake Monday 5th April 2010

I decided to spend my first night after catfish on Easy Access Lake which a few weeks earlier had produced a fish of 45lb to an angler fishing maggots. With a brisk westerly wind blowing into one end of the lake it was likely that carp, tench and orfe would follow the wind and the catfish would follow the food fish.

I decided to fish a 21ml halibut pellet below a method feeder containing scalded pellets and maggots mixed in with some tinned tuna. One rod was fished off an island and the other in open water. Unfortunately only a couple of single figure carp before midnight (one mirror and one common) rewarded my efforts.

Octopussy Lake Tuesday 6th April 2010

A change of venue saw my fishing another lake, octopussy named after the shape of the island in the middle of the lake. Fishing just off the two points of the island in front of me I hoped to intercept fish coming into my bay.

Before midnight I had three runs resulting in a mirror carp of 10lb 1oz and a common carp of 14lb 7oz. Unfortunately on the third run the bobbin tangled and the slack line given to untangle the bobbin resulted in the fish coming adrift.

In the end I decided it really was too cool for cats.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Return to Boyhood

 Every angler should take a break from pursuing monsters and return to boyhood and spend a day float fishing an overstocked little pond where it's a bite a chuck.

At Anglers Paradise the float lake is one such water and Zyg has stocked this lake with a wide variety of ornamental species. I decided to spend a couple of hours float fishing for whatever came along. 

I picked a swim with seven foot of water just off the rod tip next to some reeds. The rules stipulate a minimum beaking strain of 4lb and size 14 hook so I set up a 2BB Insert Waggler with an olivette just above the hooklength and size 10 dropper shot to try and get the hookbait down to the better quality fish.

I decided to fish crucian style initially feeding four walnut sized balls of swim stim groundbait loaded with 3ml pellets, topping up the swim with another ball every twenty minutes or so.

Fishing three maggots it was a bite a cast and often the bait was taken on the drop by a golden rudd. Personally I found golden rudd rather odd looking fish. When the bait got down through the rudd, blue orfe, golden tench, goldfish in all colours, koi and ghost carp responded. A change to a small cube of luncheon meat improved the average size and goldfish in particular responded to this bait.

For many years wild coloured goldfish were sold by unscrupulous fish farmers as crucian carp and stocked into so many fisheries that the true crucians have become quite rare. No such pretence here with golfish being found in all colours and shapes from wild coloured goldlfish to vivid orange fantails. Interestingly goldfish like their cousins the crucian carp are infuriating in that many bites are missed.

 I enjoyed my return to boyhood so much that I did it all again on the last day of the holiday

Sunday, 4 April 2010

A Red Letter Day in Paradise

 Zyg Gregorek started off as a fish farmer breeding exotic fish for the aquatic trade so it is no surprise to find these stocked into the lakes at Anglers Paradise.

Most of the anglers visiting Anglers Paradise concentrate on carp fishing, I find this difficult to understand as carp are now the most widely stocked fish in Britain. I like to fish for the specimen Golden Orfe that this complex is famous for and the Specimen Orfe and Tench lake is my favourite of Zyg's lakes.

Originating from Scandanavia orfe are reliable feeders in the cold water of early spring. It is a shame that more waters don't stock orfe as they would provide good sport during the colder months.

Classic tactics are spraying maggots under the float when they are in the mood to come up in the water.

However, this early in the year I felt that the feeder was the way to go so I set up a couple of barbel rods with 4 inch hooklengths between two float stops on a helicopter rig. One rubber maggot and two red maggots balanced the size 14 animal hook. Drennan's 30 gram feederbombs are perfect for any stillwater maggot feeder application.

The day was mild and overcast, the sun never quite breaking through, in other words a perfect fishing day.

Recasting every twenty minutes into a small bay I had bites throughout the day, most of which I connected with.

By the end of the day I had accounted for twelve golden orfe to 5lb, three blue orfe to 6lb 3oz and a couple of golden tench including a new personal best at 6lb 13oz. A red letter day indeed!