Something more positive is that the blog passed a thousand page views this month so I really need to thank you for all your support and interest. Hope you enjoy the latest instalment and tight lines!
Hawthorne Lake, Woodlands Complex, Spilsby, Lincs
Wed 7th June
As I unloaded the luxury sports van I looked down at Hawthorne Lake from the carpark. It had been a while since I last visited and the banks were covered in lush vegetation. A rainbow was visible in the distance after a short downpour. The rest of the sky was looking very moody and I reluctantly packed a big, waterproof jacket into my bag. Another angler was just loading up his car and as I looked over he said, "the owner has just gone out, you might get a free one!". "Oh, right.......great!" I replied.
I wandered down to my favourite perch peg. I wont give you the peg number but think twisted willow tree and you'll be in the right area. Unfortunately it proved a bit fruitless as all I could catch were carp. Small ones up to about five pounds were caught virtually every cast in. Frustrating when I was trying to catch something else but good fun anyway. I stopped for a couple of hours before the threat of rain and the unlikely prospect of any perch saw me retreat back to the van. There was no sign of Eric the owner as I left and the chap proved to be right, a rare freebie.
Rivers Soar and Trent, Leicestershire/Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire
Mon 18th June
I had been working at my parents house putting up a heavy duty fence. It had been warm all day and a majestic summers evening was unfolding. I had it in my mind to go to a spot on the River Soar that I used to fish years ago. In the middle of nowhere access was tricky but the fishing used to be great. Big bream/ Chub and Carp sheltered from the main flow of the river behind a big, long island known as Toones Island. I finished up at the house and headed eagerly down to the river.
Pulling up at the side of the fairly remote country road I opened the big five bar gate and drove my van in and a short distance down the track. I got out and returned to shut the gate. The track is used regularly by a local gun club. I passed a small hut and a bag of spent cartridges. You know those giant bags you get sand or gravel delivered in? There was one of those massive bags brimmed with thousands of cartridges and another half full. There have been wars with less shots fired! Leaving shotgun central behind the track disappeared into the undergrowth.
I pushed on in my poor little van. The grasses and vegetation got taller and eventually I could see very little. The greenery was lashing high up my windows as I flattened all that stood before me. The trees that lined to non existent track narrowed and I stopped and considered reversing out. That was not really an option so I carried on gingerly until I reached the open field next to the river. The grass in the field was still three or four feet high. In the past I had driven right up to the side of the river but I gave the van a break and walked the last couple of hundred yards. The River looked perfect. Plenty of flow and colour. The worst thing about living in Lincolnshire is the dearth of natural, unspoilt rivers. I had missed the old girl.
Walking upstream on the high bank I made my way up to my favourite spot. A large tree was situated on the near bank about twenty yards from the back of the island. The River flowed over some lillies and cabbages with various holes and eddy's. Small fish were topping all over and River looked to be teaming with life. To much really as a big horse fly landed on my arm and bit me! I shuffled around for a while taking in all the sights, sounds and smells. The place was rich in memories having spent so much time here in the past. I looked keenly for somewhere to fish. Nobody had been here for some time. The whole bank was wild. The reality of fishing faded as I walked downstream getting pushed further away from the river by the greenery. I was happy enough just being there. I've dug out a couple of old photos for you- sorry about the quality.
One of my very first fishing memories is a trip to the River Trent. With two of my brothers and their friend. We travelled at break neck speed in my brothers light blue Mk1 Escort. I had never returned to the spot we fished. I remember it fondly. It was over 25 years ago. Fast forward to Toones Island and I checked the map on my phone. Barrow on Trent was half an hour away. I could be there by seven pm! I hurried back to the van and forced my way back to the road. Turning out to be a proper little adventure this.
It was about fifteen miles of expectation and anticipation. Would it be the same? I really hoped so. A couple of missed turnings and I found the right road. It dipped and wound around through the tiny village until the road drew level with the river just as a remembered. The Trent looked fantastic. Powerful and relentless it powered along at a fair old pace. The side of the road was lined with bollards and in the middle of the green was a sign on a big wooden telegraph pole- NO FISHING AND NO PARKING it said bluntly. I stopped briefly and took in the atmosphere and recalled the events that I could remember. Curiosity satisfied I moved on. I went to several other old haunts that night and returned home without having taken my gear from my van. After a days work and a night reminiscing I slept soundly.
Tuesday 19th June
Sound familiar? That's right this is the place I wrote so fondly about in my first looking back post.
I travelled out of town to the tackle shop to get a day ticket. It is also where my old friend and boss works part time. He owned the fishing tackle shop I worked in when I was younger. Alas he wasn't there but I left a blog card in the hope that he might have discovered the Internet. He probably hasn't but I'll say hello anyway.
"Eight pounds fifty?" I exclaimed to the man as he wrote out my ticket. I looked again, yep that was the price on the corner of the ticket. "Two pounds forty when I last bought one" I said. "Crikey that must have been a while ago" the man said. Not kidding I though as I left the shop feeling thoroughly violated.
The place hasn't changed. The banks are still ridiculously steep. Three sets of Carp anglers were fishing. One of them in the first group almost continually spodded randomly to no effect. The two just down from where I settled were smoking large, pungent roll-ups. The other group were noisily chatting. I fished opposite the water tower which looked as if it hadn't been switched on for some time and two ducks had made their home. Strangely and despite being surrounded by idiots it was nice to be back. The sun was shining and it was bouncing off the water with a shimmer.
I set up a method feeder and wondered if I could make it work in fifteen feet of water. It took twenty minutes to find out as the tip sailed round and a Bream of about two pounds came in. They came in spurts but I ended up with about ten bream and a few roach. I saw a couple of people I know walking around and they stopped for a chat. I have another blog which goes into a bit more detail about this day as it ended up being a bit emotional. Be warned it sometimes gets a bit sweary and I haven't actually posted about that particular day yet. It'll be up soon though and you can find it at daisydo100.wordpress.com
Ash Lake, Woodlands complex, Lincs
Wednesday 27th June
Mrs P always takes some persuading to go fishing. I don't know why because she is good, a natural. She never goes for long though and we left the house at around six pm. Pulling up in the carpark we made our way over to the hut bumping into Eric on the way. He looked harassed. It's a busy time of year for him and the recent weather was conspiring against him. We paid for our tickets and unloaded the van while Eric returned reluctantly to his grass cutting marathon. Hawthorne Lake would have been my first choice but looked a bit busy so we settled on Ash which we would have to ourselves.
We settled on the near bank with the evening sun on our faces. Mrs P fished the float while I honed my feeder skills. Even fishing corn she was getting pestered by small fish. I soon built my swim up and she ended up sitting with me where she caught a few nice carp. By way of making up for the lack of photos I've uploaded a video of her in action here last year. I hope it's worked!
Toad Hall, Candlesby, Lincs
Thurs 8th June Peg 6 12lb 6oz for third.
Tues 12th June Peg 1 9lb 12oz for next to last
Thurs 14th June Peg 17 DNW last
Thurs 21th June Peg 2 10lb 1oz for next to last
Thurs 28th June Peg 16 15lb 4oz For forth
What a disaster! I just couldn't catch anywhere near enough. Never looked close to winning and well of the pace. Put in perspective though the place is fantastic. Catching ten pounds of quality fish in three hours is still a good little session. Many anglers have lost sight of that among all these mega weights of semi- tame Carp you see in the press. The down side is that the pegs seem to change every week. Take Don for example. He's won twice and come last twice in four matches. Must be my turn soon. Ok, ok I won last Thurs but you'll have to wait for next months Diary for that one.
Once again thanks for reading
Till next time