Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

Spoons dressed and naked

Friday, 13 July 2018 at 16:37

Dressed spoon Just an afterthought to the entry below. After those greedy little bass had run me out of fake ragworms I persisted for a while with a naked spoon. The bass did not appreciate nudity. They wanted the spoon dressed with fake ragworm or they didn't want it at all. I wonder now, though, whether a spoon dressed with a sliver of mackerel, or with a sandeel, might not work even better?

Today also persuaded me yet again of how opportunistic bass are. They'll get into any riff, any forming current, any place where food will be carried to them and can be hunted easily. Some bass today were even using coloured water (a particularly strong tidal push) in which to 'hide', predating from there into clearer water either side of the tidal, silt-loaded current.

Chateau Hopeless

Friday, 13 July 2018 at 16:00

Vintage Owing to an unusually busy exam. season at work it's been impossible to fish. Since catching that surprising tench last month, I enjoyed just one trip to a broiling Grafham (Mark three, self none despite rising three to dry flies, air temp. scorching)...and that was it. This week, however, the pressures have eased so it was out with the spoons and fake ragworms again in an increasingly ludicrous attempt to catch flounders. I fished a mark new to me - local anglers told me that it did host flounders, though there were few left because they were often used as bait in commercial lobster pots - and thoroughly enjoyed the hours around high water. First I caught a little bass; then another. They were clearly the same two bass that have been tormenting me since May, but on this occasion they'd brought their little friends. I ended up with eight small bass, all released of course. There were some tentative knocks which might have been flounders...but then again they might not. As things were, the bass had been so greedy that they'd run me down to the last fake worm.
    Meanwhile the hot, dry weather continues. It's tough to watch the garden going so thirsty but at least the vines are doing well - so well that for the first time I've been able to grow grapes. The summer of 2018 is clearly intent on creating a vintage Chateau Hopeless.

June 16th: There had to be lilies....

Saturday, 16 June 2018 at 17:13

Lilies ...and cane (the Lucky, for preference), and the old centre-pin; there had to be a hand-painted quill float with a red tip; there had to be needle-bubbles, and tench in the swim, and the Lift method, and a single grain of sweetcorn....

[And in the end, you know, by some miracle it all came true.]

....and with luck, a tench...

Saturday, 16 June 2018 at 17:10

Tench There was mighty bubbling in the pitch when I arrived this morning. It was rather exciting. This tench took soon afterwards - a single grain of sweetcorn. The float didn't lift; it buried. I hooked and lost another soon afterwards, whereupon the hook pinged out into a reed stem. 

....and maybe some crucians....

Saturday, 16 June 2018 at 17:07

Crucians I released about a dozen of these spectacular crucians. They can't have run to more than a pound but it was bonny work with a grain of sweetcorn and/or red maggots.

...and maybe a few nice roach

Saturday, 16 June 2018 at 17:05

Roach Not the biggest roach in the world, I grant you, but a lovely stamp of fish nevertheless.

  And so with a tench, crucians and some roach I was more than pleased with this June 16th. Tight lines, one and all.

Strawberries and the Lift

Wednesday, 13 June 2018 at 19:52

Strawberries There's going to be a fine crop of strawberries from the garden. There'll be another harvest to come. After that, the raspberries are looking good.

In between harvesting the strawberries and exam. season at work there's been a bit of angling experimentation with the Lift method. I went to a commercial fishery to do the experimenting, hoping for a sort of practice tench, but the evening was too hot and bright for tench and time was limited. I put up the Lucky Strike, fixed on a Trudex spooled with 3.2lb. mainline (too light for tench), closed two SSG on a sliding link under a peacock quill float and watched for bites from roach, perch, a bream, a roach/bream hybrid and three handsome perch. The bites themselves varied, from unmissable lifts of the float to twitches and dithers to straightforward pull-unders. The set-up was certainly sensitive though depth setting was critical. It was an interesting and absorbing few hours.

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