With the Covid lockdown there’s not been much for us match anglers to blog about lately. My blogging website has really suffered with the lack of fresh content. So I’ve now decided to write blogs about some of my pleasure sessions.
Pleasure fishing isn’t enjoyed by many match anglers eager for the competitiveness a match brings but I’ve learnt during this lockdown it can bring an enjoyable days fishing, fishing styles and methods for longer than you would normally do in a match.
For my latest pleasure session I popped down to my local fishery, Manor Farm Leisure, only 5 minutes away from me so adhering to the current Covid lockdown rules. With the weather forecasted to be barely above 0oC and a bitterly cold easterly wind to deal with I planned to go fishing armed with just a bag of Warburton’s Toastie and my bomb rod for a few hours if I could bear the cold long enough!
On arrival at Manor I spotted the famous banker peg 6 on the island pool still available. The other anglers there had decided to fish further along the pool as that bitterly easterly wind would be behind the backs. So my first decision was to either set up camp on island 6 or fish another peg out of the wind. My good Jubilee Nomad mate Robin had fished peg 6 the previous week on the bread and so I couldn’t resist it. Peg 6 became home for the day, or a few hours if I could bear the cold.
Set up didn’t take long, one rod, an advantage over match fishing already. I pulled out my Preston Innovations 10’6” mini plus rod out of the holdall with an inline ICS feeder stem already set up and added a 30g match cube and a pretied Preston 0.15”size 18 Ready rig. These KKM-B 0.17mm hair rigged Ready rigs with a rapid stop are ideal for fishing bread. These long hair rigs allows 3 10mm discs of bread to swell up the hair perfectly and there really is no need to tie your own hook lengths these days in my opinion. The Rapid stops on these Ready rigs make hairing the discs of bread with a baiting needle very easy and you can cast really hard without the fear of the bait coming off.
There was one problem though. It’s a long throw to the island where Robin caught the week before and with the wind my bomb was landing to short. This is where the versatility of the Preston ICS system is a big benefit. I could simply change the 30g bomb for a heavy 45g one to get the extra length required and I began catching a few. But I wasn’t happy, I felt the 45g bomb didn’t enter the water quietly enough, potentially spooking fish away and my casting accuracy was suffering because I was at the limit of my 10’6” rod’s capability. A change of rod was needed. So I returned to my holdall for my 11’6” Mini plus rod. This was a great help the extra length and power now meant I could cast accurately with a smaller 30g bomb.
If I’d have been fishing a match I know I would have just persevered with the smaller rod and struggled, ending with me giving up the bomb and picking up the pole. This is one of the benefits of “just pleasure” fishing and a lesson learnt during this lockdown. Something to think about going forward with my matches.
I was now fishing in the correct place with the right tackle set up, fishing the right bait and method considering the weather and the time of the year and I was soon catching well. I went on to catch very well, it almost felt I was summer bomb fishing. The rod was bending around for most of the session. I’d only planned fishing for a few hours because of the cold but I ended up fishing a lot longer than I thought I would be. It was a real bagging day.
Fishing the bread and bomb was really enjoyable but you still need to get out and practise it with these pleasure sessions. It’s not a case of throwing it out and waiting. Experience is key. Feathering the line on the cast and tightening the line without dragging the bait into debris on the bottom comes with the extra time spent practising and why I’ve learn ’t pleasure fishing is really important to a match man and something I’m going to add to my fishing when we can finally match fish again.
I must add that you really do have to be wearing the right gear fishing in these conditions. I recently brought a Preston Celsius suit for fishing in the winter and it kept me warm all day. You definitely need a warm hat, decent boots and fingerless gloves fishing in these conditions, boy it was a cold day but really enjoyable.