The Lucky Dip Page

This page produces 25 Lucky Dip randomly selected diary entries (between May 2005 and June 2021) every time it is loaded. These are in random order, i.e. not in chronological order, so of course some of them are out of context...they are also filtered to remove the 'non-fishing' entries. Just because.  Random Fish Random Fish There will also be more than the usual number of random mini fish.  Random Fish Random Fish

Each entry has an icon/bullet of a randomly selected pair of dice, because, 'you know', and this icon also hyperlinks to the original diary page entry. This last facilitates the location of the previously mentioned missing context... Random Fish Random Fish

In the spirit of the 'Lucky Dip' here is a randomrqNot 'random' in the true sense of the word, but a random pick from a selection of quotes that I quite like. There will be Pratchett. And Nietzsche. quote:

 Random Fish Random Fish Random Fish Random Fish

"In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep." ~~ Albert Einstein ~~ 

should be old ledger weights...coffin...(and back to the top of the page) should be old ledger weights...barrel... should be old ledger weights...coffin... should be old ledger weights...barrel... should be old ledger weights...coffin... should be old ledger weights...barrel...

Lucky Dip from 2011  1st March 2011. River Sem. Teeny fish on a tiny river. This muddy (today anyway) stream is a mass of alders and pools and despite it's unprepossessing look harbours roach, dace, chub, perch, and I'm told by my host, the odd tench, carp and rudd. Oh and the inevitable eels. And about a million minnows. It's simple fishing with light river floats, light line and a short rod ideally and you just fish for bites on fine tackle and move from pool to glide as they 'fish out' or spook. The odd bonus chub to 8-10oz shows up, which give you a start after several 2-3oz roach. It's really quite busy fishing and totally absorbing, and I think (without counting) I had about four chub and perhaps a dozen-and-a-half roach, a couple of dace and a hat-full of minnows.

River Semthey are in thereRiver Semhere chubby chubby chubRiver Sem...but stuffed fulll of minnows

I found an 11ft rod rather too long and intend to go next time with a re-built Milbro Tourist a 7' soft glass rod in four pieces. Wonderful fishing, the spirit of angling lives in these tiny overgrown streams.

Lucky Dip from 2006  9th July 2006. Milton Abbey. Olive beauties. Back again on Peg 12, for some tench, at least this was the plan. I baited with hemp and some corn. Why do I mix them? So something is visible to the fish - corn is very visible and hemp well, isn't. The corn gets ignored mostly when the hemp is discovered though. I started with bread paste mixed with crushed hemp on the hook at around 3:30pm. It was sunny and warm with little evidence of the rain of the past day or two.

Milton AbbeyPeg 12, looking like an oil painting

Nothing came to the paste in an hour so I swapped to corn on the hook, three grains threaded to cover the whole size 8 hook bar the point. These hooks are part of a batch bought years ago (Jack Hilton's) and while they are 'old', I find they hook better than some of the newer thicker wire hooks. While on end-tackle, I have the usual 6lb silkworm hook-length and the Avon rod, plus a long antenna pole float, with all the shot under the float and over-fished by about 4", the hook-length. No shot near the hook, it's too much like hemp. There were a couple of nudges on corn but nothing developed, until at 5:10 I had a sharp bite and after a short tussle involving an over-hanging willow, banked a tench around 3lb.

Despite my expectations, nothing else happend, except a few nibbles, until about 7pm when another sharp bite yielded a 4lb tench. The sun had lowered itself behind the trees and the evening was now calm and balmy, which went well with my pole float and I had no trouble keeping my attention on the long red remote bite alarm. I switched hook baits to the hempen paste and had another fish about 10 minutes later. Then despite a lot of feeding bubbles I had no clear bites until after 8pm or so when I had another fish around 3lbs, then after a recast, one about 2lb more or less 'on-the-drop'. I also get a bite and contact briefly another fish which comes straight off. The feeding bubbles tailed off, but despite less apparent activity, three more fish of 2-3lb come to the net between 8-9pm, all on paste.

Milton AbbeyTench the firstMilton AbbeyTench the secondMilton AbbeyTench the third
Milton AbbeyTench the forthMilton AbbeyTench the fifthMilton AbbeyTench the sixthMilton AbbeyTench the seventh

The crushed hemp bread paste was a try out, and I have to say the fish like it. The bites I had were deliberate and the fish seem to want to hang onto it. The other advantage is that if mixed nice and sticky (but not too soft) you can press plenty of hemp seed into the paste as well. I had hoped for a carp towards the end of the evening, but several went round the float and floated off. I'm going to have to find an invisible float or 'free-line'. They are clearly suspicious of the float. The other oddity, is that despite a lot of roach being around, many big enough to take the bait, I didn't have one - and missed only three bites all evening, two of those on corn.

JAA's favourite fish. Well, joint favourite with the gudgeon. gonkIzaak Walton in 1653 wrote of the Gudgeon: "The GUDGEON is reputed a fish of excellent taste, and to be very wholesome: he is of a fine shape, of a silver colour, and beautified with black spots both on his body and tail. He breeds two or three times in the year, and always in summer. He is commended for a fish of excellent nourishment: the Germans call him Groundling, by reason of his feeding on the ground; and he there feasts himself in sharp streams, and on the gravel. He and the barbel both feed so, and do not hunt for flies at any time, as most other fishes do: he is a most excellent fish to enter a young angler, being easy to be taken with a small red-worm, on or near to the ground. He is one of those leather-mouthed fish that has his teeth in his throat, and will hardly be lost off from the hook if he be once strucken.
They be usually scattered up and down every river in the shallows, in the heat of summer; but in autumn, when the weeds begin to grow sour and rot, and the weather colder, then they gather together, and get into the deep parts of the water, and are to be fished for there with your hook always touching the ground, if you fish for him with a float, or with a cork; but many will fish for the Gudgeon by hand, with a running-line upon the ground, without a cork, as a trout is fished for; and it is an excellent way, if you have a gentle rod and as gentle a hand."

Lucky Dip from 2014  14th March 2014. River Sem. Tiddlers, proper ones, big gonk, huge minnows, a 1lb chub, a 10oz roach...real fishing.

The River NadderThe River Nadder
Spring sunlit Nadder...1
The River NadderThe River Nadder
Spring sunlit Nadder...2
The River NadderThe River Nadder
Spring sunlit Nadder...3
The River NadderThe River Nadder
Spring sunlit Nadder...4
The River NadderThe River Nadder
Spring sunlit Nadder...5
The River NadderThe River Nadder
Spring sunlit Nadder...6
The River NadderThe River Nadder
Spring sunlit Nadder...1
The River NadderThe River Nadder
Spring sunlit Nadder...2
The River NadderThe River Nadder
Spring sunlit Nadder...3
The River NadderThe River Nadder
Spring sunlit Nadder...4
The River NadderThe River Nadder
Very very fat minnow...5
The River NadderThe River Nadder
A clonkin' gonk...6

The little Avon Gypsy looks the part, but truthfully one needs a quicker retrieve even on a little stream, as a hooked fish can go one of two ways, which for convenience, we will call 'up-stream' and 'down-stream'.

Lucky Dip from 2012  28th July 2012. Meadow Lake Fishery. I found this small farm pond, perhaps 1/3 acre with some small (but sharp witted) carp and a multitude of small roach. I nabbed two of the carp on pieces of bread, by disguising myself as a willow. A little idyll, so after just under three hours I moved on, lest I spoil it...

The Farm PondA proper farm pond carp The Farm PondAnother proper farm pond carp
The Farm PondA proper farm pondThe Farm PondA proper farm pondThe Farm PondA proper farm pond

I headed over to Upper Sharnhill, 'kind of' on the way home, a small pond day; this is still overrun with small carp, so proved entertaining and I also bagged a tench of 3oz, which was nice. All attempts to hook a larger one failed. Not dismally or anything.

Lucky Dip from 2016  8th May 2016. 'Pete's Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''.

The Saxon PondsJust an interesting skyThe Saxon PondsThe Lower Pond from the 'umbrella pitch'The Saxon PondsThis is what the float did for about four hours.The Saxon PondsIt's the grass carp. Honest it is.
The Saxon PondsYou wouldn't think it was spring, would you? Heh, you can see the float.

Lucky Dip from 2011  23rd April 2011. Kingsbridge, Packhorse. A test run of the "Mystery Rod", a stout 9'8" of steely cane, the best guess a MARCO salmon wormer. Stripped of its crumbling corks and cracked black/gold jasper, then re-ringed in the 'old Bells' way it promises to be a margin rod of some poke. It's about the same at the tip as an LRH No.2, a shade thicker maybe, a steeper taper, more middle action. A surprised 4lb tench and three dogged carp to 10lb or so put nary a dint in it, so it's off for the bigger ones (at least that's the plan, certainty has no place in angling). No dragons about today, must be that St. George chappie.

KingsbridgeThe surprised tenchKingsbridgedogged carp #1KingsbridgeThe pitch of the day (on the south bank, west corner)Kingsbridgedogged carp #2Kingsbridgedogged carp #3

Lucky Dip from 2006  10th September 2006. Highbench. A Rare Tench. This fishery is unusual in that it has no carp, but is a day ticket fishery. In a good way. It is plagued by smaller bream and roach though, which means small end tackle to catch everything, or larger and miss half of all your bites. Not a great choice. After a move out of the sun and following advice I ended up on the North bank and put on a size '10' and fished worm and corn cocktails or luncheon meat and worm cocktail as this seemed to improve the stamp of fish and also allowed me to hit the bites. I endured a stream of missed bites to land several small roach, probably 15 or so bream to almost a pound and two crucians.

Highbenchthe tenchHighbencha crucianHighbenchthe pitchHighbenchthe other crucian

I also had a tench around 2lb which really put a bend in - it didn't feel tenchy, and on getting it to the net, I discovered the line looped around the pectoral fin, which gave it a bigger advantage than I'm used to. But a cracking fish, as you can see, No marks and a good slender body. Not caught much, but with the standing population of other stuff, I expect they don't get much of a look in. I've had worse days. Recently too.

Lucky Dip from 2013  8th December 2013. Whitemoors Flattery. I had got this idea that, going to Wimborne anyway on 'Dad Taxi' duties I might as well have a dibble although with some misgivings. It was as recalled, a trampled even depth lake and despite my best intentions, I was bored and bite-less after two hours, so moved once to a spot I preferred on reflection. Bored again an hour later. Didn't even have to reset the float on moving to the other side of the lake. The fact that I was blanking, didn't come into it. I didn't like it and without an over friendly wren and a flask of coffee with a square of 90% chocolate dissolved in (try it...) it'd have been a dull day indeed. I packed up at 2:30pm and went home to make parsnip soup (which was rather fine, if I say so myself) and light a fire. Which was also fine.

Possibly that's what mainstream fishing has become, if so, I wash my hands of it and will take up archery or fly-fishing.

Lucky Dip from 2015  10th October 2015. Packhorse: The second degree is eating time and energy, but still thought to fish - but a 'whatever's in the freezer' day, the LHSRE, the Adcock (6lb) and the Kingpin (8lb) as an afterthought. Overcast, grey, a good perch day - foreshadowing the result if not the intention, so fetched myself to a lily bed nearer the west end than not, fished in the lea of it - and had a thumping boring perch of 1lb 6oz right away, then lost another on a hook pull. A roach, a rudd or two on the cockle, then switched to a red flashed nymph hook for the perca f. and had another, scissor-hooked and then had another hook pull to a fish which was twice the size, I felt that loss keenly, as they say. A few more roach, another 1lb 6oz fish, then a carp banged my 6lb line and it strung the trace around a lily before I'd got a grip and the hook knot parted. Pah. I put on drop-shot hook for the colour, the next bite was a common of 13lb or so which resulted in a titanic battle at short range, the rod's curve belying the thin line's capabilities but, nearing the net, the hook, fine-wired, opened enough.

Kingsbridge, Packhorse LakePerch the firstKingsbridge, Packhorse LakeThe windy pitchKingsbridge, Packhorse LakeThe floatKingsbridge, Packhorse LakeA roach
Kingsbridge, Packhorse LakePerch the secondKingsbridge, Packhorse LakePerch the thirdKingsbridge, Packhorse Lake'parp'

Wasn't so upset as you might be, the swim was trashed, but I had one more carp, a mirror and by 4pm my swim was dead and I proved it, barring a couple of post-scripted roach, goers, but that's that trouble with too many carp. 'Parped'. Huh. Live-bait then?

Lucky Dip from 2008  31st August 2008. Pallington. Eel. I'd spotted several carp right at the island end and a couple were surfacing and browsing right under the bank and as I prepared to tumble a bait off the grass into their path, a man appeared with a notebook, sneered "Obviously you're not going to be in the carp match." and clumped past, so that was the end of those carp and the beginning of the end of my membership. Such an ignorant person. I then nabbed a couple of bream on haricot beans and the eel took a mussel and three cockles, well it would. Hm.

Pallington LakesPallington Eel, no change there thenPallington LakesPallington, a good lake spoiledPallington LakesPallington, a good lake spoiledPallington LakesPallington, a good water turned into just another carp lake

Lucky Dip from 2014  12th October 2014. Too many twos. We take too much, must take these floats 'just in case', more than one rod, more than one reel, more than one line on that reel. Over-burdened with tackle and all too often, choice of waters and methods, so find myself pondering, dithering more like, when the right thing to do, is sling a bag over one shoulder and leave, work it out later. So, to that end here's the new broom. The 6lb bag 6lb'The 6lb bag', assembled while encumbered with a head-cold, (a shoulder bag gifted by Nobbyington-Smythe) has two slim float tubes (that way I get the full length of the bag), the reel of the day (with 6lb line), a shot box (with added mini-snap-swivels), 'some hooks', float stops, 'some tins' with assorted twiddly bits, a torch, an 'Opinel No. 7', a sharpening stone, some 6lb braid. The Avon Scales. Catty slung over the buckle and a zinger with forceps. Flask on top & tin mug. Bait in the un-hooking mat. Sorted. I only need the drop of a hat... .

I head for Milton Abbey, thinking, "I know, some roach...". I have worms, roach like worms. There's almost 18" of water for the most part, weeded, perhaps one spot with some colour. I walk around, drive on...Sharnhill then, Ok a bit 'carpy', but there are crus and the odd tench. I pitch up, regaled with tales of mighty bags, inhabit a quiet corner and nab several small hybrids, try for 20 minutes to tempt one of a herd of 2lb fish with a piece of pasty crust, then on a grain of corn catch this stunted fish, which settles my mind and I drink my tea and drive on...Revels then.

Lower Sharnhill goldfish pondPitch the firstLower Sharnhill goldfish pondPitch the firstLower Sharnhill goldfish pondThe sort of fish which suggests that there is such a thing as 'too many fish'

There are perch in the top lake at least and the man taking my permit number says the carp are just not showing in the main lake or the canal section. Really? I nab a spot around the back on the Main where it's deeper, the slope of the bank is three yards and not foot-worn - no poles or boxes will fit in here, so fish lob tails and chopped lobs under the reeds. Here perca perca...

Carp not feeding eh? Pah. I get one small perch, welcome as ever and get a really good one on, the rod tip pulled down hard with head shaking and jagging and then the hook comes back. Oh poo. Then more 'not feeding' carp, arrivals signalled by rattling reeds and sly bubbles. Still, I was unbothered by tackle-trundlers and the LHSRE got a fine workout with several 6lb carp. Then it rained, the light greyed out, my hopes rose in anti-phase, drops spattered my face and 'bins, the hat in the car for some reason.

Revels, via Milton Abbey and Lower SharnhillPitch the secondRevels, via Milton Abbey and Lower SharnhillPitch the secondRevels, via Milton Abbey and Lower Sharnhill'some carp'Revels, via Milton Abbey and Lower SharnhillA more interesting perch

By the time I was water-blinded, I was alone, with a theoretical hour of light left, so took myself to the car with rod left up and drank a last cup, leaned on a nice oak and watched the rain, which didn't give me a second chance. Better.

Revels, via Milton Abbey and Lower SharnhillAn oak, a cup of tea in a tin mug and a nice view

Lucky Dip from 2016  22nd September 2016. Pimlico Farm Ponds. En route Hull-to-Dorset, I asked the ToSThane of Sussex, if he was near a computer, to be as kind as to text me some en routefisheries on my route. I tried two of 'said fisheries in the Newark area. The first provided all landing nets, cradles etc. and insisted on a 'carp care kit'. As I'd got a rod, reel, unhooking mat landing net and the tackle I could put in my pockets, that didn't work out - on principle I never fish a water that requires me to buy/rent extra gear from the owners, although to be fair if I'd read the website, I'd have known that. But it was a drop-in - I spoke to a pole-fisher in one swim and he was pleased to tell me he'd been broken twice by carp taking him into the lilies. He had carp-care kit though so that's fine. One can sling, cradle, mug-shot yourself and the carp until the poor bugger is brain-damaged, every week of the year - but we have 'carp-care kits' so it's all OK. The second place had let the lake in entirety to a group, so I wasted another 30 minutes of my day. I gave up on the third as I'd now used an extra hour on a five hour drive. Got in the car (again) wondering, honestly, whether the time had come for me to roll up this site and move on - most fishing isn't really fishing anymore, but I don't know what it is.

If I'd not tried for nearer fishing, could have been at Barton's Court for 5pm and four hours fishing. As it was I saw the Pimlico sign and remembered the ponds, so swung in, managing to be fishing by about 5:40pm, so had two hours at the windward (obviously) on a busy lake. Pricked a large one that swooshed off to the nether reaches, then this one which hard-felt fought on the 'pin and the four-piece. Not for the first time, the corks just south of the reel-seat moved when the rod was working. Hm.

Pimlico Farm PondsThe pitchPimlico Farm PondsThe floatPimlico Farm PondsThe carp

I packed up when it was too dark to see the float, telling myself "Well, that's all right then.", but I started the driving-technology with the nagging doubt that it has all gone too far.

Lucky Dip from 2005  13th May 2005. Milton Abbey Lake, Dorset. First time for everything. The first diary entry for 'JAA'. Luckily I finish work early on Fridays, so I took my new Harrison's Four-Piece "Avon" out for an airing. The rod's acquisition story is a 'shaggy dog', as it was ordered in January and the first try turned up with cork handle in March (I prefer the black foam stuff) and it had to go back and then I had to whip rings on and varnish it. No reflection on the shop though, who were decent about it and gave me a good-will discount on the rings. Hopefully the rod will be worth the pain...

I went to Milton Abbey Lake, as summer-time (well alright, 'late spring' then) it's my currrent favourite water. The weather was warm and sunny, ideal really.

The Avon is a four-piece based on an unground Harrison's blank with a 1lb 10oz test curve and I chose it to do the job my old carp rod has done, but it is lighter, both in the fishing and absolute weight sense. I went to Peg 12 (no reason - it's got a decent depth of water, which this time of the year is mostly all coloured, enough weed to cover fish, but enough clear water to catch them) and baited up some sweet-corn with a 2BB crystal antennae, 8lb main line, 8lb soft braid hook length and a size 10 Raptor. On two previous visits, within twenty minutes of casting in, I have lost a carp that headed hard to my right before the hook pulled out, so I was wondering if a slightly softer rod would help if I was to get a repeat. Or I could pay attention and strike at the right time...

I bait and cast only ten feet from the bank to my right. So it is that after about fifteen minutes I get a positive bite and hitting it, feel the now familiar run to the right. I dig in and turn the fish out toward the middle of the lake and after a shortish tussle with a lot of curve on the rod net a common of about 11lb. What are the odds?

It is perhaps a good omen that the first fish on the new rod is a good carp and I fish the afternoon out and end up with seven tench and couple of 1lb roach, plus one more carp. This second carp took some landing - it took three times the effort to bank and made several long runs heading out to the middle of the lake, boring along the bed and collecting weed in huge clumps on the line. Again the rod was well up to the task. The fish itself was 6½lb and I may be wrong but it seems to me that all the hardest fights I have had from carp have been from fish around that mark.

Maybe it's the optimum power to weight ratio for carp? So the final tally is two carp, seven tench and two roach, which is a good christening for the new four-piece. Not a bad days fishing at all (bit is a way short of my best tench bag on this water, which the previous summer was thirteen tench to 3½lb, two bream and two roach, in a four hour session one evening. Lucky pick on Peg 11...)

Lucky Dip from 2011  6th May 2011. Tranquil Lake. A load of small tench and rudd, one large tench and a grass snake. Which I didn't catch.

Tranquill LakeThe pitch on the south west cornerTranquill LakeThe rather rather woody south end.Tranquill LakeThe grass snake making a break for itTranquill LakeThe big tenchTranquill LakeAbout the best rudd

Lucky Dip from 2009  26th April 2009. Arfleet Mills.The top lake again, barely 2:30pm and all to myself. Went around the back (the 'furthest from the car park' gambit) top lake. I put up the '500Chapman 500 with a 'pin and a dibbery plastic thing and the Harrison's with a size 8 on flouro bottom for floaters. The first thing I found out was the dog biscuits I'd carefully soaked were rubbish, so I'll feed them to the hound.

I whipped out a rudd and then after some handfuls of stuff got a ghostie moving on my left in the reeds. It very quietly took some by now sodden bread and just when I though it would always be cautious, snacked my bread floater down. A run, a crash and a short but attritional battle revealed the ghostie, about 7lb or so. I nabbed a tench on a pinch of bread on the float rod as Nempster arrived and then lost another tench a bit after. By then a few fish were stirring in the weed, so I lobbed a floater into the middle.

Arfleet Millsa dibbery plastic thingArfleet Mills...revealed the ghostie, about 7lb or soArfleet Mills...tench on a pinch of breadArfleet Mills...in the weed, so I lobbed a floater into the middle

We nattered quietly and both watched the crust for an eternity, possibly 20-25 minutes as the fish edged its way over. Nerves jangled and hearts pounded. The take was deliberate and I hit it hard and backed up the back to drag it out the weeds and a hard tussle allowed Nemp to net 6lb of common and 1lb of weed. The hook was well in but bent, so I switched to a thicker wire then. Nemp slipped off and I got some small rudd, a 3lb common (F1?) that went like a dingbat on the lighter rod and as the sun set, the last gasper slurped down an optimistic crust plonked on the far side of the reeds - a 6lb common.

Arfleet Mills6lb of commonArfleet Millsa 3lb commonArfleet Millsa dibbery plastic thingArfleet Millsthe sun-setArfleet Millsthe last gasper

Top-notch day.

Lucky Dip from 2006  14th January 2006. Revels Fishery. Perches. Another one of those trips that was made because it was the best chance to get out. Still, despite the rain and a late decision to take the umbrella to Revels, rather than the Frome, I ended up with a fine day. Parking myself on the back of the car park lake, I lazily decided to ledger sweet-corn and pepperami and luncheon meat and baited up a couple of swims ten yards off.

The rain vanished in the first hour and the sky cleared, which was not in the forecast. However all I had were a few twitches by 1pm. As I'd picked a worm up off the wet bank and the omnipresent robin had found another by my foot, I took this as an omen and put worms on the ledger baits and immediately got a series of 'not-hittable' knocks. I can take a hint, sometimes, and so set up the 'Avon' with a 6lb line and a thin braid hook-length with a size '12', hung under a 2BB crystal. The depth was barely three feet, but only a few minutes after casting six feet from the bank, I had a small perch on the bank. The fourth fish, ten minutes later was a ½lb fish, which I managed to snap before the camera quit for good. Over the next 90 minutes or so I caught perhaps two dozen perch, mostly a couple of ounces, with a few fish around 4-6oz plus the ½lb 'monster'.

Revels Fishery...the 'monster' perchRevels Fisherythe main Lake looking NorthRevels Fisherythe main Lake looking NorthRevels Fisherythe 'canal' lake (?)

The much maligned small perch turned an average day into a fun outing and even the smallest of the fish, crammed with worms, gave enjoyment. I could have spent the afternoon picking off perch, but at 3:30 or so, went back to the baited swim with the cocktailed bait. Despite the baiting up, I have only a few twitches, which could easily have been line bites (not unusual in a small heavily stocked lake) and with the light fading, a couple of hard pulls on the luncheon meat which came to nothing.

It is one of the laws of nature, that if the camera is wrecked a great picture will present itself and today was no exception, with the moon half-risen over the hill to my left, framed between two skeletally winter trees, making a picture I'd really like to have had but now, only have committed to memory. Should I have taken the pole and fished maggots and worms I imagine I could have bagged up big time, but that wasn't (today) why I'd gone out. But a good reason to always take worms with you, as it is seldom they will not catch something.

Post Script: Last time I came here I collected a rod top section and a long crystal waggler for my tackle box. Today, while stretching my legs, I collected a plastic disgorger (I've never bought one of these, I have four), an 11BB Avon float, a 5BB Loaded Crystal Waggler, a 0.4gm Pole float and a cheap plastic "bobber" type float, which covered the cost of the day ticket.

Lucky Dip from 2016  6th August 2016. Clump Farm. Two carp off the surface during three sneaked hours. It was hot and sat in full sun on the east bank, thought I'd be lucky to catch anything.

ManningtonThe banded quill, through the little patch of rushes. Not ten minutes after I arrived, the chunk of chorizo under it wandered off and I missed a 'sitter', leaving a vortex and a few muttered curses swirling in the hot air. As this put the swim down, I switch to the right where a few carp were picking off mixers in the scraggy weed and missed one on crust and ten minutes after that the cork ball nipped under a moment after the bread and I netted a scrappy 4-5lb fish which had to be pulled though the weed to start off.ManningtonThe island from the south-east bankManningtonJust another angler lounging in the sun. By the by, I was using a 'white sandwich tin' for bait and the well-known supermarket it came from used to make a great floater loaf, but this one was dry and hard to make into a good bait. Drat.
Mannington...the banded quill again (it just looks nice, OK)ManningtonA couple of damsels getting it on. They just don't look 'of this world' at all do they?ManningtonThe second carp - this took me a while. I spent 30-40 minutes baiting, had missed one take from a fish rising vertically from the bottom not two feet from the bank. It went quiet then a bit later I noticed swirls picking off bait some ten yards off. The plan was to cast a crust (with a cork ball indicator) ten feet off the bank and let it drift under, but it got halfway, then I looked away for a moment and the fish smashed into the bait like a tuna - even with big hex, the clutch yelped and it took me a good few minutes to land - every time I got the fish to the top it ran off again (carrying a good 2lb drag). Good enough. Then I went back to TMS and to pick up the boy.

Lucky Dip from 2006  30th June 2006. Breach Pond, Wareham. More deep water and bits, but in a good way. And once more unto the breach (pond). This week I thought to go to the other end, where the lilies are, to see if there was something else I could catch apart from skimmers and rudd. It was warm and blue skied and ideal weather for a dangle, at least above the water. At 3pm (ish) I was met in the woods by a chap on his way out, who said that he had just had four bream from peg 17, so I ought t give it a try. It would have been rude not to really. I descended onto the platform on the peg. And immediately saw a school of rudd you could walk over, even if none were bigger than ½lb. They snaffled all ground-bait, corn, hemp and maggots before it had got a foot down. If you cannot beat them, stick on a size 14 and clove hitch the line around a broad-bean sized bit of cork a foot from the hook, and catch them.

So for half an hour I caught rudd, trying bunches of maggots and corn in an attempt to catch a larger one. Best effort was about ½lb, and after about half an hour and 20 fish or so, I again tried to bottom-fish for something else. I gave up after an hour partly because of the sun in my eyes and partly because no bait escaped the marauding rudd, and neither did my float and shot, which were frequently assaulted on the basis of "you never know, it might be edible". I probably caught another dozen or so. I moved around the lake to peg 22, which was the next accessible one. This involved a hike and a scramble, but put me at the south end of a patch of lilies, at the other end of which carp were rolling.

Breech Pond...and then around the corner to Peg 22

So 'Plan B' was to bait up, fish hard up against the lilies, and as the evening wore on, flip to a slightly heavier float rig and see if there were any tench or incautious carp to be had. In at least eight foot of water I had a succession of fish on corn: roach, rudd and skimmers, several decent roach including one at a about 1lb, and a skimmer around the same. Another angler moved into the swim almost opposite me and we exchanged words and established he was after the tench. The first thing that bent his rod though turned out to be a 3½lb eel (on bread) which would not go into his net (in a wilful, rather than 'net size' related way), then he too had bronze bream and a tench, which was still my hope.

Around 6pm I switched to spam on a size '8', and spent half an hour having it hacked of by smaller fish. In frustration I stuck on a piece of pepperami half an inch long. Twenty minutes later I caught a decent sized bronze one. Then the evening descended into muted frustration as twitch and pull after pull yielded one more skimmer and a mad rudd that took the pepperami on the drop. Changing baits made little difference, with anything smaller or softer than the big bit of pepperami, being pestered by stuff to small to hit (or too chary to take off maybe). My erstwhile companion across that lake was having some of the same frustration with a lot of missed bites and bobs. It can be like that sometimes.

Breech PondJust a nice view really Breech PondThe brace of bream

At 9:30 I got another bronze one and gave up. I could not see by then anyhow...as I discovered getting back into the woods. The five-minute walk back took twenty as I inched around the steep banks and thick undergrowth. A big torch might have helped...not spooky but irritating. A great fishing view, water lilies always good, and the two bream. Strangely, for a catch in the region of 50 fish, I was slightly underwhelmed; this I put down to learning about new water.

Lucky Dip from 2020  25th June 2020. The Wetland. How to deal with maggots on the turn...

...go fishing with them and use them up. This was Pete's plan, so having some not completely fresh maggots, I joined in. There were many many small tench in '3', many rudd likewise and Pete, overseen by Pam (who, being civilised, had brought gin and mixers), caught rudd and a chub from '2', the latter possibly the trickiest catch on these little ponds. They went on and I, not being so civilised, opened a flask of BEGCBlack Earl Grey and Cylon tea and chain-sipped it until I was merely dehydrated.

The WetlandOne rudd, simply to show of its fine coloursThe WetlandSome of the more-than-a-score tenchThe WetlandOne small toad...which hopped it before I could turn on the 'macro' setting.
The WetlandAt last; it was cool... The Wetland...and...wait...

The light fades, the thin cane disappears into the shadows, so I swap it for a small translucent pink-tipped quill and using the OMT'Overly Manly Torch' on its 'dim' setting, I fish on, passing moths bursting in the beam like fireworks, until the water is still and the bites cease.

Lucky Dip from 2008  23rd December 2008. South Drain. Piking without actual pike. A hare-brained and pre-conceived trip, which saw me up with the frozen lark and dibbling sprats under a float in the South Drain. I put 12lb line on a Kingpin and was using an LRH No.3 which is quite pike-like and despite the early morning frost and mist, which is supposed to foreshadow great piking, didn't get a run as such. The South Drain looks the part with said frost, ground mist and the flat reclaimed mini-fen behind.

This is where the resemblance ended and despite trying my luck in every swim I could reach and eventually trotting the Frome at Redcliff, where I'd parked, after three hours it was clear I was not destined for a traditional pike. Or any kind of pike, come to that.

The South Drain, WarehamThe South DrainThe South Drain, WarehamThe LRH No.3, the Kingpin and the notebookThe South Drain, WarehamThe South Drain
The South Drain, WarehamThe South Drain The South Drain, WarehamThe Frome's interesting eddy

As it was barely coffee time I headed over to Holme Bridge and spent a further couple of hours trying out odd holes and a big eddy upstream of the bridge...and then tried under the bank downstream of the bridge...none of which got me a snatch  GCC1 Another ruling from the Geneva Comedy Convention of 1887 - when using the word 'snatch', a bit of a leer is encouraged as well as a slight pause, less than ¾s, more than ¼s, before the next word. The disputed '1936 Amendment' also makes provision for a double waggle of the eyebrows, the so called 'Groucho' amendment.. Ah well...really good fun though.

Lucky Dip from 2013  4th July 2013. Luckfield Lake.

Luckfield LakeLuckfield larks...Luckfield LakeLuckfield larks...Luckfield LakeLuckfield larks...Luckfield LakeLuckfield larks...
Luckfield LakeLuckfield larks...Luckfield LakeLuckfield larks...Luckfield LakeLuckfield larks...Luckfield LakeLuckfield larks...Luckfield LakeLuckfield larks...

Lucky Dip from 2010  14th February 2010. Milton Abbey. Receding weed (I hope) and some roach to 1lb, and two tench which came off the hook. Well, I wasn't quite expecting them.

Milton AbbeyThe Pump Pool and it's weed.Milton AbbeyThe dogwoodMilton AbbeyThe second best roachMilton AbbeyThe best roach

Lucky Dip from 2017  9th June 2017. Risby Park Fishing Ponds (near Kingston-upon-Hull). I was collecting a Littleangler from higher education and took a few hours to relax after a 300 mile drive, something I am increasingly ill-equipped to absorb with no consequence. I thought I'd try Folly Lake on this little complex as it's barely two miles from the digs.

I headed for the windward deeper end, after chatting to a chap at the other end to dig out a little information, and pitched in the corner. There was a shallow shelf, perhaps 2' and a drop-off about two yards out. I scattered corn on the shelf, slipped on a size '8' and pinched on a large bit of bread. The first thing that lifted the little quill was a decent bronze bream, and then a small carp, perhaps 1lb. For the next 90 minutes, I caught only these small carp and I pondered trying the next lake up, but stuck with it as about this time some larger fish appeared to be moving. In hindsight a mistake, as I only caught perhaps a score of these small carp to 2lb at most. Quite a few them had some kind of small louse on them and after flicking some of those off my hand, for the remainder of the day, I nicked the hook out with the fish still in the water. Yrch.

Risby Park Fishing PondsThe pitchRisby Park Fishing PondsThe float and the rushesRisby Park Fishing PondsThe east end of Folly lake - really should have taken a picture of the folly

The pleasant chap in the swim next to me, fishing two method feeders, caught a stream of fish to perhaps 5lb, perhaps this is what people want now, or is what passes for fishing. I packed up at the appointed time, spoke with another feeder-rodder up the lake, had a look round the bottom of the tench lake, where a group of fishermen tried to make me feel very unwelcome, with hard stares and uncomfortable silences. I ignored them, walked around and went off for pizza. Maybe it's not a bad place, but it's not my kind of place.

Lucky Dip from 2017  2nd September 2017. The Saxon Ponds. So, the plan was to potter about the Lower Pond and try a bit of 'drop-shotting' for perch with the MKIII. That is to say, I tied a no. 4 hook on, put three swan-shot on the tag end of the line and bumped a hook full of maggots across the pond-bed. This yielded a number of small indignant perch that found little about a size 4 hook that impeded them in any way. Heh. I slipped on a small quill and removed more small perch at one-per-cast until I thought I'd had enough fun and so headed for the top pond...

The Saxon PondsThe MKIIIThe Saxon PondsAn indignance of smal perchThe Saxon PondsThe small blue poised porcupine quill...

...I decided on the last swim by the willows before the bridge and it was a nice enough evening, if overcast.

The Saxon PondsThe Upper Pond in the evening

I'll try to capture the spirit of the evening here; stare at this float for four hours, drinking a cup tea every half-an-hour.

The Saxon PondsThe motionless float

There you go, that was my evening. The moon was rising over the cowshed and the camera, for once, took it like it was, blurry with autumnal mist and cloud.

The Saxon PondsThe sacred moon overhead

Lucky Dip from 2017  6th August 2017. the Wetland. This stock relocation exercise was far too much fun...the plan was to move small tench, now showing at pre 'Operation P' levels, from pond '3' to pond '2'. The promised bucket wasn't there, so I put a few of the early fish into the landing net and dropped them into '2' as I went along. Pete arrived with a bucket once I was eight or so to the good, although for some reason Pete didn't contact any tench at all. About a score got moved over and one solid fish of over a pound went back. Midday, the tench bites tailed off, the usual slump but rudd kept appearing to brighten things up, plus the kingfisher obligingly perched opposite, probably at the limit of the camera zoom but still.

The Wetland, pond 3View to the leftThe Wetland, pond 3The mind bendingly green pitchThe Wetland, pond 3View to the right
The Wetland, pond 3The fairly blue porcupine quillThe Wetland, pond 3Most of the tincasThe Wetland, pond 3A few of the rudd, which are doing rather well
The Wetland, pond 3Read..steady.. The Wetland, pond 3'How to suspend a sprat', Part I.

Pete went on and I spent an hour or two trying to extract a pike from '6' and '7' but this for the most part involved watching an unmoving float with a sprat under it, while no part involved catching a pike. Top day.

should be an old quill floatProper Float...(and back to the top of the page) should be an old quill floatAnother proper float should be an old quill floatAnother proper float should be an old quill floatAnother proper float

In Summary


There are 25 diary entries above.  Random Fish Random Fish This page might very occasionally produce a result with less than 25 entries, as the page's 'engine' takes a fixed number of files and then removes the non-fishing ones, so the remainder could theoretically be less than 25. The odds of this actually happening are somewhere in the region of 1 in 1×1032. If this number (25) is less than 25, screen-shot it. You have more chance of winning the lottery than that happening. I might fix this theoretical possibility later; I might not.  Random Fish

 Random Fish Random Fish Random Fish

Bonk the 'refresh' button on your browser for more random diary entries.

In the ongoing spirit of the 'Lucky Dip' here is a random rfqNot 'random' in the true sense of the word, but a random pick from a selection of fishing related quotes that I quite like.  fishing quote:

"To all Readers of this discourse, but especially to the honest Angler" ~~ Izaak Walton ~~ 

Not so very common carpI am content to wait. I am well used to it...(and back to the top of the page) Not so very common carp...a very subtil fish Not so very common carpWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders. Not so very common carpif you will Fish for a Carp, you must put on a very large measure of patience Not so very common carpI am content to wait. I am well used to it.
JAA