Barnwell Country Park Northamptonshire
Following my trip to Yolk Hill Farm I found the inevitable odds and ends of bait left in the bottom of my tackle bag. This included ¾ pint of maggots. Normally I would let these develop into casters and then freeze them. But the need for another days fishing was so strong that I had to re-pack my bag and set off.
Close to my home is Barnwell Country Park a lovely park made from the remains of a gravel workings. Designed as a nature reserve, it allows fishing on it's two lakes and a lovely backwater that runs off the river Nene. I have fished here many times and always had an enjoyable day.
This is not a stocked water and holds all the spices you would expect from a “wild water”. Tackle should be appropriate for the fish you are targeting keeping in mind they have carp into the 40lb mark and pike up to 25lb.
Today I wanted to continue in my quest for Rudd but also wanted a crack at the bream that live in the north lake so I set up a 13ft “match” style rod for the Rudd and a 12ft “match” rod fitted with a sidewinder indicator. The sidewinder is a quiver-tip type device that clips onto the side of the rod, the line is fed through and a bite shows as a sideways movement of the indicator.
I first used these in Ireland on loch Derg for bream and never looked back …. They are amazing for shy and drop-back bites and take a lot of the guesswork out of quiver-tip fishing for me.
Ground-bait for me was a dry dog meal that I put through a food processor until it resembles fine crumbs. Mix with a little water until it is fluffy. I don't use anything else as it is cheap and works and I always have it around the house.
Janice came along to do some birdwatching so we chose a peg close to the bird hides and not too far from the car.
I could see the fish rising as I was setting up so chose just to fish the float rod at first. A small ball of ground-bait loosely packed was cast towards the fish, breaking up on the surface the water erupted as the Rudd and roach competed for the food. 2 maggots on a size 16 hook with a loaded waggler and I was ready.
First cast and the float was away giving me a lovely roach around 6in long. This continued for around an hour before I remembered that I was also trying for a bream and had my other rod lying on the bank. So a swim feeder full of ground-bait and a bunch of maggots on the hook and I sent this out about 40 yards to a gap in the weed. Sipping coffee and chatting to Janice about her mornings wildlife viewing I saw the indicator spring back in a lovely drop back bite. A good size skimmer bream shining silver and without a scale out of place. I enjoy these fish but not the excessive slime that comes with them. I often wonder how the match fishermen cope with being covered in huge quantities of the stuff during a match.
Well I am not sure what I have done to upset the universal force, but just lately every fishing trip seems to have been affected by rain and high winds and this day was no exception. I always take a “super-size” brolly when Janice comes with me so we can shelter and at least keep comfy and warm.
Full from lunch and the place quiet apart from the rain and the wind hitting the tops of the trees, my mind was soon wandering off to a night just after we were married, camping at Boggle Hole near Robin Hoods Bay on the Yorkshire coast. It was about the same time of the year and our camp had been blown apart from near gale force winds. We de-camped around midnight in pitch black and escaped to the comfort of our car. Reclining in the warm with the rain lashing against the car and the wind howling over the cliffs we both had the best nights sleep we have ever had in our lives.
It may be that bad weather has a relaxing effect when you are warm and cosy.
I soon realised that my daydream had drifted into sleep as I awoke to find Janice too was in the land of Nod, a blackbird greedy devouring my maggots and the bait stripped off my hooks.
Refreshed from my little nap I re-baited and cast out and played the waiting game. Two very nice Rudd came to the net and I realised that I had caught four specimen size Rudd within a week !!
I love to end a session on a high so was happy to pack up and just take a walk around the park and enjoy this lovely spot.
I am lucky that I do tend to catch and often happy with a couple of small roach just to save me from a “blank”. Specimen size fish have never been my goal so I find it extra special when they come along. I regard myself as a pleasure angler as pleasure is all I ever seek from the sport.
But sometimes the “powers that be” allow you something a little out of the ordinary and that is why I fish.
Take each session as it comes and enjoy the special moments