18 Feb 2011 08:00
The Wood Pool @ Bluebell Lakes Complex, Tansor, Oundle
I try not to visit the same place too many times in succession, but to be honest I find Bluebell to have such divers sport that I can convince myself that I am hundred of miles from the last spot I fished.
Being that this place is only 7 miles from my home, I make no apology that many of my adventures take place here.
Last week I chose to fish the Wood Pool, a fantastic and underrated water on this complex. Sold to visitors as a “beginners” water, it has been stocked with all the fish you would expect in a commercial pond and like most of these waters far too much feed gets thrown in and the fish become large quickly.
But in winter this place comes into its own.
Turning up for an 8am start I found I had the place all to myself (quite normal for a winter mid-week visit). So I left most of my tackle in the car and took a walk around the pool with only what I needed. The pool is a canal style with islands in the middle that is always full of wildlife. This morning the water was very coloured but totally calm as there was not a breath of wind. Throwing about 6 maggots every few yards, I soon found the surface of the water breaking with feeding fish. Being around 5ft deep you can find fish quite quickly even when the water resembles a cup of tea.
First cast with a tiny loaded float and a small piece of worm gave me a lovely skimmer bream as silver as a mirror, shining in the cold morning. I threw a pinch of maggots and chipped worm into the water that immediately began to boil. Second cast the float disappeared and I missed the strike and was left with only the skin of my maggots on the hook. As normal for me when I get exited, third cast ended up on the island in a tangled heap. Normally when this happens I pour a cup of tea and sit down and tackle up again. Sipping my tea I sent out some more maggots and worm chopped into a mush. The water went mad and I could see the backs of the roach as they came up for the slop.
Casting into the boil and throwing a pinch of maggots around the float gave me a roach of around a pound and a half. The roach here can grow to quite a size in this pool and seem to spawn very well as you often see the chub chasing the shoals of tiny fingerling’s in the autumn.
Sport can be fast and furious, but can end just as quickly. After this roach the water went calm and there was no response to the slop thrown into the water. Time to move.
11:30 and the temperature is dropping as the wind is increasing. The fishing seems to be the same all over the pool, 2 or 3 fish then you have to move on. This pool is responsible for my personal best chub and perch to date and both well into specimen weights but today nothing over a couple of pounds has visited my landing net.
Feeling quite chill and my knee joints beginning to play up, the time came to get my chair out f the car and find a sheltered place to play the waiting game.
Nothing happened for the next couple of hours. Every 20min I would send a small quantity of chopped worm and maggot into the swim always being careful not to overfeed and hoping that the amino acids in the slop may trigger a bite.
I was distracted from the fishing by a pair of red kites circling in the sky above me. Often coming so low that I could see all the markings on the underside of the body. Days like this just seem to add to the enjoyment for me.
Another couple of roach around 3:45pm and I decided to give up for the day. I had some sport and seen some lovely wildlife, plus the geese seemed to want to come in and roost for the night.
So I packed up and took the remainder of my sandwich back to my swim to give to the ducks.
The mallards greedily tucked in to my uneaten crusts, the males looking splendid as they come into their breeding colour. But not as splendid as the chub that came out from near the reeds that I had been sitting next to for the last few hours, opening that huge mouth and taking a lump of bread destined for the ducks.
This left me thinking ….Would my day have been better if I had caught that fish? …..
Hell Yes !!!