Saturday, May 11, 2013

All roads lead to fish.

Thursday was a day I was dreading. Having failed my driving test at the end of March the day had come to have my second attempt and I'm pleased to say that despite being very nervous I passed. To celebrate I jumped in the car and drove to Eliburn Reservoir in Livingston for a short three hour session before heading back to the capital for work. It was odd not having anyone in the car and whilst I knew the way there I put the TomTom on just to have a bit of company even if I had to ignore some of the nonsensical directions it gave as usual. The drive was fine though and I was soon at the venue after popping into Livingston Angling for a pint of red maggots which I must say are always in tip top condition.

I chose a peg near the bottom end as it afforded me some shelter from the wind. I quickly set up, plumbed the depth, started fishing a single maggot on the bottom a couple of rod lengths out and began feeding up the swim with a few maggots fairly regularly. I had shotted my waggler down to a mere pimple and it wasn't long before I started getting bites and landed my first fish of the day, a nice little gudgeon. They are cool little fish and have a lovely, almost translucent blue colouration, tinged with gold. They also have two funky little barbules which always remind me of the fine moustache of bike builder Paul Teutul Snr of the U.S. TV show American Chopper.

My first gudgeon of 2013. They are very nice looking little fish. You can see some of their golden hues in this photo.
Who has the best handlebar moustache? Not much in it in my opinion.

After a few more gudgeon I caught a small silverfish that I was sure was a hybrid. I took a photo of its anal fin so I could count the rays in it later as this is a good way to tell them apart from roach and bream.

Another bream/roach hybrid. Sooner or later I'll get my first proper bream.
An anal fin ray count can be used to tell hybrids from roach and bream. A roach has 9-11, a bream 24-30 and a roach/bream hybrid has 15-19.

At this point I noticed a few bigger fish cruising at a fairly shallow depth hoovering up the maggots as I fed the swim so I changed my depth to only eighteen inches and bulked all my shot around my float. Fishing each cast for about a minute and constantly feeding maggots I soon had a few of the culprits on my unhooking mat.

I find fishing shallow and feeding little and often will catch cruising ide.

After catching another two ide and pulling the hook on a forth they moved out of my swim so I switched back to fishing the bottom again and was soon into a few more gudgeon, a few perch and some roach.

Another of the venues typical cheeky little perch.
A lovely lump of silver. Roach are a beautiful fish indeed.

At this point I had to pack up and head home but all in all it was a great day for me. Being able to drive is going to open up so many new fishing opportunities for me and also the short session at Eliburn was a very relaxing and enjoyable way to celebrate this fact. It's just a pity I had to go to work!

Tight lines, Scott.

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