Saturday, May 25, 2013

The sun has got his hat on.

I should have had mine on too. I headed out yesterday for a full day of coarse fishing to hopefully catch plenty of fish and also the sun which had decided to come out of hiding. First I headed to Pumpherston Pond to have a go there for the first time. I popped into Livingston Angling on the way there and picked up some maggots.

Pumpherston Pond. It used to be a great little venue I'm told.

The water was crystal clear which meant I could see all of the rubbish on the bottom and there was a considerable amount unfortunately. It's such a shame that idiots dump litter and spoil such a nice pond. I decided to take an ultra light rod instead of my usual float rod to have a bit of fun playing the fish I caught. I set up and started fishing a single red maggot under a Puddle Chucker float. Another angler arrived and told me that a few pike had been caught there last week which was encouraging. He started fishing just along from me using a small Rapala. As if to prove what he had told me after a few casts he hooked a small jack, but lost it after a short scrap. He worked his way around the pond and disappeared out of sight. I meanwhile was having no luck at all and after about an hour or so I decided to head off to Eliburn Reservoir and began packing up. When I lifted my net out of the water it had a leech in it. I've never seen one before and it was quite a bizarre creature contorting its body as it wriggled in my hand and then taking on a ribbon like shape and swimming off when I threw it back into the pond.

I bet the perch and pike would snaffle this given the chance.

A short drive later I arrived at Eliburn and set up on a peg in the sheltered bay on the western side of the venue. Plumbing the depth and fishing on the deck it didn't take long before a I was getting a bite every other cast and had soon caught a load of perch, roach and a solitary ide which thrashed out of my hand just as I was about to take a photo of it.

One of twelve small spiky perch I caught.
A nice plump roach. Again, one of twelve.

It was at this point I noticed my arms were quite red and wondered what my head was like. With a pleasant breeze blowing all afternoon cooling my skin and the sun beating down for a change and reflecting back up from the water I thought it best to go and get some sun cream. Before I did though I decided to have a few more casts and I'm glad I did because the next fish I caught was a lovely tench that fought rather well, as tench do, with those big powerful fins.

Great fun on my ultra light gear.

Happy with the short session and looking forward to hopefully catching a few more rudd, practicing my fly casting and perhaps even catching a rainbow trout or two on the fly at Markle in the evening I headed back to the car, where upon seeing my reflection in the windows my fears were confirmed. My head was quite red indeed. I stopped off at a supermarket and bought some sun cream, although to be honest the horse had well and truly bolted from its "burnt bald head" stable.

I drove east and was soon at Markle. The wind had dropped right off, the sun was still shining and after another generous application of the factor 30 to try and prevent any further damage I headed over to the little bay to float fish for rudd. They were much more actively feeding up in the water, probably due to the sun warming it up a few degrees. I caught seventeen in a fairly short amount of time.

Rudd are lovely looking fish.

The two tufted ducks swam over and I thought they were going to start diving down and gobbling my maggots but they didn't. As I was watching them out of the corner of my eye I saw my float go under and when I struck the fish took off to my right away from the bushes. I knew it was a rainbow trout straight away and it was soon charging off stripping line against my loosely set drag. After a bit of scrap on my ultra light rod which was great fun I eventually drew the fish over my net but not before it coughed up a large quantity of my red maggots that it had obviously been happily scoffing before taking the one with the hook in it. I must say I'm not a great fan of rainbow trout, perhaps my least favourite fish in fact, their bloated appearance, which is obviously not natural, is not very nice in my opinion although apart from that this one was in reasonable condition.

Rainbow trout remind me a bit of Mr Blobby. Charging about smashing into things.

Given a minute or two to recover in the net it swam away strongly to gorge itself in readiness to inevitably fight another day. I continued float fishing and caught another three rudd, the last one was a bit larger than the rest I had caught and was in lovely condition.

Possibly the nicest rudd I've ever caught. I wasn't the only thing the sun gave a nice glow to.

Having caught twenty rudd I decided to pack up the float gear and go and practice my fly casting. To cut a long story short I really could do with some lessons. I did get one bite on a bright yellow dancer but didn't strike quick enough. It was some consolation that I only saw one other angler catch a solitary fish so maybe the bright conditions stacked the odds against me. That's my excuse anyway. I would really like to fly fish for pike in the future and would also like to try it for a few saltwater species too so I really need to get practicing. Anyway I packed up at dusk and headed home to rub moisturiser on my aching scalp.

A fairly close match to my two tone appearance.

I shouldn't complain though, we're long overdue some nice weather! I really must get a hat however. Perhaps I could get a nice IMA beanie from somewhere like the one my mate Ross wears?

Tight lines, Scott.

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