The Lucky Dip Page

This page will produce 25 Lucky Dip randomly selected diary entries every time it's loaded. These are in random order, i.e. not in chronological order, so of course some of them are out of context...they are filtered to exclude the 'non-fishing' entries. Just because.

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

"But ye gotta know where ye're just gonna rush in. Ye cannae just rush in anywhere. It looks bad, havin' to rush oout again straight awa'." ~~ Feegle tactics (Sir Terry Pratchett, 'The Wee Free Men') ~~ 

swivel...and...wait for it...swivel ;-)...(and back to the top of the page) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-)

Lucky Dip from 2015  19th July 2015. Pete's Ponds.

Pete's Pond, Lower A cork-ball special fished under the branches and mostly under the water. Pete's Pond, Lower Down the path towards the dam from the 'umbrella pitch'.
Pete's Pond, Lower Looking down the barrel of the LHSRE, NW across the lake. Notice the 'impossible to forget' rod-rest. Drat, I'll lose it now for sure. Pete's Pond, Lower A handy vase, a boot sale find, now co-opted for those long useful things one collects when one makes floats.

Lucky Dip from 2016  26th July 2016. Luckfield Lake. This is what you get for working through old blog pages and finding accounts of good fishing. It was almost inevitable I would start at the north end, despite its effectiveness as a swim being cut along with the overhanging trees and a whole lily patch. I might have caught even so, with one carp 'thucking' along the end of the big patch and a hopeful crust, fished behind a lily pad a little further out than the rest, was soundly ignored for well over an hour. In fact, the crust appeared to spook the fish, unusual. Had I cast some flake properly under the tree to my left, when another fish sucked energetically at the freebies left there, I'd perhaps have had that one too. Then quiet and the bread thing was resolved by a chap banging a bubble float the size of a tangerine onto the other side of the patch, attached to bread. It didn't work for him (today) but I wonder if this is the source of the chariness with the white stuff.

Luckfield Lake south across the pond (it is a pond, it's ground-water fed) Luckfield Lake the bobber and... Luckfield Lake ...the quill
Luckfield Lake the cork ball bobber Luckfield Lake the pond (it's still a pond) looking north Luckfield Lake the bobber under the tree

This south-end died, the activity tailing with the breeze so I swapped for the last hours, to the south end and fished under the tree. Where I had no bites at all for over an hour, then missed two fast bites on mussels, at five-to and quarter-past seven. I then missed two slow 'sitters' on a bunch of bread flake, which is normally reliable. So I could have caught, I just stuffed up...but it was good to be back and nice to play with the titanium made-over 'Big Hex' which feels nicer in the hand than it ever did.

Lucky Dip from 2008  23rd May 2008. Arfleet. Best part of two hours has glided past on another pleasant evening resulting in a 10lb fish that I've had before. After 1½ hours of 'feathered' paste, I switch to a pole float, one of the self-cocking paste ones and get a ¾lb rudd at 8:30pm, then the carp, dogged and slow. Cockles again, two fish this year both falling to cockles. So much for hemp paste - lots of interest, can't seem to hit a bite. At 8:50pm I miss a bite and at 9:20pm get a regular eel, wide mouthed, sullen, 1½lb maybe, which sheds the hook without help and pours itself over the lip of the bank back into the lake. I put paste on the hook for no good reason and let the night settle over me.

Arfleet Mills Arfleet Mills, finally another fish Arfleet Mills Arfleet Mills, finally another fish Arfleet Mills Arfleet Mills, finally another fish

(I've caught this fish before, in April 2006Back again. Hasn't changed much, but seems to be getting by OK.)

Lucky Dip from 2011  27th April 2011. Arfleet Mills.

Arfleet Mills the afternoon hatch Arfleet Mills the 'downstream' end of the old clay-pit Arfleet Mills a closer look at the insects
Arfleet Mills the float in situ Arfleet Mills the 'upstream' end from the 'down stream' end Arfleet Mills the pitch in the rushes

Lucky Dip from 2014  9th November 2014. Bartons Court. Tackle spread all over the room to dry, I woke to the smell of winter through the open windows and the tin-mug of water by the bed was ice-cold. I contemplated the Darjeeling, this didn't work, so I had to make the tea manually then...McBreakfast with N-S. Frost, sun and tendrils of mist, lovely.

Redditch tackle fair is always good for a mosey about. Nothing was on my list, but I bought an ally spool for the '44x with most of my loose folding and always good to meet up with like minds, GarryP, Merlot and other familiar faces. I had plans to bolt for a perch chase at Barton's Court so at midday I opened my metaphorical wings and flew south...

Bartons Court LakeA swagger of perch Bartons Court LakeThe pitch... Bartons Court Lakethe quill... Bartons Court Lakeand a gullible perch. Bartons Court LakeAnother small but silly one.

I essayed the back of the lake, where there be dragons (well, monster perch at least), but there were only carpers, latterly carpers' children and then a bored carper, whapping a spinner as far as he could in any direction. I extracted six small ones, sat in the sun with a cherry cake and a flask of Darjeeling for company, great fun, but the bites evaporated, the spinner was getting too close and I high-tailed for a quiet fallen tree at 4ish - I had one over a pound, then another, both pulling the rod over in a gratifying way, then a pause, during which the carper with offspring pulled an over-cast weight from a tree in front of him, with his kids sat in at his feet. I prayed for a break, in the event the weight hit the water some 60 feet short of tragedy...then I had three ¾lb fish on consecutive casts as the light fled and was thinking about #four when the other carpers barrowed past, dropped a whole bivvie and all four stood behind me to re-load and talk loudly. 'Funny thing' I didn't get another bite, not even 30 minutes later...I beetled off, pleased with five fine perch and six enjoyable ones to start, just the pleasure of the quill bobbling off towards the nearest cover. Heh.

Bartons Court LakeA pound sized one Bartons Court LakeThe perchiest tree in Berkshire Bartons Court LakeThe biggest of the day, well over the 1lb Bartons Court Lake¾lb; #1 Bartons Court Lake¾lb; #2 Bartons Court Lake¾lb; #3

Still on 6lb line...

By-the-by, I bought my turned aluminium spool for the '44xCardinal 44x from Len @ Classic Vintage fishing tackleLots of useful reels spares among other things. I ordered another on Wednesday, plus a spindle for the other '44x and they arrived two days later. Nice to know, I'd recommend them.

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. A little idyll, and after just under three hours I move on, lest I spoil it...

The Farm Pond A proper farm pond carp The Farm Pond Another proper farm pond carp
The Farm Pond A proper farm pond The Farm Pond A proper farm pond The Farm Pond A proper farm pond

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

Lucky Dip from 2007  1st August 2007. Docklow Lakes, West End Farm, Leominster. A good carp, two scales and failure to catch my share of fish...the river Lugg, besides which we are lodging, being basically flooded, a 1 in 200 year event, I take a half day to trip over to Docklow Pools. There are other places I could go, staying near Leominster, but I went there once in the early eighties and decide to have another look at the place.

When I was there before"I lost", there were two lakes in a field. That was it and a farmhouse. The place has now turned a multi-lake complex with a lot of trees and well made swims, which are well trodden. I'm not sure I like it better, but here we are. I make my way to the far side of Micky lake, on the basic assumption that distance from the busy car park couldn't hurt. As I get further form the cars, I soften my tread and wind up in a swim at the far end of the lake where carp are cruising. I tackle up with corn and meat to tempt the fish. I try a '14' and a single grain of corn and get a bream and a roach and then at about 3:30 I switch back and forth with bait sizes and at 5ish, I try a '16' and small grains and bank a few more roach. A kingfisher plies his trade from the dead tree opposite. I start feeding meat and with a hasty strike causing the tackle to tangle terminally around the rod tip, switch to a small crystal, as the carp were spooking on seeing my float. The water is only two feet deep which doesn't help.

I discover a fellow angler around the corner and it's good to see someone else using a centre-pin. We exchange greetings and talk about the Hardy carp rod he has set up behind his swim. Glass I'd say, but a cracker. I return to fishing meat on an '8' JH'Jack Hilton'. I sit it out for a bit and then around 6pm get a bite that yileds only a huge bow wave . I get a scale on the hook the size of an old 50p piece. It rhymes with 'tugger bit'. I take the scale round to my broom-eye friend and discover he's nabbed a big chub out the swim in the lake behind him. Fair play. With renewed enthusiasm I tackle back up and miss another in the next five minutes.

I carry on, fishing about 8" over-depth and eventually hit this one. It didn't fight that hard and even on 6lb line (shot threaded onto the line, float stops to keep the shot in place) and the Avon, it seemed overpowered. My companion for the evening came to see the the fish, a pretty common in good nick. The kingfisher reappears and head around the corner with a chirp. I carried on but missed at least another two fish, bow waves showing my poor judgement, the sole reward being a further scale at new 50p size. My fisher-in-arms hooked a carp which threw the hook. That hurts.

Docklow Lakes Docklow, old memories Docklow Lakes Docklow, old memories

Dusk rolls in, pigeons cooing, a pair of squirrels hare across the tree behind me. I see my first bat at 8:45, flitting low over the water and steadily more appear until I loose sight of my float at 9:30. The angler round the corner drops by, packing up as well and we chat for while, about the louts-of-litter and how the best of times for fishing is dusk and cannot understand why so many fish only during the late morning to early evening, missing dawn and dusk, not only the best bits of the day but often the best fishing (barring today's self-inflicted incompetence).

I take leave, reluctantly.

Lucky Dip from 2008  5th October 2008. Pallington. Really nice afternoon. Rumbled it now. Got to hit the twitches...pole floats and holding the rod it is. See, here's the thing - I've seen no one using a float, no one using only one rod and certainly no one using bait actually on a hook, in six sessions. However, I've not spent more than at 24 hours fishing here, unlike one or two 'three day session blanks' I've spoken with.

Pallington Lakes Pallington Lakes - the barbed nose syndicate Pallington Lakes Pallington Lakes - the barbed nose syndicate Pallington Lakes Pallington Lakes - the barbed nose syndicate

I had a good few roach on baits aimed at carp this evening and the rod rest in the pictures in four feet long. That's deep water tha' knows. I stayed until dusk was three hours past with a candle lamp for company and on the way out chatted with a fellow, who unlike some here, was thoroughly pleasant and amiable, he nearly changed my mind. Nearly.

Lucky Dip from 2017  1st August 2017. The Fish in a Barrel. Part I.

I've long had two water barrels in a chain, garden for the watering of, and it occurred that an open top and a few minor modifications would turn one into a fine goldfish pond. Of a sort. I cut the top out and glued in a grille, made roll of fine mesh chicken-wire into the inflow and egress pipes (no fish in the soakaway please) and then popped a solar aerator into the mix.

The aerator is 'over-powered' for the size of the barrel, but no matter. It's battery 'backed up' and there's a single rechargeable LI battery inside the unit. I can replace that no-trouble if required. The solar panel is probably 'not quite' enough for the job, these things never are, but it'll do for now. I have another somewhere and if push comes to shove, I'll put a DVM on the output and buy a bigger one with the same output voltage.

The tube for aerator were stuff through a hole in the top rim, so removing the lid didn't entail dismantling the air-lines and like most air-stone they float a bit. Because the barrel is deep and narrow I decide to put both stones on the bottom. Mrs AA recalled that we had plenty of hag-stones around the drive, so I bagged a couple, put the tubes through the holes and re-attached the air-stones. Done. The solar panel is a little low - it blocks a little sun-light to the barrel, which has little enough light. I set it to 35 (the optimum nagle for a due south PV panel in the UK. I'll raise the height of it down the week, I'd prefer it well clear of the top. The pump itself, seen strapped to the connecting pipe is 'IP44' rated. In theory. I'll make a cover out of an old plastic box next week and mount it so I can see the status light though the lean-to window.

The fish in a barrel escapade The-two butt system...plus clutter The fish in a barrel escapade The lid, cut out and with grille hot-melt glued in The fish in a barrel escapade The solar panel and the pump, temporary mounting
The fish in a barrel escapade The two aerator tubes The fish in a barrel escapade Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn and barrel bubble The fish in a barrel escapade A newt eye (attached to the newt) and a frog's toe (attached to the frog) are not out of the question

Tomorrow, two goldfish will be put in a bag of water and dangled in the barrel to equalise the temperature and released into the wild. As it were. These fish were captured in the ditch alongside the WetlandThe two goldest ones were re-homed in the Littleangler's fish tank, and being 'regular' goldfish, I think will be hardy enough.

For the moment, this is an ersatz fish tank, but the longer term plan is to establish a more natural habitat with the addition of some pond silt, water snails, plus daphnia. At the end of the summer the goldfish will be re-tanked and the plan is to introduce a few small crucians to the barrel, and tough blighters that they are, they'll be fine I don't doubt. No pike though. Oh no. They'd swim up the drain-pipe and colonise the pond next door.

Lucky Dip from 2008  10th March 2008. Breach Pond. To be fair, a bit crackers. Peg 2, south-west end, stormy, blustery, matt, wind on my back. Fishing in ten feet of water, ten feet from the bank, I prefer the platform at the east end, but not withstanding the wind in one's mush on this occasion, the two-three foot chop on the water, gathered up by the eind and hurled down the length of the lake would have made it a very damp session, the breakers washing up over the platform and the bank - never mind a certain amount of difficulty in casting - at all. So, 4lb braid, and a plastic self-cocker with a long antennae, perhaps 4-5" over depth with corn on a '14' Kamasan, scattered hemp and corn loose feed, a new can opened as the frozen in the bucket is soft, hard to hook. Again. I toyed with the idea of Pitman's but it's flat ground and the wind is in the 40mph range. Rivers are flooded, In short here or Revels and preferring here, even with the shorter odds of a fish.

Ten days in Hanover, CEBIT 2008, a welter of driving, booth assembly, long days on my feet talking with customers, prospects, suspects and actual, beers, food, bed, 7am up again, five times in a row, disassembly, loading, driving home, Sunday 'only just' am arrival...phew. A 'Wheeler-Feynman perchOne of those perch' day if ever there was one. Coffee and oat cakes.

Breach Pond, East Creech Breach Pond, East Creech Breach Pond, East Creech Breach Pond, East Creech Breach Pond, East Creech Breach Pond, East Creech

The float has dipped a couple of times and a large fish rose 20 yards off form the far bank. Hope springs...Nemp arrives with a chair to watch and/or laugh while I spend about three hours sitting in the blast and despite it, scratching out a score or so of small perch and rudd, all of which pecked at a couple of maggots. Really enjoyed myself.

Lucky Dip from 2014  29th June 2014. 'The Saxon Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''.

Pete's Ponds - 'lower'the pitch Pete's Ponds - 'lower'roach Pete's Ponds - 'lower'not-a-crock Pete's Ponds - 'lower'tench Pete's Ponds - 'lower'not-a-crock
Pete's Ponds - 'lower'the float(deceased) Pete's Ponds - 'lower'roach Pete's Ponds - 'lower'tench Pete's Ponds - 'lower'roach Pete's Ponds - 'lower'tench

Lucky Dip from 2012  22nd November 2012. Warmwell, Heron. Just because I had to, one time at least, apparently it was once a famous carp water. It felt cold in a 10°C wind and what little colour was in the back channel which I fished for two hours, then wondered about, returned to as the most likely. There was enough folk about to force a walk to the dry-ski-slope loos, passing by a deer that appeared to have no fear of people at all. Far too busy a place for the asocial.

Warmwell, the legendary and dull The swim, back channel of 'the' lake Warmwell, the legendary and dull The optimistic float
Warmwell, the legendary and dull The domesticated deer Warmwell, the legendary and dull Dusk up

A small dark carp rolled under the far bank but wouldn't play, but even as the light fell I felt confident. I had a couple of shove h'penny bites on plugs of bread...but nothing this time. Still, I've been there now, 'tick'.

Lucky Dip from 2015  8th July 2015. Pond near Mayfield. It's a secret, club rules or something like.

Pond near MayfieldThis pond is very nicely set out - the is a path all around - gravel but hey ho, and plenty of boarded swims. It look idyllic on first glance, but the walk around gave me that 'don't quite know where to fish' feeling, which I've come to associate with 'not much of a chance'. The surface was a bit too calm and the water, despite depth seemed to me to lack colour. Never say never though. Pond near MayfieldThe morning zipped past but the only bite I had was on a worm for the almost inevitable small perch. At midday, I was thinking it was a 'Wheeler-Feynman' perch. 'The Thane' was trying to persuade a carp in the northern corner to take a surface bait, but at the point I thought to decamp, this hadn't worked. Pond near MayfieldI parked across the lake in a new pitch and tried again, on the basis that if one side and end was a dud, despite occasional carp leaping at range, the other might be a better bet 100% correct as it turned out. Pond near Mayfield'The Bag', twice the morning's. The rudd is stunning, if small and apologies for the state of the perch, but it twisted out of my hand, presumably trying to bite my arm off. I took my leave about four o'clock, I had a longish drive and I felt the fishing wasn't going to pick up any time soon, although I pondered a late dibble at the solid common mooching under the left hand lily pads, but it didn't seem like it's heart was in it. On the up-side, England were in the ascendency in the first test. so that's all right then...'The Thane' reported sport remained as was, a day or so later. Funny flat day, you get those.

Lucky Dip from 2011  5th August 2011. The Corn Brook, Coreley. One of those tiny streamsI love these. Probably poaching though. at the end of the lane where we were holidaying. I blagged worms out of the garden of the rented cottage and tied some 3lb line to the tip ring of the top-three sections of the four-piece Avon. Much to my surprise I never even saw, let alone caught a fish. Odd.

The Brooke, KnowleThe Brooke, Knowle The Brooke, KnowleThe Brooke, Knowle The Brooke, KnowleThe Brooke, Knowle The Brooke, KnowleThe Brooke, Knowle

Nice cottage. The dog mugged a rabbit out of a bush and thought that was just fine.

Lucky Dip from 2006  23rd April 2006. Arfleet Ponds What, no dragon? Back to Arfleet. (I liked it last time). I went for the 'old' lake this time, which is also about one acre but significantly is much deeper, at 6' less that a rod length out at any point, as far as I can tell. There are depths of 30 feet apparently and certainly a few areas around 12ft (unusual in these days of 'carp puddles', sorry I mean 'commercial fisheries'). There is a head of carp, running to over 20lbs, good perch and rudd to 2lb and big eels. This link will tell you a bit moreNice write up as it happens.

Arfleet Mills ...from the south end of the lake, looking west Arfleet Mills ...from the south end of the lake, looking north

Turning up at coffee-time, I went for a corner which looked nice and had plenty of bubbling...the air temperature is around 14° degrees, water between 13° and 14°. The sheltered aspect of this water means that there is seldom any great ripple on the water, which always looks inviting. I set up two rods; baited two swims with chopped pork pie and spicy pepperami - and for an hour got plenty of tweaks on the alarms, but no runs. At about 12pm when I am adjusting the right-hand rod, the left-hand bobbin whacks the rod. I miss this. Still, mini pork-pies are popular.

I'm getting plenty of nudges to keep me going and pass the time by feeding the various small fish at my feet. I flick bits and pieces of bait in and although the majority of the fry are just that, larger shadows occasionally detach from the deeper patches of shade. So it is at 1:30 I take the left hand rod down and switch to the Avon rod and crystal antennae, 8lb Krsyton with a size 10 raptor and a short hair rig. I put a single BB about 4" from the hook. I tie the hook with a short hair, which I ignore and fish worms conventionally for a bit - the depth even six feet out from the bank is five foot or so. So several perch later (one about ½lb) I loose feed some corn and get another ½lb perch...and a roach or three. This carries on for a hour or so and then the bites dry up and I gradually move both the baited area and float further out, towards the bubble patches which have come and gone all day 20 feet or so from the bank...

I switch the bait to three grains of (green grYep, green. Corn is handy, but commonly used, but changing the colour and flavour is easy. In this case I used green as the water is deepish and red light is filtered out quickly with depth - so even in 6' of water green/yellow will probably show better than red. Blue might work, but blue food seems odd. Yellow does show up really well even at depth though and white as well. If only there was a white bait that was cheap and easy to get and easily moulded onto hooks...  and vanilla vaFood colouring and flavours from any supermarket. Handy.  flavoured) corn mounted on the hair and miss a few nibbles and eventually switch to spicy pepperami and a grain of corn. After a long pause and a few misses, I get a few plucks and a dip and hit a small carp around a pound and a bit. Aha. See, you can float fish an 'anti-eject' rig - the key is to wait for a positive indication - the first two or three dips are just footling with the bait, as carp do (most large fish do, big perch and roach can be a real pain in this respect).

Half an hour later, another dip-dip-dip, plunge and a solid lump on the line. This bores around the bed at a slowish pace and just when I think I have a (very) large tench a carp shows itself. It took about ten minutes to bank and you can see scarring on the mouth, which restricted it's gape to the point of affecting breathing and the top half of the tail is pretty ragged. Otherwise perfectly healthy though and getting by fine (and carrying spawn). On release it took off at good rate, none the worse. Nothing else doing for the last hour, although the bait was nudged a few times. You could put this down to the 8lb main and braid, but the carp pole angler on the far side using 6mm pellet bait was also getting an unfeasible amount of float movement for no result. Despite a quiet time at the end of the day, a greater spotted woodpecker settled in the tree behind and continued its day long audition for a position as a heavy rock band drummer and two deer picked their way through the brush on the far bank, but of course in reaching quietly for the camera they spooked and trotted off. Drat.

Arfleet Mills the best roach Arfleet Mills the 1lb carp Arfleet Mills the embattled 10lb carp

A good result when I ditched the bite alarms and dual rods. A lesson here - sometimes it's better to focus on one rod completely, than two half watched. While I have no problem with bite alarms (except the volume), it is easy to put on buzzers and stop thinking. I'll certainly avoid the rod-pod from now on though - the number of alarms caused by one rod moving and setting the other one is unhelpful and there is no doubt in my mind that the angle between the rod tip and line is a factor in getting hittable runs - that bit of drag gets you a lot more 'once mouthed' baits. I'll get another bank-stick and have the rods pointing more or less at the bait for next time - BUT if you do this line clips are a must. With a direct line from hook to reel, line could easily be broken by a largish fish and a fast run.

About a dozen roach/rudd, six perch and two carp. I've had worse. Water temp still at 13.5° when I headed for tea at 7.00pm. I stopped the car by a fence post on the way out and exchanged stares with a buzzard from four feet, while wishing the camera was not in the car-boot. I left with the distinct impression that my size was the only thing preventing it from considering me as a meal on wheels.

Lucky Dip from 2015  8th March 2015. Bishop's Green

Bishop's GreenThe lake as it ever was Bishop's GreenThe lake as it ever was Bishop's GreenFour of the identikit carp... Bishop's GreenThe bob in the waves Bishop's Green...and a classic BG long ,lean one.
Bishop's Green The afternoon sun Bishop's Green The margin float...
Bishop's Green ...and the consequence... Bishop's Green ...and the result

Lucky Dip from 2012  21st April 2012. Arfleet. It's 7:35pm and the crow, the murderer of frogs is now taking parts elsewhere, to a mate I guess. Yaffles behind and there's a jolly big magpie taking turns with the crow on the bank, but the crow is in charge and charges the thief when it's out of turn. Almost funny-light time. After some dither I hook a bottom wallower which after a moment wakes and twice heads halfway across the pond and in the end I tighten the clutch and take charge, a second solid shouldered low double to add to the 12lb fish on the trick bait...

Arfleet Millswhy I like it here, #1 Arfleet Millsnice pair of shoulders boy, show 'em off... Arfleet Millssuch a reproachful look Arfleet Millsthe murderous crow

I had the place to myself when I rolled up, rare, so put my bag down and tried few baits, long thrown on 6lb, nothing played so I stalked the fish excavating the bank on the other side. I cover the last few feet on damp knees and watch three tails for a while and lower two pineapple surprises which results in a fish, little to do except switching the rod tip to keep it guessing. I watch and miss a crust flicked over the bay, then becalmed, I sit on the bay's far side with the rod across my knees and chase a ghostie, then some black and gold thing. This chasing seldom works...

Arfleet Millsthe bankside burrower Arfleet Millswhy I like it here, #2 Arfleet Millsthe tell-tale clump Arfleet Millsthe first of the after shower marks

I circle, and would've tried the back pit but the water's clear, weak black tea or iron stain. Sufficient history to know that's a very slender chance indeed...

I park the brolley under a tree, and after more than a shower, promise myself home if it's raining in an hour. At quarter-to-decamp the drops thin and fade, I stretch my legs, see a dark shape ambling about. I loop on thin leader and a size '12' and squash a sausage of flake on and whop it 30 yards off where to my surprise it's nudged once, looks alright and engulfed whole. Huh, happens. A second try, in between desultory sprays of rain, heart not in it, is ignored by another shadow. I opt for a trick and bury the hook in one mixer and squeeze bread above the hook for disposable casting weight. The second shadow looms and a pale yellow sink hole engulfs the lot. Some trick. Something of a tussle, I never really trust the knots with the thin stuff.

Arfleet Mills somewhere, under the rainbow...is another rainbow Arfleet Mills the second, larger, after shower mark Arfleet Mills why I like it here, #3

Not so shabby, but the corner is not the place, despite a roll under a mat of new reeds to my left. I decamp to halfway along the bank and watch a crow hop down the far bank to the water's edge, hassles a fleet of fluff off, then spears a frog, pins it with one foot, proceeds to eat the best bits...

Arfleet Mills why I like it here, #4 Arfleet Mills Bob, dammit!

Lucky Dip from 2013  27th December 2013. Boxing Day bread-flake. I admit I went to Mappowder because I wanted to fish and cared little for Pheasant Lake being over-run with 2-3lb carp. The sun was out, the wind was brisk but not edgy and I went for sun over wind and fished between two trees in a good 5' of cloudy water. I spent an hour touch ledgering hot-dog sausage listening to long-tail tits chipping their way through the bare sapling behind me, not not a flicker, so I slipped on a quill and my 'lucky size 8' so I could pour some tea ('Christmas Spice', brewed in a teapot and everything) and double change, put on some extra-rubbish flake, the loaf bought on the Eve.

Still. I nabbed a 3lb mirror to a ditherer, then a 3lb common, bob-bob-zip...and half an hour after the wind dropped leaving the whole lake glassy and after a long wait the tip popped out of sight and I had the fun of a better than average fish swirling under the rod tip for a while. Probably 7-8lb, rare size here.

MappowderMappowder, Wintersun MappowderMappowder, Wintersun MappowderMappowder, Wintersun MappowderMappowder, Wintersun

A new wind chilled my fingers so, job done, I mooched over to Spring lake as the brown goldfish can be fun at dusk, even in this weather. Not so today...

MappowderMappowder, Wintersun MappowderMappowder, Wintersun MappowderMappowder, Wintersun MappowderTelegraph-pole winter woodpecker

P.S. - the woodpecker was working its way up the crack in the telegraph pole outside my house, so I snapped it on maximum zoom, lucky strike.

Lucky Dip from 2010  24th June 2010. Wytch Farm. Back to the Wytch and five fish to 12lb on the upper crust, 5/5 oddly. Only missed two takes and got both of them second cast. First fish at 7pm, with the last at 10pm. [C/5/1]

 Wytch FarmCarp #1  Wytch FarmCarp #2  Wytch FarmCarp #3  Wytch FarmCarp #4  Wytch FarmCarp #5
 Wytch Farm Wytching moon  Wytch Farm Wytching moon  Wytch Farm Wytching moon

Nice cow proof fence now, a big relief to those of us who see cows and know that behind the eyes is the bovine equivalent of the test-card test tone TT1KHz audio tone. I spent a couple of months comissioning editing suites in the BBC Bristol building on White Lady's Road and got so used to this tone I could whistle it. I still can. . "...oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo..."

Lucky Dip from 2015  21st March 2015. Woodfrys Farm, Melbury Abbas. I've had my eye on this lake and had been angling for a chance to drop in...and it's on my way home. Sort of.

I levered open a caravan door, paid my seven squid, slipped down to the lake and found some carp, but they simply wouldn't play in 6" of water although the odd one took a mixer - as long as it didn't have a hook in it. There was a thick layer of decomposing sludge on the surface, the water warmed enough to start decomposition off again, in turn starting the algae, ahead of the daphnia hatch that should mop it up...the thick silt made bottom fishing over this sludge tricky, even with corn, must have seen a dozen fish spook off the line. I gave it a couple of hours and zipped off for fish'n'chips, creaking with cold once I decided to move, defeated by a handful of small carp in water that barely covered their backs.

The Saxon Ponds One side... The Saxon Ponds ....and the other The Saxon Ponds The best shot of an egret I could manage at that distance.

I've wanted to come here since I saw the landscape on 'google maps' and it was in the end something of a disappointment. It's a nice looking place, but it has an air of decay that is barely dispelled by the neatly mown grass. 'Up' the valley, along which a clear stream runs, was a tumbled-down hatch pool, clearly to supply just-visible drowners in the grass with warming water, but long since ruined. There is a mill leat along the south of the valley, cut clearly into the slope. With the odd shape of the lake and its square marsh with a ditch around it, it reeks of old water-management, but left to nature far too long ago. The ditch is silted, the lake barely a foot deep anywhere, and for the most part barely 6". There might have been more fish than the few carp that mooched about, bellies skating the silt, but I saw no sign of them. There is tatty litter on the slopes, old corrugated iron in heads, scrap metal, old out-buildings - against one such a big old millstone is canted - a giveaway, glad I went, shall equally glad to drive past next time. If the place was for sale, I'd seriously consider giving it a go. But you'd need to spend some money to get nature back on its feet. Such a shame.

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 Ponds The MKIII The Saxon Ponds An indignance of smal perch The Saxon Ponds The 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 2012  2nd September 2012. Luckfield...after some time...grey, some breeze and fish are edgy in. Peg 5...funny day, several fish about very chary, simply not going for bread on the top, seen to much maybe. I bait two patches and opt to wait a while. I miss three fish off the top, too early twitchy, then watch the rats (new). I see fish on my right but fail to entice without spooking. I give in, as it were, and fish on the lift until I try the pads again, over-clooped and in the end my antennae darts a foot and I land this fish, not without a battle. Back on the lift then. 6:00ish. Tea, 'Ceylon' and 'Earl Grey', one bag each. Funny thing, no moorhens or ducks.

Luckfield Lake Luckfield Luckfield Lake Luckfield
Luckfield Lake Luckfield Luckfield Lake Luckfield Luckfield Lake Luckfield

The fish have vanished as well...every bait gets hacked by what are assumed to be more of the 3oz roach I nabbed on a size '5' earlier. Plenty of life. The King posed, I couldn't steady the camera, then the batteries failed. Good omen I take it to be. I swap swim-sides again. Exodus, last teacup, roosting woodies. Very still, wrong sort of. I turn out the lights...

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. A little idyll, and after just under three hours I move on, lest I spoil it...

The Farm Pond A proper farm pond carp The Farm Pond Another proper farm pond carp
The Farm Pond A proper farm pond The Farm Pond A proper farm pond The Farm Pond A proper farm pond

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

Lucky Dip from 2007  14th April 2007. Milton Abbey Lake. If at first you don't catch fish, move swim. Very odd kind of day, I sat at peg 7 for about 2¾ hours without so much as a twitch, so as twilight beckons, I think, "Sod that for a game of soldiers" and head around to Peg 13 for the last hour, perhaps a bit longer.

Milton Abbey Lake stock still Milton Abbey Lake that's got to hurt the eyes...

I lengthen the line and put my cockles out to my right, normally, I favour the left, no idea why, possible a "sighting eye" thing. I wait. I don't have to wait for long and I get a solid bite and a solid tench over the 4lb mark. I recast and not five minutes later get this chubby perch 1¼lb or so. Good-oh. I try again and time ticks a little, the sun droops and almost an hour passes in the cooling air before this guy dinks the float under, nearer 5lb than 4lb. Such a good change of swim.

Milton Abbey Lakeall lined up and nowhere to go Milton Abbey Lake...and waited Milton Abbey Laketinca tinca Milton Abbey LakeSpike the perch says 'hi'.

I re-cast, perfectly content with my lot and listen to the owls and after about half-an-hour's hooting I get 'the buzz' which raises my awareness in time to stop the float sliding off. I hit into a lump which bores and pulls my Avon right around into a half circle and for a while makes the ratchet chatters like a magpie. One of the Milton Abbey leathers, 11lb or so. I take a last cast, honest, right away the right thumb tingles again and the resulting fish skitters about like a spinning plate and in the net is reduced to this little round thing of 3lb or so.

Milton Abbey Lake ...they're all good Milton Abbey Lake always a result Milton Abbey Lake odd shaped

This is why you should change the scenery when nothing happens.

Lucky Dip from 2016  6th December 2016. Barton's Court. Blanker than a really clean, disinfected and unused white-board in a snowdrift.

Barton's Court Lake This is a reliable spot for a few medium perch. Honest. Barton's Court Lake This is the perch float in the 'said reliable spot. Barton's Court Lake The view that would normally be 'across the lake'. It's a bit foggy. Ideal for perch.
Barton's Court Lake As 'horses go with carriages', 'maggots go with '______'? Barton's Court Lake An inevitable robin with it's built in ''under-active angler and box of fresh maggots detector'' set to maximum sensitivity
Barton's Court LakeI refer the assiduous reader to my entry about blue float-tips a little way up this page. Barton's Court Lake...I found it hanging on a bush... Barton's Court Lake...even two maggots on a '16' never even twitched a float that would have submerged if a fly landed on it. Barton's Court Lakethe day ended as it startted with more fog seeping out from the bay at the rear of the pit

I was, today, glad to have stopped enjoying myself and take a warm bath.

hookJust another fish-hook...(and back to the top of the page) hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook It's a space. Accept it and move on. hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook
hookJust another fish-hook...(and back to the top of the page) hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook It's a space. Accept it and move on. hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook

In Summary


There are 25 diary entries above. This page might 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 can vary. I might fix this later, I might not. 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" ~~ Izaac Walton ~~ 

small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up...(and return to the top of the page) small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and one more time... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...got it?
04:51pm on 2019-11-12 JAA