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monkey_climber last won the day on May 28 2021

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  1. I agree. I'd leave them to it for now. My regular lake closed on Sunday and will probably be shut for another week or so. The amount of pressure the fish see nowadays, it's good to give them a break in my opinion even if it is only for a week or two. Part of me would like to see a modified closed season re-introduced (obviously with a more modern approach to length/timing) as I think it benefits both the fish and the fishing. I don't know about you but just after the first lockdown last year, it was like clubbing season for the first few weeks.
  2. The rods I use most are probably a pair of Chub Outkast 9ft Stalkers in 2.5lb TC (Although I would love one of those Sharpe's Scotties ). Considering they were £30 a pop, they are miles ahead of the scope in terms of build and finish even if the fittings are of a lower spec. Ah well, if the scope turns out to be rubbish, I can always grow the runner beans up it in the garden à la Mr. Yates.
  3. Picked up one of the Nash Scope Snide rods for next to nothing (6ft 2lb TC). It will make an ideal rod for the boot of the car when we go on holiday and balances really nicely with my tourney SS750. I have to say though, if I had paid RRP I would be sorely disappointed as the build quality and finish is nowhere near what I would expect for a rod in that price range. Hopefully it performs well as the scope range seem to be well regarded by many.
  4. Well, I had just managed to get my gear dry and put away from Wednesday night's session when I got a text from a mate asking if I fancied a social as the sun was out. After obtaining permission from the relevant authorities (a.k.a the wife) I swung by the off license after finishing work for a couple of cold cans and made the short journey to the lake. On arrival, it was busy with another 6 anglers on plus the two of us. This is a fairly small (and sometimes tricky) lake so we didn't have too many options in terms of swims but after a little look about, we both decided to fish behind one of the islands directly across from the lazy pegs where a couple of regulars were bivvied up already. The swims we had chosen are rarely fished as they are a bit of a jungle and getting a barrow round there, especially with all the rain we have had recently is a bit of a nightmare. Nevertheless, we made our way around and I sat and watched the water for a few minutes to come up with a plan. Before I had readied a rod, the two anglers across from us, came out from their bivvies in tandem and proceeded to absolutely fill it in. Scoop after scoop of pellet went in and I stopped counting after 40 scoops. Fortunately for us, there was a large bed of lily pads between us and them so with the hope that the commotion may push the fish away from them, I quickly got a rod ready with a single Scopex and Peach popup and with an underarm flick, dropped it tight to my side of the lilies. With one rod out, I set up camp and doused on the jungle formula as the mozzies were out in force before readying the other rod with another multi rig and Scopex and Peach. For this rod, I decided to have a feel around with the lead tight to my own margin, a few feet off to the right of my swim. After finding a nice glassy spot with a fairly soft donk of the lead, I 'Pacman' baited a row of chops and chickpeas below my feet and for a few meters further down the bank to my right where a channel between the bank and the island narrows right down to around 6ft wide before it opens out into the main body of the lake. A perfect ambush point, I thought. I had just set the trap on the second rod when the first rod ripped off and after coaxing the fish away from the pads, it came to the net with very little fuss. As I looked down into the mesh, I saw a recognisable stockie. In fact, it was the same fish that I caught a couple of weeks ago (you can see the picture in the first post of this thread). It must really have a liking to those little pop ups and who could blame it? I unhooked it in the net and let it go quickly before cracking a nice cold beer and getting some food on the go. It was a muggy night and I didn't sleep well but managed to finally zonk out at around 3am before being rudely awoken at just after 5am by a one toner on the margin rod, I leaped from the bedchair struggling to get my boots on and rather than wasting time unzipping the mozzie mesh on my Lo Pro, I went straight through it, pulling it off the brolly in the process. The rod was bent double and by the time I was on it, it had already cleaned out my other rod. Fighting to open my eyes, the fish went wild and put up one hell of a scrap, flat rodding me a couple of times before I eventually managed to net it. Once on the mat, I realised this was another fish that I recognised having caught it off the top a couple of years previous. When I had it last time, it had some serious tail damage but it seems to have recovered quite well. So, with a visit to the scales which read 17lb and a quick photo, I slipped it back leaving just enough time for a brew before I had to hit the road.
  5. @yonny Yeah, it is one of the downsides of fishing midweek but it's either that or endure the circus of weekend fishing. I have been spoiled in that I've barely had to work for the past couple of years so have done loads of fishing and the banks have been quiet for the most part (minus the post lockdown surge). The downside is that I now feel like I'm missing the best part of the day driving home to be in work for 9am.
  6. After weeks of incessant rain, there came a break in the weather and with little time to waste before the banks became busy for the bank holiday weekend, I set out once again for quick overnight trip. The session began in the usual manner, with me walking the lake for a couple of hours trying to find some fish and lightly baiting a few marginal spots. There was only one other angler on the lake so I had plenty of options in terms of swims and after chatting with him briefly, he told me that fish had been crashing in a side channel. I know that channel is 2ft deep in most places and covered with blanket weed so decided to leave them to it. After a good few hours walking and not a lot to go on, I decided to set up in a swim called 'Pads' which has plenty of water to go at and would allow me to set some traps in case the fish left the channel during the night. The left hand rod went out 14 wraps fairly tight to the far margin and just off where the channel joins the main body of the lake. The right hander went 8 wraps out and to my right where a large bed of lily pads was beginning to bloom. Both rods were baited with my favoured 11mm Scopex and Peach Proper Jobs on multi rigs and only the right hand rod had any loose feed in the shape of a dozen 15 and 18 millers spread over the top with the catty. Just on dusk, the left hand rod pulled up tight before dropping back a little, when it pulled up tight again and the line pinged out of the clip, I looked out to the spot where I saw a big swirl erupt and a set of rings began pulsating across the flat surface. I picked up the rod and wound down and upon making contact with the fish, it came round on an arc towards my right hand rod and the pads. Fortunately, I managed to steer it away from the other rod after a bit of 'knit one perl one' with the rods and after a good scrap, the fish began to tire. I managed to net it at the second attempt after it had one last burst, swimming over the net cord at my first attempt. Looking down into the net, I was convinced it was a 20 although the scales do not lie (well, not mine anyway ;)) and it went 19lb 4oz. Needless to say, I went to bed very happy with a big, full moon on display right out in front of the brolly. The rest of the night passed uneventfully and unfortunately, I had to be home for work but packing up on a glorious sunny morning was made a little sweeter by having not blanked. It's just a shame that I had to be at work for 9am as this lake fishes really well from 8am-10am and I had just had a couple of liners on the right hander when time finally ran out. Ah well, theres always next week.
  7. I suppose you could fish it without a lead but I'm not really sure why you would bother. Is there a specific reason you would want to fish it without the lead? With a lot less faffing around, you could hook on (or thread on) a mesh bag and get a similar presentation and I have in the past used mesh bags while freelining to get some extra distance. However, if I was fishing it at any sort of range, I would be concerned that the hook would pull free from a solid bag on a big chuck as (in my mind) the lead offers some resistance against the weight of the bag. Another thing to consider is that the lead plays multiple roles in our fishing. Yes, it gives us some casting weight but as many of us fish bolt rigs, the lead also acts to prick the fish when the hook is tightened against its weight. Finally, and probably most overlooked is the fact that the lead ensures our rig stays pinned to the deck against any flow or undertow. Without the weight of the lead to keep your rig in place, your presentation would be ruined before long if there was any kind of undertow, but having said that, a PVA bag probably isn't the one in those kinds of conditions anyway.
  8. Well, it was another work overnighter for me this week. Arriving at the lake the entire surface was covered in fluff and a slight ripple was coming in on a South Westerly breeze. It was warm and the sun was out. Perfect conditions for a floater really but alas, I needed to get sorted for the night ahead as the light was soon to be fading. As always, I began with a couple of laps, baiting up a few spots in the edge with a mix of boilie crumb, pellet and corn. I settled into a swim at the eastern end of the lake and got the rods sorted before cracking on with the important business of preparing Fajitas and a brew. Shortly after dark, I had a few bleeps before the bobbin dropped back. I assumed this was a liner at first but as time went on, I started to think I may have been done. As it was quite an enclosed swim with a tricky cast, I decided not to redo the rod and left it in place until morning. Not much happened for the rest of the night but I was awoken just before first light to a twitchy, Bream like take on the same rod which when I wound down into nothing, confirmed my suspicions. Looking at the rig, the hair was tangled which further confirmed the idea that I had been done the night before as I had cast it out with a mesh bag threaded on. Waiting for the kettle to boil, I looked around and conditions were very different. A cold overcast morning with a gusty north westerly. Not much was showing and with only one rod now in play, I decided to do what I love best and get mobile. Before long, I had found a couple of fish in a bay just off the wind. A small handful of bait went in which pushed them off the spot long enough for me to get a rig in the water. I couldn't quite see the bottom so opted for a short, low multi rig baited with an orange 11mm Scopex, Peach and N-Butyric Proper Job pop up (they smell good enough to eat) and sat back in anticipation. A few spots of rain had just began to hit the water when the rod arced round and it was nearly in the lake when I managed to grab the butt. The fish gave me the run around kicking up huge patches of fizz as it aimed for a snag just to my right but before long, it was safely netted and resting while I prepared the mat and camera. Again, not one of the lake's larger residents but two fish from two sessions on what can be a tricky little venue made packing up in a torrential downpour a little more bearable.
  9. I don't really get chance to do long sessions any more with most being work overnighters and the odd 24/48hr session further afield a few times per year. I use an ESP LoPro year round without a front on it (mozzy mesh gets used sparingly in the summer). I think it depends on the person though. I'm ex army and fish lightweight/mobile so sleeping on a bedchair under a brolly is absolute luxury to me whereas some people might like their home comforts. Couldn't agree more with some posters above though about having something quick and easy to put up and take down no matter the length of the session.
  10. Not sure about telephone number but they have a facebook group and I think (from memory) it is a chap called Jon Livermore that you will need to speak to. I'm a bit out of the loop with the place at the minute but believe it is under new ownership in the last couple of years so my information may be somewhat out of date.
  11. Nice one! Looks like the pink goo is doing the trick 😂
  12. I hope you get one mate. I'm going again tonight for a quick overnighter so hopefully I can turn up for work tomorrow tired and stinking of carp!
  13. A late start for me this year after the winter lockdown and starting a new job in March. Hard to believe it is May before I have had the chance to get the rods out! I had the lake to myself and so, I perched up in a corner swim with a South Westerly rippling in. It was mild and drizzly and looked ripe for a bite after a few shows in the area but alas, the weather changed during the night and the bobbins remained motionless. Brew in hand, I watched the water intently as the morning broke and there seemed to be some activity a little further up the lake. Half an hour of watching gave me all the signs I needed and the rods were soon wound in, a fresh rig tied and with just a rod, net, mat and a pocket full of bait, I made my way around to the other side of the lake. Creeping up to the margins, the morning sun warmed my back and I gently lowered my rig onto the spot a few feet from the bank between two overhanging bushes. The lead went down with a crack and once I was happy my rig was presented, I sat well back and waited. I didn't need to wait long as less than 10 minutes later, the rod tip jerked, and then again before the clutch ripped off just as I was grabbing the rod. After a short but powerful battle, I netted my first fish of the year and while it was one of the lake's smaller residents, it was a pristine spring fish made all the more special by catching it in my favourite way. A great (if a little late) start to the year.
  14. Like Framey says, if money was no object there are plenty to choose from. To add to his list, you have the Daiwa SS2600, Nash Scope GTs and probably a whole host more. Personally, I went for the Wychwood Extricator 5000FDs. Had them a couple of years now and absolutely love them. They are so nice in fact that a mate of mine has bought himself a set after coveting them all last year.
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