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A Blank but what was learnt 😱


elmoputney
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Hi guys I thought I might start a thread for the blankers, 

I always think it's important to learn from your failures so here goes, 

Fish were still active so I assumed they might still like some bait 😁I didn't give them loads but in hindsight too much 😱either that or they weren't visiting my spots on the other side of the pads (should've continued pre baiting but life got in the way) 

Chicken Pad Thai is a nice easy meal to cook 

Should've prepared better no cutlery, 

Casting the new rods at the end I whipped the rig off and learnt about fast hands when casting, I tried chucking some around 90 odd yards to see how it went and thinking fast hands and focusing on that seemed to help, it got me hitting the clip  consistently anyway, 

Was it a waste of time nah I flipping loved it being out again 😁

 

 

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At the moment I'm regularly blanking, but so are all the other anglers. 

One thing I don't or didn't have until recently is the ability to prebait before trips, although now landing a job 5miles away from the lake... 

Just to get time to fish now is the hope, as Assistant Manager of the hotel is always on call... 

I try to analyse every trip, learning from every session, although on a hard lake when no-one is catching is difficult. 

I think my biggest failure is finding fishable weedy spots or weed free spots that the fish will visit. Some weed free ones they avoid, especially when they have been caught on them before or the natural food is gone. 

 

My usual answer is always 'must try harder'. 

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5 hours ago, elmoputney said:

Hi guys I thought I might start a thread for the blankers, 

I always think it's important to learn from your failures so here goes, 

Fish were still active so I assumed they might still like some bait 😁I didn't give them loads but in hindsight too much 😱either that or they weren't visiting my spots on the other side of the pads (should've continued pre baiting but life got in the way) 

Chicken Pad Thai is a nice easy meal to cook 

Should've prepared better no cutlery, 

Casting the new rods at the end I whipped the rig off and learnt about fast hands when casting, I tried chucking some around 90 odd yards to see how it went and thinking fast hands and focusing on that seemed to help, it got me hitting the clip  consistently anyway, 

Was it a waste of time nah I flipping loved it being out again 😁

 

 

Take some maggots next time. A few pints of reds will have them, especially if you're seeing fizzing up. If you see fish showing but no fizzing then chances are they're up in the water column and zigs may well do you a bite. 

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21 minutes ago, emmcee said:

Take some maggots next time. A few pints of reds will have them, especially if you're seeing fizzing up. If you see fish showing but no fizzing then chances are they're up in the water column and zigs may well do you a bite. 

They were showing about 20-30yds away over the other side of the pads, saw some right old dolphin leaps, normally that is all you need to see and on a good day they come to visit but I guess they were happy out of range in the safe zone today, not sure about maggots there are so many rudd in there I think it may prove tricky, although I think zigs are a good idea and something I need t on work on a bit 

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3 hours ago, salokcinnodrog said:

At the moment I'm regularly blanking, but so are all the other anglers. 

One thing I don't or didn't have until recently is the ability to prebait before trips, although now landing a job 5miles away from the lake... 

Just to get time to fish now is the hope, as Assistant Manager of the hotel is always on call... 

I try to analyse every trip, learning from every session, although on a hard lake when no-one is catching is difficult. 

I think my biggest failure is finding fishable weedy spots or weed free spots that the fish will visit. Some weed free ones they avoid, especially when they have been caught on them before or the natural food is gone. 

 

My usual answer is always 'must try harder'. 

I think pre baiting is always a good thing to do when you can, whenever I've done well its usually due to that, it certainly helps tips things in your favour so it's a good thing you can now do it again 👍,

have you thought about raking your own spots, it's something I've done a few times now and caught from rake, pre bait, feel great that's the mantra to live by 😁

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18 hours ago, elmoputney said:

I think pre baiting is always a good thing to do when you can, whenever I've done well its usually due to that, it certainly helps tips things in your favour so it's a good thing you can now do it again 👍,

have you thought about raking your own spots, it's something I've done a few times now and caught from rake, pre bait, feel great that's the mantra to live by 😁

Definitely tried raking spots, and unless it is over natural food, the fish avoid them. I spent a lot of spring and this summer on a couple of spots that I had cleared myself. 

If you bait on your raked spot, nothing. You have to find fish cleared spots with natural food on  that they are happy to come to. 

Made slightly more difficult by not being able to use a boat, every weed clearing session is in chesties or from the bank. 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, salokcinnodrog said:

Definitely tried raking spots, and unless it is over natural food, the fish avoid them. I spent a lot of spring and this summer on a couple of spots that I had cleared myself. 

If you bait on your raked spot, nothing. You have to find fish cleared spots with natural food on  that they are happy to come to. 

Made slightly more difficult by not being able to use a boat, every weed clearing session is in chesties or from the bank. 

 

 

What other species are in there? I've turned some rancid old smelly silt spots Into spots I can get a bite from this year, maybe now you can bait regularly it will help,

What are you putting on the spot? 

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1 hour ago, elmoputney said:

What other species are in there? I've turned some rancid old smelly silt spots Into spots I can get a bite from this year, maybe now you can bait regularly it will help,

What are you putting on the spot? 

Other species, tench, perch, pike (which can be a nuisance) and maybe some roach, and old bream. 

Boilies, pellet, maize have been going onto spots. 

I did find a couple of spots in one swim that were fishable and rich in bloodworm and baited them up for a few weeks. I caught off them, then another angler fished on there, and had a fish, and didn't put any bait in. The fish moved off and won't feed there now. 

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37 minutes ago, salokcinnodrog said:

Other species, tench, perch, pike (which can be a nuisance) and maybe some roach, and old bream. 

Boilies, pellet, maize have been going onto spots. 

I did find a couple of spots in one swim that were fishable and rich in bloodworm and baited them up for a few weeks. I caught off them, then another angler fished on there, and had a fish, and didn't put any bait in. The fish moved off and won't feed there now. 

The pike on Earith are idiots these days, seems like there is loads of them but yet still loads of rudd so they aren't even good pike 😁

Maybe try using crushed pellet and boilies and lots of liquid and maybe some salt, things that will sink into the silt and make them want to dig it out  👍

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Had a 48 hr trip to Oxlease on the linear complex over a week ago, had the disabled swim booked for the my mate and I. We had a nice chat with Ian the head bailiff and he gave us the bad news that only a couple of fish had come out over the three days before we got there, fish for a bite was the advice. So I got all the gear out for us made a fresh cooked cup of proper coffee and had a walk around the lake it looked stunning with the autumn trees that were just about to drop there leaf’s. So the lake looked dead 🙄 I found a firm clay area and 2 pva pags full with maggots and liquids want out, not a sniff was had by us, even tried the feeder feeder rod… so what did I learn from the blank, remember to take the spinners for the pike rod 🙄

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Just got back from a 24 hour blank. It was warm enough during the day but my mat was frozen in the morning. The lake did seem dead, I only saw 2 fish roll in all that time. At 1p.m. the bloke opposite had a run and his mate in the next swim was about to net it when he had a take. My mate who was 100 yards away 'phoned me to tell me he'd just caught one. As far as I could tell, that was it for the whole lake. I did have one aborted pull at 5a.m but that was it. Apparently the previous week they had a match on and only 6 fish were caught out of 17 swims.

You can only conclude that there was a (very) short window in which they fed. 

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  • 4 months later...

Well I thought I'd bring this back up as the blanks and learning from them paid off a couple of weeks ago, but bit back this week.

 

The fish are finally starting to move, and a number of the males have moved into the shallower water.

Now to find the bigger females.

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12 hours ago, salokcinnodrog said:

Well I thought I'd bring this back up as the blanks and learning from them paid off a couple of weeks ago, but bit back this week.

 

The fish are finally starting to move, and a number of the males have moved into the shallower water.

Now to find the bigger females.

Ok Nick humour me .

 

how can you tell the difference ?

Especially at range.

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1 hour ago, newmarket said:

Ok Nick humour me .

 

how can you tell the difference ?

Especially at range.

Some of the fish caught the past week have been dripping milt and have all been caught near where they spawned last year. I believe males get ready earlier than 'the ladies'.

 

We know the bigger fish in the lake are female.

 

14 hours ago, framey said:

Start at the other end lol

They aren't up the other end at the moment.

Plenty of walking Sky around when I'm there, and I've not seen a fish.

 

Casting at the showing fish and they move away.

If you can sneak a bait out quietly you stand more chance of catching.

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22 hours ago, salokcinnodrog said:

Some of the fish caught the past week have been dripping milt and have all been caught near where they spawned last year. I believe males get ready earlier than 'the ladies'.

 

We know the bigger fish in the lake are female.

 

They aren't up the other end at the moment.

Plenty of walking Sky around when I'm there, and I've not seen a fish.

 

Casting at the showing fish and they move away.

If you can sneak a bait out quietly you stand more chance of catching.

So unless they’re leaking you can’t reallly tell then 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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Most bigger cyprinids are female. Think Mary, Heather the Leather, Sally the Common. I've watched barbel spawning in shallow water and typically you get the big girl in the middle and the smaller males are positioned around her and are rubbing her flanks encouraging her to release the eggs. At spawning time, female fish also develop a "peashooter" that looks like it might belong on a male where the eggs are released from whereas the males milt opening looks like a little girls part!

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3 night blank on Swan Lake last week - Weds to Sat - arrived at about 10am

Was at the right end (back of the wind - wide end) and in a swim that had done fish off the surface days before so felt super confident.

Whilst setting up the fish were in front of me right up in the water, felt quite warm and sunny.  Didn't bring floater rod (utter noddy) so 2 on adjustable zigs - different depths different colours - no takes, lots of adjustments.

1st night I moved the 2 adjustables right out into the middle following the shows and brought the depths down as the temp dropped.  The 3rd rod was a bottom presentation - a lightly baited trap to the left of the swim which is nearest to the shallower water - causeway bank but still in 15 feet. 

I also baited the middle rod with the mindset that I may change to a bottom presentation at some point if it looked on.

11pm a take on the middle rod (zig) - bend into a fish and seconds later it's off - I reel in another zig - so it was a trailer - got the heart going.

2nd morning - it looked as though I had a fish on both baited patches - though it's hard to tell exactly at distance, but I felt confident all the same.  Lad next to me (left) in the causeway swim had a 20 common (only fish out) from his right rod at 08:45 off the bottom - which would be his deepest rod - so that gave me more confidence for my left rod.  I gave it right until about 2pm before the rods came in and I walked the dog, had lunch etc.

2nd evening the middle rod was changed to the bottom with a different presentation and both spots were topped up a little.  Right rod still on the adjustable but lower overnight than the night before as it had been cold all day, I'd seen much less activity but still felt that I was at the right end of the lake and in a good swim - although it was now freezing.

3rd morning- no activity on the spots its freezing cold all day, lad to my left has a mid 30 common on his left rod at about 9:30 whilst packing up - his shallowest rod by far from a reed bed along the causeway.  This now puts me in a panic for the last night, I've got nothing shallower than 15 feet and feel like I won't catch off the bottom - furthermore they don't seem interested in any depth or colour of zig.

I decide to stay put for the last night - knowing it looks like a blank, reel in and walk the dog mid afternoon.

Passing an empty swim on the causeway of Sandmartin Lake I go for a look, it's absolutely freezing facing the wind, just wanted to see the swim.  To my amazement I see about 15 shows about 20 yards out in front of me in this empty swim - doing the total opposite to the Swan lake fish!!!  I watch for a while - some nice low 20's - dark looking cracking fish.  But then just as I'm about to leave I spot a huge common roll in the margin to my left - is it the 50? The swim to my left has been closed and I stand in there and there is a lovely looking clear strip in the margin just 8 yards from where I saw the common.

So now I'm running back to get a bucket 🤣 so much for staying up.

The last night was spent on Sandmartin - a margin rod left and right and the adjustable 20 yards out - sadly I don't think the fish came back and when a new arrival started crashing leads into my water that spelt the end of the session and time for home.  Last trip till winter onto pastures new - can't wait.

What have I learnt:

  1. Floater rod from March onwards just in case you hit a freak warn spell
  2. Going from a week of warm to a week of freezing it has taken 5-6 days for the fish to adjust and start feeding again - the main targets have both just been out in the 50lb bracket the following week, so I was days out with the timing of the session again.  So hard when you just have to book weeks in advance and hope.  So the more settled the weather the better in April it seems.
  3. Hate April

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, kevtaylor said:

3 night blank on Swan Lake last week - Weds to Sat - arrived at about 10am

Was at the right end (back of the wind - wide end) and in a swim that had done fish off the surface days before so felt super confident.

Whilst setting up the fish were in front of me right up in the water, felt quite warm and sunny.  Didn't bring floater rod (utter noddy) so 2 on adjustable zigs - different depths different colours - no takes, lots of adjustments.

1st night I moved the 2 adjustables right out into the middle following the shows and brought the depths down as the temp dropped.  The 3rd rod was a bottom presentation - a lightly baited trap to the left of the swim which is nearest to the shallower water - causeway bank but still in 15 feet. 

I also baited the middle rod with the mindset that I may change to a bottom presentation at some point if it looked on.

11pm a take on the middle rod (zig) - bend into a fish and seconds later it's off - I reel in another zig - so it was a trailer - got the heart going.

2nd morning - it looked as though I had a fish on both baited patches - though it's hard to tell exactly at distance, but I felt confident all the same.  Lad next to me (left) in the causeway swim had a 20 common (only fish out) from his right rod at 08:45 off the bottom - which would be his deepest rod - so that gave me more confidence for my left rod.  I gave it right until about 2pm before the rods came in and I walked the dog, had lunch etc.

2nd evening the middle rod was changed to the bottom with a different presentation and both spots were topped up a little.  Right rod still on the adjustable but lower overnight than the night before as it had been cold all day, I'd seen much less activity but still felt that I was at the right end of the lake and in a good swim - although it was now freezing.

3rd morning- no activity on the spots its freezing cold all day, lad to my left has a mid 30 common on his left rod at about 9:30 whilst packing up - his shallowest rod by far from a reed bed along the causeway.  This now puts me in a panic for the last night, I've got nothing shallower than 15 feet and feel like I won't catch off the bottom - furthermore they don't seem interested in any depth or colour of zig.

I decide to stay put for the last night - knowing it looks like a blank, reel in and walk the dog mid afternoon.

Passing an empty swim on the causeway of Sandmartin Lake I go for a look, it's absolutely freezing facing the wind, just wanted to see the swim.  To my amazement I see about 15 shows about 20 yards out in front of me in this empty swim - doing the total opposite to the Swan lake fish!!!  I watch for a while - some nice low 20's - dark looking cracking fish.  But then just as I'm about to leave I spot a huge common roll in the margin to my left - is it the 50? The swim to my left has been closed and I stand in there and there is a lovely looking clear strip in the margin just 8 yards from where I saw the common.

So now I'm running back to get a bucket 🤣 so much for staying up.

The last night was spent on Sandmartin - a margin rod left and right and the adjustable 20 yards out - sadly I don't think the fish came back and when a new arrival started crashing leads into my water that spelt the end of the session and time for home.  Last trip till winter onto pastures new - can't wait.

What have I learnt:

  1. Floater rod from March onwards just in case you hit a freak warn spell
  2. Going from a week of warm to a week of freezing it has taken 5-6 days for the fish to adjust and start feeding again - the main targets have both just been out in the 50lb bracket the following week, so I was days out with the timing of the session again.  So hard when you just have to book weeks in advance and hope.  So the more settled the weather the better in April it seems.
  3. Hate April

 

 

 

Totally agree this warm then cold weather has definitely made catching much harder.

After my common I haven't seen another fish in the area, they just seem to be picking up the occasional bait, not feeding properly.

 

A few fish have been out though, one of the 2019 20lb stock fish has made 30lb, and some of the 2021 December stock fish have come out at least 2lb heavier than stocked.

 

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7 hours ago, kevtaylor said:

3 night blank on Swan Lake last week - Weds to Sat - arrived at about 10am

Was at the right end (back of the wind - wide end) and in a swim that had done fish off the surface days before so felt super confident.

Whilst setting up the fish were in front of me right up in the water, felt quite warm and sunny.  Didn't bring floater rod (utter noddy) so 2 on adjustable zigs - different depths different colours - no takes, lots of adjustments.

1st night I moved the 2 adjustables right out into the middle following the shows and brought the depths down as the temp dropped.  The 3rd rod was a bottom presentation - a lightly baited trap to the left of the swim which is nearest to the shallower water - causeway bank but still in 15 feet. 

I also baited the middle rod with the mindset that I may change to a bottom presentation at some point if it looked on.

11pm a take on the middle rod (zig) - bend into a fish and seconds later it's off - I reel in another zig - so it was a trailer - got the heart going.

2nd morning - it looked as though I had a fish on both baited patches - though it's hard to tell exactly at distance, but I felt confident all the same.  Lad next to me (left) in the causeway swim had a 20 common (only fish out) from his right rod at 08:45 off the bottom - which would be his deepest rod - so that gave me more confidence for my left rod.  I gave it right until about 2pm before the rods came in and I walked the dog, had lunch etc.

2nd evening the middle rod was changed to the bottom with a different presentation and both spots were topped up a little.  Right rod still on the adjustable but lower overnight than the night before as it had been cold all day, I'd seen much less activity but still felt that I was at the right end of the lake and in a good swim - although it was now freezing.

3rd morning- no activity on the spots its freezing cold all day, lad to my left has a mid 30 common on his left rod at about 9:30 whilst packing up - his shallowest rod by far from a reed bed along the causeway.  This now puts me in a panic for the last night, I've got nothing shallower than 15 feet and feel like I won't catch off the bottom - furthermore they don't seem interested in any depth or colour of zig.

I decide to stay put for the last night - knowing it looks like a blank, reel in and walk the dog mid afternoon.

Passing an empty swim on the causeway of Sandmartin Lake I go for a look, it's absolutely freezing facing the wind, just wanted to see the swim.  To my amazement I see about 15 shows about 20 yards out in front of me in this empty swim - doing the total opposite to the Swan lake fish!!!  I watch for a while - some nice low 20's - dark looking cracking fish.  But then just as I'm about to leave I spot a huge common roll in the margin to my left - is it the 50? The swim to my left has been closed and I stand in there and there is a lovely looking clear strip in the margin just 8 yards from where I saw the common.

So now I'm running back to get a bucket 🤣 so much for staying up.

The last night was spent on Sandmartin - a margin rod left and right and the adjustable 20 yards out - sadly I don't think the fish came back and when a new arrival started crashing leads into my water that spelt the end of the session and time for home.  Last trip till winter onto pastures new - can't wait.

What have I learnt:

  1. Floater rod from March onwards just in case you hit a freak warn spell
  2. Going from a week of warm to a week of freezing it has taken 5-6 days for the fish to adjust and start feeding again - the main targets have both just been out in the 50lb bracket the following week, so I was days out with the timing of the session again.  So hard when you just have to book weeks in advance and hope.  So the more settled the weather the better in April it seems.
  3. Hate April

 

 

 

Good write up that 👍 

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