Late March, early April is a funny time of year in my opinion. Nothing seems to be in season. The perch are fit to bursting as they get ready to spawn, there’s no real hatches on the rivers so dry fly fishing for Trout is a bit hit and miss, more of a miss really and the stillwaters are still in a slumber as they wait for the Spring sunshine to warm their depths. I could go stockie bashing for Trout although the thought of stripping bag something bright and flashy doesn’t appeal. Much better to wait a few weeks until the hawthorns are about and the fish start to look upwards in search of their next meal.
My decision to fish the coarse lake at Press Manor yesterday was more of a spur of the moment thing. I had some prawns in the freezer that I needed to use and I still had some worms from my last trip that I had to get rid of while they still had a bit of life left in them. The plan was to fish until all the bait was gone. I didn’t have a target species in mind, I just wanted to get a few bites after spending most weekends on the rivers during winter where bites are few and far between.
I arrived at first light, which is getting harder now that Spring is here and the morning are getting lighter, and setup down the right hand bank. Not surprisingly I was the first one there. The plan was to start with just the one rod as I was expecting bites from the off.
I put a longish cast out with mashed prawns in the feeder upto one of the floating rafts and before i’d had chance to sort my stuff out the tip pulled straight round and I was into what felt like a half decent fish. At first I thought it was a bream and was pleasantly surprised to see a decent perch pop up. At 2.2 it was a great start and I was hoping more would be on the cards. I recast to the same spot but thankfully this time I managed to get my house in order before the next bite came along. In fact several bites came along but I managed to miss them all.
The fish at press manor respond very well to prawns and skimmer bream in particular seem very partial to them along with Roach. I tend to fish mine whole on a largish hook as I am only interested in catching reasonable sized fish but for those who want to catch in large numbers it’s worth breaking a prawn into a third and fishing a small bit on the hook. At one of my club waters last year I had unbelievable sport with tench when using the smallest bit of prawn. Anyway back to the fishing……
After a couple of hours the fishing died off so I setup another rod on worm and fished just past the marginal shelf. It’s amazing how fishing in a different area can bring instant rewards as I started to get really positive bites that turned out to be roach. I then succeeded in catching a procession of skimmers on both rods which made the fish count a bit more respectable.
As the day wore on the sun started to make an appearance which in turn brought the carp up onto the surface. How I wished i had got a bag of dog biscuits and the suitable tackle as the water was alive with them. There must have been a shoal of 50 fish at one point. No monsters but I would have been happy catching 3 or 4 of them. As nice as it was to see the sun it really killed off any sport I was getting. The brightness along with the clear cold water had a negative effect on my target fish. The afternoon was a real struggle as I failed to get very few bites and the ones I did get were mostly missed.
It goes to show that it’s still early in the year for the fishing to be consistent. The water temperature was still very cold at 8 degrees Celsius and the fish weren’t really having it and who could blame them. I’m sure if you headed to a commercial you could do better but those places aren’t for me. Give it another month and i’m sure things will look a whole lot rosier.