I’m involved with a group called Hampstead and Highgate Angling Society which is working to preserve access for anglers on Hampstead Heath. There is some great fishing on the Heath but recently some areas you used to be able to fish have been closed off.
We’re offering tuition to local schools and these sessions have proved very popular. The first one got under way on the Boating Pond at Highgate in heavy rain, but this was no deterrent to the children:
Everyone caught plenty of fish and enjoyed themselves:
After a while the rain stopped as the youngsters carried on learning new skills and enjoying the fresh air and peaceful surroundings:
A couple of weeks later we ran another session. It was quite
hard going with fewer fish biting. Catch of the day was a large perch – by a young
girl trying fishing for the first time:
This boy was equally happy catching small rudd:
Let’s hope we can preserve this brilliant London angling
venue for the next generation of anglers.
For more details about Hampstead and Highgate Angling Society, please contact chairman Bob Gibbs – email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 07946-630045
A rather grey and rainy day found me exploring a small pond
at Rib Valley for the first time. I took a waggler rod and maggots to test the
small fish potential, plus a heavier outfit in case of carp.
The pond has a fringe of reeds along the far side:
Also some beds of lilies:
The maggot rod close to the lilies got off to a flying start
with a constant stream of fairly small but brightly coloured rudd:
I catapulted a few bits of bread out to float on the surface, hoping that this might attract the larger rudd. Some landed amongst the reeds, where after twenty minutes or so, gentle movements at the surface indicated that something was taking an interest. Watching more carefully, I could see a carp bumping and sucking at the bread. Occasionally it would gently take a piece, but it was cautious – never venturing out from the reeds – and it seemed reluctant to break the surface.
On my heavier rod I rigged up another float rig which would
allow me to present bread either floating at the surface or sinking slowly.
After a few attempts I landed it right amongst the reeds, with my bait floating
in a small gap. The surface rocked gently as the carp approached, then there
was a subtle swirl as it took the bait, the rod already bending as I picked it
up. Only about 3 pounds, but I was glad of it:
After that I went back to the maggot rod, throwing in some maggots
and a few grains of sweetcorn with each cast to try and attract some larger
fish. This seemed to work as the rudd were getting bigger, especially when I
used a piece of corn as bait:
Sweetcorn also produced a couple more small carp:
It had been an enjoyable and interesting few hours.
It was pretty windy on a recent visit to Westmill Lake and I
was initially plagued by floating catkins that were being pushed here and there
by the breeze:
These catkins were either preventing the bait sinking or
catching on the line when I reeled in. Sometimes they would disappear for a
while, only to come drifting back again. Despite managing a few roach and perch
I quickly ran out of patience with the floating menace and decided on a move.
Walking round the lake, there were some signs of spring,
despite the rather cold conditions. Hawthorn coming in to leaf:
On the other side of the lake the wind was blowing right to left, sweeping any catkins away. A cross wind often renders waggler fishing futile by dragging the float sideways, but somehow I managed a half-decent presentation. A run of roach kept me busy for a while:
Then I caught a colourful rudd:
With the breeze pushing into my end of the lake it seemed
likely bream would be around, so I rigged up a groundbait swimfeeder with a small
worm for bait. It was a matter of watching the rod tip for bites:
Probably an hour later there was a deliberate pull on the
rod tip. Chucking down my float rod (which I had been keeping busy with in the
meantime), I grabbed the feeder rod and struck. Something on the other end put
up a solid, plodding resistance with an occasional flash of bronze underwater.
Later on a perch picked up the worm:
In the late afternoon, some rain squalls came through and
the temperature dropped sharply. Perhaps as a result of this, the fish seemed
to switch off completely, with no more bites on either method. Time to head
home for a cup of tea.