So what is bagging up? Well it's a term for catching many fish in a sitting, a 'Ton up' is 100lb of fish.
To me 'bagging up' is an anathema. I've simply never been a numbers person, enjoying the going, nature, the fish themselves and solitude have all been part of my journey. But catching a decent number of fish in a sitting is satisfying. It must be like scoring a century in cricket, or a 147 in snooker. Surly catching is why we go, otherwise it wouldn't be called fishing would it? So just to be clear, I don't put fish in any kind of keep-net and I lose count after about a dozen, but I am enjoying catching fish. What I have found creeping in over the last half dozen trips is, I'm looking for the better fish in the lakes. I'll fill you in more as the blog gathers pace, but it's something in me that just cannot be suppressed, it's in my DNA.
Still full of life even on the un-hooking mat.Well the rain is still continuing, and the Trent for me is UN-fish able.Just too brown and high for constant catching, or even a chance. So I'm fishing a nice venue with five lakes all manicured to perfection, set in deep countryside so the drone of everyday life is replaced with birdsong and the occasional scream of a well set reel clutch. My first trip was a steep learning curve, but I quickly came to terms with it and landed three nice carp to 6lb.
The second trip was much more productive in terms of numbers and species, with not only carp, but roach and barbel seeing the inside of my landing net, over a dozen fish in just a few hours. The carp fighting like crazy, with me learning the playing possibilities of my new Daiwa rod on some impressively big carp.
Even Barbel are stocked into many of the still waters! I'm not really sure.
My last trip was to some well known lakes near Grimsby, well in the countryside to be honest, but not far from the conurbation itself. Again just bird song and no road noise, this place was rather busier than my local lakes. I fished a lake called 'Bronze' about an acre and a bit in size, very attractive and like my local lakes you have to congratulate the owners for there foresight and hard work in keeping it so nice. I shared the lake with several other rather loud anglers, that had clearly come together and wanted to tell the others every-time there float dipped or the quiver tip twitched. I'll have to get use to this I know, but it was rather tiresome! All three were catching off and on, so I knew I'd get a few myself.
I set up a small 28 gram method feeder with 2 mm and 4 mm coarse pellet soaked in lake water and Thai fish sauce. At just over a £1 a jar it's much cheaper than buying some additive from a tackle shop, and it works. My new Daiwa Feeder rod was set at 11' with 8lb main line on an also new Shimano feeder reel. This reel is 4000 size but has a wider spool, more 5000 size, Very nice, smooth with a non jerky front drag. Hook-link was a 9lb Preston line I like very much. Normally you would use a lighter hook link, but as I discovered the first time I used the method feeder, if you go lighter you can snap the hook-link on the strike. It's because it's pre-streached and very short, in this case 4''. If you fish a safe feeder and it breaks, the fish cannot tether itself, also the other fail-safe is a barbless hook.
After about an hour I'd only had one fish. Normally on natural lakes this would not bother me, but I knew I should be doing better on this place. Since my arrival I'd been baiting a margin swim to my right, along side some reed-mace and close to some lilies. Just a handful of 8mm pellets every 10 minutes along with a few grains of corn. I didn't know if these fish would spook on corn as many fish do these days, it's used do much. So just a few were introduced for visibility, my hope being they would drop down and see the pellets?
Id arrived at the venue mid-morning and now it was past lunch, so I decided to take lunch and continue fishing after some refreshments. I'd packed some warm Focaccia bread with sun dried tomatoes soaked in Olive oil on top. The oil had soaked into the bread since it came from the oven that morning. With cheese and a fresh apple I sat back to admire the lake itself while I consumed lunch.
Set in the Lincolnshire Wolds the place was beautiful, reed lined with clean fishing platforms set a decent interval apart. It was as if the place had been their a hundred years and totally natural, sadly my trip was marred somewhat by the condition of the carp. I can only say the mouth damage was totally unacceptable, maybe that's something I'll never get use to?
After lunch I switched to a light bomb 1/3 ounce with a 12'' hook-link and a orange 10mm boilie. This turned out to be the answer as clearly the fish had gotten their heads down during the non fishing time I was baiting. Over the next few hours I took several much better fish, including three over 10lb and several smaller fish in the six to eight pound class. All taking the rod off the rest as they headed towards the lilly pads. The new quiver rod perform admirably, it leaves me in no doubt it would cope with much bigger fish.
It's nice to not have to walk too far these days.
Stunning surrounding in many places I'm fishing.