Well, I managed to get out, at last, after months and months of not fishing, and while I was tempted to go to The Other Pool, experience whispered that it's not the world's easiest winter water and,as I was looking for a confidence-boosting outcome,
then I should try Clay Farm Pond, where fish can usually be tempted to oblige.
The sight of Clay Farm Pond though, after a long absence, was something of a gross disappointment. Matches have become a regular feature, The pool is surrounded by platforms,
trees have been felled, features tided away and there was litter everywhere.
In 2011, I was proud to invite Snape and St John of the TFF to this quaint little farm pond which was leafy and overgrown. Things have changed, sadly; I wouldn't take anyone
there now; and I only hope things can improve....
Well, I was there and I was there to fish, and so despite the temptation to walk away, I tackled up in my favourite black poplar swim and decided to test out a few ideas, for when I eventually launch my
'campaign' on The Other Pool, at some time in March.
For mainline, I'm resorting again to pure fluorocarbon, not least because it sinks above the sight bob and helps to anchor it in place, even in a chop.
For bait, I'm using something which - as
it's my idea, really, I call "BBC". This is just bread flake wiped in double cream, into which the amino acid betaine has been dissolved. The idea is that three powerful fish-attracting combinations - yeast, milk, amino acid - will limit the need for many
free-offerings which, in a winter situation, is a real bonus. I started with prawns rolled in betaine however - and had not a bite for two hours.
However, at around 11.30am, the sight-bob slid away and I was into a "feral" common, of around 4.5lbs. It's
scale damage and split fins upset me.
Action was slow and after a few more hard-won ferals I switched to "BBC" - and it was almost "a bite a chuck". I ended up with 14 commons to my credit - most showing signs of poor handling. Only one was really pleasing
to look at.
On the positive front, I was using my new Fox predator 30 inch net with the rubberized mesh - a really impressive net, so easy to handle, so kind on fins etc. Fish care is very important to me, and this is why I will not be returning to Clay
Farm Pond in a hurry. Thank goodness matches are not allowed at The Other Pool.
It was also pleasing to get into the swing again of making tricky casts around a semi-sunken tree; playing carp by tree roots etc. It's amazing how quickly the rust drops
Concerning "BBC" - I found it was attractive without any free offerings at all, unlike prawns. As a pseudo-scientific test, I did use just plain flake once or twice and, while I did catch a few ferals on it, the bites took a long time to develop.
It's early days, but I do think I may be on to something here.
Now I'm just looking forward to seeing The Other Pool again where, I can only pray, I will not be disappointed by change.