Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Tuesday 24th May - Pleasure session Gloucester Canal Purton

I had been thinking of paying a visit to the Purton section of the Gloucester Canal for a couple of weeks as I had seen reports of some good catches and know from speaking to team mate Lewis Walker that the area around the old Log Ponds is particularly good for bream.
I got some more information from Shaun Bryan at the match on Sunday concerning the exact location and what to use etc. I was told the area is very popular with pleasure anglers and some of the carp boys so set the alarm for 05:30. I actually woke up at 05:24 so straight out of bed and freshened up and was heading out the door at 06:15 stopping in the local garage for a Gingsters and a drink.
I arrived in Purton just after 07:00 and parked where Shaun had told me, right by the second swing bridge (downstream). Access is straight onto the tow path but was not sure how far I had to walk as apparently on match days you can drive along the canal a bit to a parking area. I suppose it was about a 20 minute steady walk before I could see some red marker buoys in the distance indicating were a sunken barge was, i knew by reading up on the area that this sunken barge was in-between the two old Log Ponds so nearly there.
Shaun had recommended fishing by the first pond if I could. I soon got to it and there were no other anglers around. A well worn swim told me that i should fish in that spot and I could see that a bivvy had flatted an area of grass on the other side of the tow path.

I was sat to the right of the first Log Pond, these ponds were used for storing logs off the barges after entering the canal from Sharpness Docks on the Bristol Channel (Severn) before being transported up to Gloucester). There were boards across the front of it stopping boats from entering.
It did look nice with the reeds and the lily pads.

In this photo you can just about see the red marker buoys further down identifying were the sunken barge is.

I had my pole and two feeder rods with me but decided to just set up the one Feeder Rod to see how it  went. I had a pint of caster, almost a half pint of pinkie and red maggot, tin of hemp and about a quarter kilo of worm. I dug out a 2kg bag of fishmeal ground bait from my store at home as Shaun recommended I use this. 

I mixed it up on the bank as I had all day. 

Feeder set up was simple, 6lb main line, 12lb shock leader, 25 gram cage feeder, 0.13 hook length to a forged drennan 16. Plumbing up with the straight lead it was not that deep across so decided to clip up about 12 feet this side of the lilly pads were it dropped off a bit.
I was ready to fish by around 08:20.
I baited up with two half's of a large dendra worm and waited 5 minutes, nothing, so recast, just as i was about to reel in toward the end of the second 5 minutes the tip literally flew round and I connected with something solid and we parted company within seconds. When I reeled in the hook length had been broken. I believe it was a big carp so stepped up to 0.15 hook length and a forged 14 hook. About 15 minutes passed when I got a drop back bite on the tip, I hit it and I knew it was ''bream on''. it put up a strong fight and when it cam to the top I could see it was a big old beast of around 5lbs and deep, deep bronze.
Another good fish followed almost immediately and at around 4lbs. 
There was a nice bit of colour to the water and I could see a couple of brown shallow bars when the sun hit the water in the area i was fishing. It was not weed so not sure what it is. I had a run of perch over the next hour, not bad fish and at about 5 ozs a piece they would be very welcome in a match. 
I was casting about every 10 minutes now as I like to be busy and need to draw fish into the swim. At around 10:30 I had a run of good skimmers averaging about 2lbs followed by a nice hybrid which turned up about 11:30.
From this point I left the worm out a bit longer and my patience was rewarded with more big 'daddy' bream. I had varied the hook bait adding caster, pinkie or maggot to the whole dendra and swapping around seemed to have worked.
I also caught a nice tench (my first one from the Gloucester Canal) and it put up a great scrap, it was around 3lbs.
In the end i had a good last hour before calling it a day at 14:30. I managed to get a cyclist to stop and take a few pictures, they are ok and gives you some idea of the quality of the fish.

My tench

One of 12 bream

Total net full, did not want to spread them out as it was too hot.

So in summary......
12 bream
5 skimmers
1 tench
1 hybrid
8 perch

50lbs to 60lbs in total.

I did not fish hard, it was a pleasure session and I am sure I could have done better if i had really got my head down.

If you want to fish this venue, day tickets can be purchased on the bank at £4.50 if you get approached.
To find the parking at the venue postcode for Sat Nav is GL13 9HU. Please do not drive down the private road, park by the bridge.