Sensas Nomads Captain Mike Martin-Davies is also retired goes out quite a bit during the week so we both decided on a pleasure session and arranged to meet up on Tuesday 5th with a view to fishing the famous bend at Hempstead. A nice leisurely start meeting up at 10:20 and a slow walk down to the bend from the swing bridge.
As we reached the bend I could see a Diawa Gordon League angler on 47 and it was non other than Alan Jones. Alan hadn't long started but was getting a few liners. I settled in on 48 and Mike 49.
I only brought 2 feeder rods and with ground bait already mixed it did not take long to get started. Alan had a few bream while we were setting up.
I looked where Alan was casting to and decided on a fair old chuck, about 40 metres with an old piece of tin as my marker.
Started off on a wide gap 16 to 0.11, 25 gram cage feeder and green fishmeal ground bait with the odd pinch of dead pinkie, caster and chop. 2 dead reds on the hook to test the water.
Mike also started off on the tip but had also set up a pole line about 8 metres out where it is around top 5 deep.
It was a bit of a slow start for me but Mike had a few fish early, not big but netters. At around the hour mark I started to get a few liners and soon started putting a few fish together, proper bream on half a dendra and maggot eventually stepping up to a 14 hook to 0.13.
Mike hoped and changed a bit between the tip and the pole snaring the odd fish and a decent bream close in on the pole ending up with around 15lbs plus and me 35lbs ish.
Mike in action
I said to Mike over the following weekend that I was thinking about going back up the Glossy on the Tuesday again suggesting Castle downstream might be a good option. Mike was up for it and we met up in McDonalds in Hardwick for a coffee around 10:00, very civilised, before I lead the way to Castle.
We managed to park up close to the swing bridge and took a slow and long walk down to pegs 441 and 442. Last time I fished here earlier in the Spring the sunken barge was on the towpath side on peg 443/444 but it had been moved across to the far bank and was tied up opposite 440.
I settled in on 441 and Mike 442 after clearing the long grass and reeds. It did look nice with pads across on the top of the shelf across.
I only brought a couple of feeder rods again as did Mike. I opted to fish up on the shelf in around 5 to 6 foot of water a couple of metres out from the bank whereas Mike went for a deeper line up the far slope.
Ground bait and feed was the same as the previous Tuesday but I went straight on a 14 hook to 0.11. The tow was quite strong at times pulling toward Sharpness but the 2.5 oz tip coped with it. I was hitting the clip each time and dipping the rod in the water tightening up at the same time.
Mike had first blood again netting a couple of big skimmers before I had a knock about 45 minutes in, a baby bream of around 2lbs. After that I started to get a few more bites and liners, a perch and a big rudd plus a hybrid off around 2lbs. A couple of hours in and we were both neck and neck having caught a similar amount of fish and weight.
I upped my casting and also stepped up to a 0.13 with half a dendra and a pinkie or maggot increasing my feed content as well. This worked and I was soon getting proper fish on a regular basis.
I lost what I believe was a good tench and on the next cast got broken so stepped up again to 0.15 hook length keeping the B520 14 hook.
Just as well as the bream lined up and I think I took 5 in consecutive casts much to Mike's amazement.
What a great day we both had.
Mike ended up with 30lbs plus
Red letter day for me 60lbs ish
Back on the Bristol Avon this Sunday at Staverton / Barton Farm for a SW Super League practice, 60 pegger.