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Joe Chappell

The Beauty of Autumn Fishing

It feels like it’s been months since I was last sat here writing a blog for you. It may have only been a couple of weeks but I have loads to catch you up on.

First off, I’ll take you back to the 11th of October. It was a Sunday and work had been pretty quiet, so my boss had given me the day off and I wanted to try out my new baiting pole from The Tackle Box, I had used it go great effect the week before but wanted to give it a test at a different venue. I decided on a trip to Stambridge Fisheries as it was the place I had caught my first carp by myself and where I learnt to fish. I got my mum to drop me off, but the lake was busy. It’s only small and I could only see one swim free which was a little cramped and restrictive. I really didn’t fancy fishing a cramped swim so we took the small drive to my local park lake Rochford Res, which has featured heavily in my blogs this year.

I arrived around 9am at Rochford Res as I spent too much time talking to a few anglers at Stambridge before leaving. I loaded up my barrow and said farewell to my mum before heading off for a walk around the lake. Unexpectedly, I saw my mate Jack down there so decided to jump in the swim next to him. The chosen swim had access to the island and rushes to the left however, it wasn’t ideal for testing the baiting pole as the island was out of reach.  

I got the rods out, but the morning passed slow and uneventful. I was getting bored and knowing that the magical ‘bite time’ was still quite a while away, I decided to wet a line in the river roach which runs adjacent to the lake. Earlier that morning I had seen a decent sized carp in the river and my hopes of a bite were high. My bait of choice was worms and tactics were simple. I opted for a size 8 hook and pinched on two shot about 1ft from the hook. Before long I had caught my first fish, a little chublet. Not long after I was in again, this time it was a nice perch and my biggest one from the river.

I decided to give the swim a rest, but as I was on my way out of the swim (It’s a steep muddy bank) I slipped, fell on my backside and slid down the concrete overflow straight into the river. Luckily it was only up to my knees, but I now had a wet bottom which was also covered in green algae.

My mum was planning on coming down for a few hours in the afternoon anyway, so I gave her a call and she agreed to come a little earlier and bring some new joggers, socks and shoes. She arrived at around two and to say that I was grateful is an understatement as I was getting cold from being so wet.

Throughout the day we had only seen one other person catch. Three cormorants were out hunting all day and I suspected that they were spooking the fish.  I noticed that they weren’t hunting in the shallower end of the lake and there were a couple of swims free. I hoped that the cormorants had pushed the fish into this part of the lake. Jack and I loaded our gear into our barrows and made our way to the shallower end of the lake.

I chose the swim in the corner while Jack fished the one next to it. Both swims had good marginal snags. We got the rods back out as soon as we could as we had just lost 10 minutes of fishing reaching the new swims. These swims leant themselves perfectly to the use of the baiting pole. I even let Jack borrow the pole to place his rig perfectly.

We waited for a couple of hours and by 4 o’clock we both started to receive a few liners. Jack was getting loads of indications of fish feeding and it didn’t take long before he received a fantastic bite. He was on the rod in seconds, but the fish had buried itself in the snags. There was nothing he could do and eventually, he couldn’t feel anything on the end. After applying pressure for a few minutes, he ended up having to pull for a break. Thankfully, the lead came free and we got the bait back out with the use of my baiting pole and eagerly awaited another bite.

It didn’t take long before he was in again. This time he managed to steer the fish clear of the snags. His reward for his efforts was a beautiful little mirror, similar in looks to one I caught a few weeks before. It was beautifully dark with big apple slice scaled on its shoulders. I could just imagine the fish in a few years’ time when it was much bigger.

I however, had still not caught a fish and that was Jacks second bite. He left not long after he caught the fish, so I decided to hop into his swim. Using my baiting pole, I dropped my rig and a handful of pellet onto the baited spot in the margins.

It didn’t take long before I had one in the net. It put up a pretty lame fight, but I was relieved that I was no longer blanking.

I got the rig right back onto the same spot with the use of the baiting pole. It was nearing time to leave so I slowly started to pack up. It wasn’t long before I was in once again. This one felt much bigger and was putting up a fantastic scrap. I saw it wallowing on the surface before it dived deep again. It was a big mirror and I was pretty sure it was a ghost carp. I managed to get it in the net, and I was certain it was the biggest fish I had caught from the res. By the time I landed the fish it was fully dark so set up my head torch and another torch to do a mediocre self-take.  I was absolutely buzzing while I was packing up.

After showing Jack the pictures of the fish I caught after he left, it actually tuned out that he had caught it a couple months before from the same swim.

I’m sure that Jack and I wouldn’t have caught those fish that night without the use of the baiting pole. It’s so discreet and presents your rig perfectly with a nice scattering of bait around it. Overall it was definitely a successful evening. Maybe if I didn’t give Jack the better swim id have had a few more 😉

Thanks for making it to the end. Check me out on Instagram here. And check out Jacks Instagram here.

If you’re interested in a baiting pole, I’d recommend giving this one from The Tackle Box a go.  

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