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Bailey Payne

Why has April fished so hard?

Well, today’s blog covers a session on 24th April 2021. On this cold start yet sunny day, I took fellow blogger Tom Baird down to Hockley Angling Club, he was eager to try it given the success I have had recently contributing to the Species Hunt. However weights of fish had been very hard fought. We setup on the far side of the lake in pegs 11 and 12, Tom in 11 for hopes of a Barbel.

I started a main line at about 8 metres, feeding my usual micros and special g mix. With soft expanders on the hook, I also brought a pint of maggots with me just for a bit of chopped maggot down the margin. I fed through the whole session the odd pinch of maggot in my plumbed up margin line. But the focus at the start was getting the bream/Crucians going on the main pole line. After a while of nothing on expanders, I swapped over to maggot on the hook, something I rarely do for bites on this lake. But I eventually started to get a few fish. Surprisingly when I did get a bite on maggot, it took a while, and the fish was of good quality, with lift bites being the main culprit with a skimmer of 1lb on the end most times. However, it was very slow. One Crucian decided to feature, which again was odd. Usually I will be catching them constantly and regularly catch over 10-15 Crucians.

I opted to focus on the margin line, I had fed a nice amount of maggot over the period of maybe a few hours and it was worth a look. With a chunky roach falling first, however a few more decent roach came, but the line soon faded away.

I started putting in pots of chopped maggot, only small pots, just to see if I could trigger a better fish into feeding, maybe a knick a Barbel which lives in this venue. Or even a better bream in the margin, anything really! I did eventually lift into something much better. One of the old warrior Ide’s stocked in the lake.

This was a great catch, especially since a lot of us thought they were fading away on this lake. Although this Fish has caused quite the speculation of claims of possibly being a Chub. I have done a scale count to get 56, which is way out of Chub territory. The lake also has no history for Chub, so I am fairly sure this is an Ide.

I ended on about 10lb of Fish, just under. Which is awful for this time of year on this lake. Tom in this time, unfortunately only managed one small Perch, of course, I feel awful, it’s never nice to bring someone to a venue and them to have such a poor experience. Everyone else on the lake struggled as well, with my Dad only managing around 5lb, and not many fish being caught at all.

What has contributed to this poor showing? The cold starts and brightness we seem to have had all through April? However, with the bright warmer days, the lakes have had a lot of new attention, who haven’t been afraid to shovel the bait in, especially when it is fishing hard, could this have put the Fish off? Or a combination of it all? What’s been your experiences through April? Have you found fishing to be harder than usual?

Tight lines all…

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