I managed to find a sheltered spot from the high winds last weekend and settled down for a maggot bash.
Fishing a light pole at seven metres with a Team Daiwa wire-stemmed float in four foot of water, a single red maggot on a size 20 as bait, I was soon into roach and bream.
But as I was loose feeding, I noticed lots of swirls and bulges on the lake’s surface - the fish were all in the top layers taking freebies on the drop.
Quickly changing rigs to a Korum Blob, still with a 20 but only 18 inches deep. The only weight on the hooklength being a size 11 Stotz to help balance the rig.
First put-in resulted in a rudd, nothing unusual there, but then the perch turned up and took over the swim.
I landed about 20, all in the six to eight ounce bracket with the odd fish making around 12 ounces.
Great fun, but the fish looked a little pale from their winter colours, some looked full of spawn too.
Increasing the feed brought in more bream, one took the bait and decided to leap from the water in an effort to shake the hook.
A good fish too, made quite a splash on re-entry.
Having caught lots of fish, by mid-afternoon I was starting to flag and my mind began to wander a little.
But I was rudely woken from my daydreams by a bird landing on the pole.
Being tired, instinct took over and I immediately struck, thinking a fish had pulled the tip down into the water.
The bird, a beautiful chaffinch, had an undignified vertical take-off, but suffered no ill effects. He flew onto a low branch and then came back to my feet, demanding maggots in compensation for his ruffled feathers.
For the rest of the afternoon I fed him maggots on demand, until a young robin flew in, perched on the rim of my bait box and helped himself to the pinkies! He could only manage four at a time, but he certainly knew about anglers and their unlimited supply of grub(s)!
After this delightful distraction and with the sun setting, I changed rigs again and fished on the bottom with a Nutrabaits pellet on a 14 – resulting in a lovely two-and-a-half pound tench, which gave a good account for itself on light gear.
I love every aspect of fishing – but some of the distractions are fabulous!