October 11, 2012

The Goose Quill

I bought some floats a while back, old ones off Ebay,  floats like I used as a kid and still enjoy watching as they send back information about the world below the water's surface. The perch bobbers were what I was really after, that and the large bodied cork 'Avon' floats for long trotting but they need a spot of tlc before use.

Amongst the assortment was a lone goose quill with a yellow top. I don't like yellow tops on my floats, my eyes are better suited to red or orange but this float seemed to cast a spell of some sort and I was smitten. I had a mind's eye image of it sat, surrounded by little ripples and bubbles in the margin of a lake. I wanted to see it lean against a lily leaf but most of all, I wanted to see it sink.

The waters at my disposal do not really lend themselves to this style of fishing and, when I read the accounts of others that were enjoying the sport I so desired on the TFF forum, my desire became a craving.

One such lucky so and so was Gary, he was fishing a couple of pools and catching good numbers of modest carp with that glorious accompaniment called blind ambition. One of these pools had only been open for a short while and the fish stocks are still a mystery, a good fish has been seen and who knows what lurks in the tree lined depths? The unknown is a strong lure and Gary was well and truly hooked. And he lives in Herefordshire - contact was made.

So it was that yesterday morning I met Gary for the first time and we headed to the new pool. Although only recently open to anglers it is a mature farm reservoir with a predictable slope in depths from just a few feet down to nearly twenty. There is a shelf around the edge and this is, in my experience, just the place to concentrate your efforts when intercepting cruising carp.


We walked the perimeter and saw a few fish near the top although they declined our floaters. I was attracted to a spot where I could either float fish the margin or put a lead on the edge of the small island which was overhung by trees. In the end I decided that temptation was too much to deal with and I put a rod on each although the island rod didn't so much as twitch all day.

However, the yellow topped goose quill sat beautifully in the margin over about 6' of water which was liberally sprayed with hemp, a few grains of corn and some worm pieces. My bait was a lob worm tipped with a grain of corn, a deadly set up for carp on many waters.

I had a wander after an hour or so just to see if there was anything showing that I'd previously missed, I didn't find anything. But, whilst I chatted with Gary and wondered at his choice of bait - prawns dipped in extra thick cream! his little float ( a fly angler's sight bob) sank and he landed a chunky little common of about 8lbs.

Back in my swim I noticed a few tiny bubbles around my float, the quill stood up in the water then, without so much as a ripple, disappeared. Heaven! I lifted my MkIV carp rod and felt it bend under the efforts of a small carp. I can go and fish for big carp any time but catching scrappy little commons on float gear is just a different game altogether and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


That first fish weighed a mere 5lbs or so and, when the float did the same lift and slide on two more occasions the fish were smaller, each was in perfect condition. I lost another that sank the float without so much as a bubble to warn me, it went off like a scolded journalist - that means something to Gary ;-) but the hook pulled after a few seconds. I had a wonderful time.

We packed at around 5.30 knowing that staying later would have probably meant more fish but that they will still be there next time. Gary was buzzing, telling me about the mirror carp he'd seen and that it frequented that area but he has yet to hook it. He will one day, of that I'm sure after all, what carp can resist a creamy prawn?


22 comments:

  1. Sounds like quite a fun time! And that's a lovely looking setup, too!

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    1. Thanks Erin, always pleased to hear from you.

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  2. Good to hear of you cocking quill in the Shire.
    Nice one Mucker.

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  3. I salvaged a few old floats from some kit I sold off for a family friend last year, got a fair number of quils though all need a bit of attention but best of all a perch bobber just like I used as a kid, can't wait!

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    1. What is it about bobbers. Is it that it needs a big fish just to sink it?

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    2. More a case of the rings they create as either the bait or target tries and fails to pull it under I reckon

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    3. I think you're probably right there....... note to self - go perch fishing!

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  4. Lovely stuff as usual Mr Burr, its lovely too sit there behind a float, something very hypnotic and absorbing.

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    1. Indeed, I don't do it often enough Tom.

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  5. You can get some nice traditional perch bobbers from Alans in Worcester I purchased a few to bring back to NZ. Good stocks of Tench and Perch over here been enjoying the blog since 2008 when left Herefordshire.

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    1. Than you. Do you fish for the famous trout and eels as well?

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  6. Looks like you had an enjoyable days bend in the cane Dave, is that an Allcocks pin?

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    1. No Mark, its a Chris Lythe Barbel Master, and very nice it is too ;o)

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  7. It certainly Looks a lovely, well built pin, I really need to get one that doesn't fall apart, one of my previous ones more or less fell to pieces after barely a seasons use, so I have gone back to using the Cortesi, but that has needed running repairs, which included drilling :( .

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    1. Trouble with CL's pins is the 2 year waiting list for them. But there are other quality pins to be had, you don't always get what you pay for but you do have to pay for longevity.

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    2. Yes I'm tending to agree Dave, I'm beginning to think it might be a wise idea to pick up a second hand speedia or something similar, what do you think?

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  8. Speedias are pretty bomb proof and becoming very popular so the price is rising - rapidly.

    I also rate the Fred Crouch Aerials which at about £135 new are a good work horse pin for barbel/carp or whatever fishing but I have to say they are no use for trotting. I bought one for my lad a year or three back and he get's on very well with it.

    Decision time Mark :o)

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  9. Thanks for the information Dave, hmm, well I was leaning toward hoping to not spend £135 and picking up a speedia (preferably wide drum), have noticed the trend with the prices increasing on them on the usual Ebay site. Decision time indeed mate.

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    1. The Speedia is still generally less that the FC Aerial so you should get one. Good luck

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