May Musings – Steve Cowley

I had a few trips out on the bank throughout May and thought it was time for a catch up! I have found that May can always be a funny month for fishing, due to the fact the fish have spawning on their minds, so it can be a right lottery at times. 

I started the month with a trip to Buttonhole Lake, near Wisbech, along with good friend Mark and his dad Olly. This was a venue that was new to all of us, even though very nigh on the doorstep so to speak, we had seen but never fished it. The weather was forecast to be warm, with a light breeze, so everything was set for a good session. I decided to fish a small hybrid feeder toward the front of the island, a silver fish line at 6m and an edge swim for later in the afternoon. On the 6m line, it was a good 8 foot deep, so with the weather it was almost certain the fish would come up in the layers as the session progressed. On this line I was going to fish the worm, feeding a mix of chopped worm, caster and 2mm Carp and Coarse Pellet. Once the pellets started to break down, the mix would become nice and sloppy and perfect for feeding through a small pot. The edge line was also deep and the key here was to try and find a small flat spot, which for me was 7m along the margin, feed here was Super Sweetcorn Natural and 2mm Carp & Coarse Pellet.

On the feeder line, I soaked some 2mm Special G Pellets which soak up like small sponges, which made them perfect for the hybrid, hookbait was an 8mm Juice Pellet Wafter. I fed the pole line with a ball of the worm mix and started on feeder, where it wasn’t long before it launched round with a rather angry carp attached.  No more fish were forthcoming so out on the worm it was.  Straight away I was getting indications and a lovely run of fish, mainly roach and rudd were happily snaffling the worm hook bait.  All the while I was on this line I kept introducing some corn on the inside for later in the session. Both Mark and Olly were enjoying great carp sport, mark on slow sinking bomb and Olly on the top.  Once the middle afternoon was upon us, I went down into the edge where, sure enough, the carp were sat waiting and straight away the elastic was streaming from the pole tip. I had worked out, that I had caught 10 different species of fish throughout the day. From a small four inch tench to a double figure mirror carp….what an amazing venue and a great day spent in great company – Days like these are ones to savour! 

Next trip out, was again on a new venue for me, Ryson Pools just off junction 12 of the A14. I had made the trip across to join good mate Adrian Stokes on a reccy session for his forthcoming two day match the following week. The venue holds a decent head of bream, skimmers, roach odd tench and big rogue carp, but with the extreme heat conditions against us, it was sure going to be a tough one.  With the feeder being our main chosen attack and pole line as a back up, I decided on a sweet fishmeal mix with my chosen being Kult Sweet Fishmeal.
I have used this mix in the past both on rivers and stillwater, so knew if the bream or skimmers fancied a munch then the mix was right.  Clipping up at 35/40m, I introduced eight decent feeder full into the swim, each containing few bits of worm and caster. This was left while I introduced some feed onto the 13m pole line. Four tangerine sized balls contains caster/worm were cupped in on the ten o clock line, where as three big balls crammed with corn on the same distance two o clock line. Straight out onto the tip with worm and a small 6oz skimmer first bung was a great sign. An even better sign was thirty minutes later when Ady latched into a better fish which was soon landed, a cracking 4lb bream.  This filled us with excitement, as there were the odd liners around, this was short lived as the heat of the day wasn’t bream conditions to say the least. The pole line only produced the odd roach, some of which were snatched by pike on the way through.  I decided to stay on the tip line with the hope the fish would turn up later in the session. I did manage a few net skimmers during this period, but alas no bream decided to show.  This is defiantly a venue to revisit when the weather cools of and goes overcast, as believe we could well be in for some fun.  
The last trip this month, was a venture into darkest Suffolk and to Hinderclay Lake, for a day out with Bryan and his son Ben.  A quick call to owner Stuart, put us on Florence pool for the day and under advice we headed to pegs 4/5/6 which had been a decent area the week previous. I set my stall out just to fish the pole on two lines at 10 & 2 at 11.5m distance. This is fairly  uniform on depth here, but is extremely silty so plumbing up was a very precise operation. I found two fairly hard areas at the chosen lines, so this was where the bulk of the session would be targeted.  On the bait front I had separated one tin of Super Sweetcorn Natural into two tubs, where one was left neat and the other liberally dosed in Liquid Brasem. The same was done with the 4mm fishery pellet, one near and one flavoured.  
This would be fed over the two chosen lines at 10 & 2, Brasem flavoured corn/pellet on one and natural on the other to see how the fish would respond.  My idea was to feed both the same amount at the start, but leave the one line untouched whilst fishing the other, then vice versa when I changed over.  Starting on the ‘natural’ line, the corn was soon attacked by some roach, before skimmer number one came to the net.  This would prove to be a solitary soldier, so over to the ‘Brasem’ line, where a bream to the corn almost straight away swiftly followed by another. No more bites after thirty minutes, so half a pot was fed, before swapping back across to the other line.  This seemed to be the pattern through the session, of grab a couple of fish before feeding and alternating between the other line. The fishing was tough going, but waiting for the all important bite, which usually resulted in a decent skimmer/bream, was well worth it.   The Brasem flavoured corn was defiantly the better line, as the stamp of fish were a lot bigger. Having never been a flavouring fan, it can 100% make a difference that’s for sure. This is again definitely a venue to visit again, as once the spawning season is out of the way, the silver sport at Hinderclay can be frantic.  

May has been a funny old month, but great sessions in great company made them all the better. It’s a few weeks rest for me, as with the new river season on the horizon, there are pegs to get ready and weeds to cut out. So it’s time to change all the tackle over, change the reel lines, tie plenty of hooks and get everything in order ready to go.  I don’t mind the three month break, as it gives me chance to do a few things and visit a few venues I wouldn’t usually, but for me it’s now river time… oooossssshhhhh!

Tight Lines 
Steve Cowley

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