Trip #32 – Hendre Lake Trip 2 – Bream Bash(ish)
After last Monday’s trip down to Hendre lake (and my first fishing trip in well over a year) I was very enthusiastic about getting back out there and catching some more fish! Hendre Lake provided me with a great platform to re-master the forgotten basics of waggler and feeder fishing. A quick trip to Garry Evans earlier in the week to gather some intel on the best methods, meant that I left slightly more clued up on the best baits, locations and tactics to use on the lake. Jeff and I decided to get down to the lake for early morning to see if we could target some of the bigger slabs before the sun came out and killed off our chances, and we would also be joined by my Brother (also fishing) and Father (taking the photos).
|Plenty of room for the 3 of us fish next to each other on the bank at Hendre Lake.|
Hendre Lake is a large natural water with plenty of features, one of which is the old “river bed” which runs parallel to the sluice bank. I was advised that the best place to fish is on the left bank and target the river bed, which is slightly deeper and held the bigger fish. On arrival, our initial choice of pegs was scuppered by a string of Bivvy’s all along the “sluice” side, so we decided to fish the open water near the car park and picnic tables, which provided ample space for 3 anglers to fish side by side with room to spare.
|Hitting the mark! (and the line clip)|
Today’s plan of attack would be the swim feeder and if that died off the waggler (two methods which I often overlook in favour of using the pole). Unfortunately the dexterity in my hands still isn’t good enough to handle using a pole so it is was definitely back to basics with rod and line. Setting up my swim feeder, I picked a marker, set my line clip and began depositing a bed of bait in my chosen location. Bait Tech Evny method mix was my groundbait of choice today as I has been told this bigger fish in the lake favoured fishy smelling ground bait. Starting with “old faithful” double red maggot I cast out and set my rod down. The waiting game had begun! It wasn’t long before the rod was registering the steady pluck of a bite and on striking I connected with the first fish of the day, a perfectly scaled roach of a few ounces.
After a few silver fish I switched hook baits to single red and single caster I cast back out. The bites took a little longer to register and compared with the ferocity of the greedy roach they were quite timid but on striking the bream had arrived. The first was a large skimmer of just under a 1lb. This was a good stamp of skimmer and steadily they started coming to the net all ranging between the 1 and 2lb mark. They culminated in a bream of just over 3lb’s, all falling to single red maggot and caster.
I had been happily catching fish for the best part of 2½ hours without realising the time, but now the bites were becoming more infrequent and slowly but surely the sunshine was starting to peer through the clouds. Re-casting I set my rod down, 10 slow minutes past when my rod ripped around. This was something better! My rod was showing the steady kick of something scrapping away under the surface, and after a few tentative minutes of bringing the fish closer to the bank it gave one last kick and shed the hook! Gutted! I brought in my line and was about to recast when I noticed a Grebe surface in my swim and was busy gobbling down a Roach.