Today I went to Oakley Road Fishery (ORF) and I am pleased I did. By lunchtime it was so hot I had already drunk all my drink - all two litres of it! As the fishery is only a few miles away and with a day ticket cost of only £7.00 (That is cheap for down here in the South East) I was not bothered about packing up after six or seven hours. There is no way I was going to sit there and fry in sun-block.
I have been on a mission in recent months to take less gear with me. Well, it may be laudable to try and fish with minimum gear but I think I may have taken this a bit to far. Today, I left home at about 07:30, so no great rush, and arrived at ORF by 08:00. I could have got there earlier but there is no real advantage in that when I am just planning a sit by the lake with some fishing thrown in. I had taken just one rod and one reel. My 13ft 'vintage' (ish!) Silstar match rod and a medium sized Greys fixed spool reel. Bait was limited to just maggots, casters and pellets. I only had a minimal amount of end tackle. In fact. everything I had with me I could easily carry in one go.
Initially I was going to take a couple of feeder/picker rods with me but, in a last minute change of heart, I decided to leave them behind, working on my minimal gear idea. Although I had left the rods behind I had earlier packed some feeders and groundbait that I still had with me. This was advantageous, as it turned out.
There has been some talk recently on the ORF Facebook page regarding the impending arrival of Doug Anderson, all the way from Australia. I knew he had been here for over a week now so I was not sure if I was going to meet this mystery member of Oakley Royalty. I needn't have worried as sitting in the opulent surroundings of the fishery's office was Doug himself. He welcomed me warmly and I introduced myself as "Ralph, the bloke with the blog". To my surprise, his eyes lit up and he said he had actually read it. Blimey, I thought I was the only one who actually reads my waffle...
I made my way around the lake to the other side, the water is apparently deeper over there. I found a spot between a couple of very large and well established silver birch trees. Casting is awkward from there with a 13ft rod, even from the seated position and me and the tree Gods have never seen eye-to-eye about the sacrifice of tackle. Nevertheless, I set about plumbing the depth and yes it is a bit deeper at this end but not by very much. For a few hours I had the top of the lake to myself and set about fishing for whatever came along. The first fish to come and say hello was a small rudd. There are lots of rudd around and they are a sucker for a single maggot or caster.
|First fish of the day|
|Doug with the carp off the top I sent down to him...|
|Look I caught a fish bigger than Doug's - at least in the picture!|
|An even bigger carp chewing Doug's thumb|
Buy now, it was starting to feel far too hot. It was now pushing towards the low 30s (centigrade) and beginning to get uncomfortable. I was determined to catch a bigger fish so I stripped down the tackle from my float rod and rigged it with a method feeder. Groundbait (my own Surf 'n' Turf) on the feeder with a 8mm pellet on a banded hair. Using my tried and tested method of finding a spot, clipping up and hitting the same spot with about three loaded feeders seemed to do the trick. The next cast produced an F1 within a few seconds. The feeder really does work well here.
|The sun was high in the sky and the shadows from the net add strange 'markings' to this very nice looking F1|
|Heading home, just one more cast... I just noticed my van is the same colour as the Port-a-loo, must make sure I get in the right one!|