August 11th

After having contested a lot of matches recently i decided to have an easy morning fishing in the tranquil setting of the square lodge and deep pit complex , it is what you would call a natural venue without proper pegs or path way but it was were my fishing had started when i was 12 and to be honest i haven't been going as often as i would like because its only five minutes from my house and a couple of years ago it was possible to catch some big weights of crucians and tench , so i was keen to see how it would fish today .

I arrived at the venue at 630 and after the usual struggle with my barrow over the rough terrain even though i had lightened it considerably , i wasn't surprised to find that i had my choice of pegs to pick from . As i hadn't fished here for nearly ten months i was understandably un sure of how it had been fishing recently , so i went on to a peg that was always one of the favorites on the lodge , which was in the middle of the straight facing the woods and with the drop off behind me . Although the water looked a really dirty brown color which i put down to the recent rain and it looked like we could get a bit more today , but i was still confident of catching a few .

My margin swim at square lodge , note how far i had to fish away from the reeds due to an obstruction in the water
My margin swim at square lodge , note how far i had to fish away from the reeds due to an obstruction in the water
On settling in at my peg which took a bit longer than usual due to the un even ground , i decided to target only two areas today one at 4m along my left hand margin at the side of some reeds where it was 3ft deep , i couldn't go really tight to the side were i would like because when i plumbed up their was something on the bottom stopping me from getting a proper reading . My other line was at 7m and after careful plumbing up i found another obstruction on the bottom so i had to set it to an angle to my right slightly and i hopped this wouldnt be a problem while fishing because any thing big might plough straight through it . The debris on the bottom comes largely down to the fact it is surrounded by trees and in winter when it gets frozen over all sorts of stuff gets thrown on top of it trying to brake the ice and in my opinion all the pegs could do with a good raking to clear them , although the balife does a very good ob in keeping it clean, tidy and fish able.

Four meter line ,0.3 scone float with a mid bulk shotting pattern , 0.14 garbo line to a 0.12 hook length with a size 18 f1 hook attached , the elastic was softly set 13 hollo because i was fishing in the margin everything was a bit stronger than i would usually use so i could bully them away from the reeds if i needed to and this is were i would expect to catch a few tench .

Seven meter line , 0.3 preston chianti with a strung bulk an inch apart starting above the 0.10 garbo hook length , hook was a size 18 f1 and the main line was 0.12 garbo , the elastic was number 10 orange matrix because i had more room to play the fish every thing was slightly lighter to encourage more bites from the crucians .

Pellet was my only bait for today ;

soaked micros

hard 4mm tiger fish pellets

tiger fish soft hook pellets

4mm expanders

At 7 am i was ready to start , i put a medium cupping kit full of pellets on my 4m margin line and left it to settle , while i went on to the 7m swim here i only fed with a medium kinder pot because their is a lot of silt on the bottom which in turn means bubbling can be a problem if you feed to much at one go , so softly softly was hopefully the key to catching a few fish .

Twenty minutes in and i was still awaiting my first bite despite constant lifting and dropping the hook bait , i was doing this to try and entice a bite because i have had a lot of success doing this for crucians and f1s because the fall of the bait catches the fishes eye and they often follow it to the bottom and as you lower your float it keeps on going with a fish attached and some times the crucians can sit their with the pellet in its mouth without giving you an indication on the float a little lift will see you attached to it .A few other anglers had turned up by now and gone straight on to the nearby Deep pit perhaps they knew better than me on how the Square lodge was fishing !!!

I decided to re feed again and then try my 4m line but keep an eye out for any bubbles further out , another bite less twenty minutes followed and it looked like i could be in for a tough day before my float slightly dipped and i cant express how important it is to have your float dotted right down to show the tinniest of bites from crucians as they feed very delicately at times . I lifted into the bite and i pulled the fish away from the feeding area because i didn't want to disturb the shoal and their was the tell tale signs of the fish swimming round in circles a sure sign of a crucian fight , a nice fish of around 10oz ended up in the net and hopefully more would soon follow .

Two off the smaller crucians caught
Two off the smaller crucians caught
Went back out and a bite straight away but this time from a 4oz skimmer , another couple soon followed which i thought was a bit strange because usually when the crucians arrive they stay with you until you disturb the shoal by losing one or let it run through your swim . I re feed this line again with half a pot of pellets and went back out to my 7m while i rested it , this line produced another two quick crucians before the skimmers moved back in and it seemed a pattern was forming . I needed to find away of keeping the crucians settled and stop the skimmers moving in , i decided to cut out the micros and only feed hard 4mm pellets and also up the feed on my 7m line by using half a medium cupping kit .

Back on my 4m line and another quick crucian , the bites were very slight dinks on the float and this resulted in me missing a few , i wondered if i had made a mistake of only relying on pellets and not bringing a change bait today ? A quick glance on to my 7m line and their was an eruption of bubbles , seemed like the heavier feeding had worked a bit to well and getting bites from their could be very awkward so i stayed on my 4m swim a bit longer but tried a touch further down the slope to see if anything had backed away from the feed , this resulted in a slight tremor on the float and upon lifting into it , i was attached to my biggest fish of the session and a nice crucian nearly 1lb 8oz not bad but they grow to over 2lb in here .

My 7m line had settled down a bit so i went for a quick look on it , a few missed bites to start with and then i lifted into something heavy my elastic shot off but un fortunately it wasn't on long before it pinged off after going through some debris on the bottom , it would have been nice to see what it was , more than likely one of the few big carp present in here . I let the 7m line settle down again after the disturbance and the usual rhyum of catch a couple of crucians before the skimmers moved in before swapping swims and that's the way it stayed till i called it a day at 12 .


I ended up with a dozen crucians and slightly more skimmers for around 15lb in weight , not good compared to my recent catches from commercial waters , but its always nice to go back to the natural venues every once in a while and work for every bite because you appreciate your big catches more and of course makes you a lot better angler in the long run .

What did i learn today ;

Having more than one swim going , gave me the option of trying different feeding patterns , kept the fish coming and gave me some were to go in the quiet spells .

Plumbing up doesn't only revolve finding the correct depth , but also any debris on the bottom and also how silty the bottom is .

Lifting and dropping is the key to catching crucians because the little dinks are usually from the bigger more wiser fish in the shoal .

Setting your float so the expander pellet registers on your float helps to hit more bites and also to see if anything is preventing your pellet from getting to the bottom .

Off to blundells in mid week for a session on ash before the club match on Sunday , hopefully i will be getting into the ide and carp . Although i have heard that they have had a fish kill on their a few weeks back and lost quite a few of the bigger carp . keep coming back to see how i get on

Cheers Gary