It's becoming hard to stop this blog turning into a non-stop rant about the weather at the moment. In my photographs everything looks fine and sunny but in truth, we have had a lot of northerly and easterly winds making it feel colder than it should be. You only have to step out of the wind to understand how warm it should be. We wanted to fish the College pool today but it is still so badly flooded that we couldn't get close enough to the pool itself to fish. It's been that way for a long, long time now and being spring fed with no outflow promises to be so until the water table drops.


     The syndicate pool, like the smaller pool at Jubilee, also confusingly called horseshoe is still comatose. We fished it this week and never saw so much as the tiniest rudd flip out and there are a lot of them in there. It was a nice day, the grey lags were proudly showing off this year's goslings, the sedge warblers are chattering away in the reds, but Pete couldn't even get a nibble on a worm in a pool stuffed with small perch. Elsewhere, fish are starting to feed but it seems to me that this has more to do with lengthening days than rising temperatures. I just don't think the fish are moving around much.

     Normally by now most visits to my local venues would see good bites on and off all morning. Maybe more at dawn but generally speaking, pretty consistently until lunchtime. At the moment it seems that everywhere I go, good bites are at a premium and by good, I mean those confident bites from decent sized fish that you just know you are going to hit even before you pick up the rod. Instead just three or four of those are coming my way sporadically over four or five hours. Everything seems to be topsy turvy at the moment. Just this week I have caught a zander and a perch on bread.


     It feels a bit like the fish are pretty lethargic, not actively seeking out any quantity of food and the rest of my mornings are filled with unhittable indications that almost certainly are just liners or tiny fish. Even the latter is debatable as scaling down doesn't catch me any small fish either. In fact several of my better ones have taken 6mm punch rather than flake.

     I suppose it has to be seen as a period of learning as I search for conclusions and ways of catching the fish I want on the tackle I want to use. For example, my default fishing in foul weather is the kind of carp fishing that carp fishermen would despise. I like to use methods that catch me plenty of bream and tench as well and to this end I gave been using sweetcorn over hemp and pellet.

     In the past when fishing this way using regular float tackle I have been consistently and regularly smashed up by big carp. So these days, I use light carp tackle to fish for tench, bream and crucians, splitting the difference and surprisingly seeing no reduction in my catches of anything but carp! In fact I've probably caught more pound plus roach and crucians on 8lbs hooklengths than 3lb ones. More 'proof' if needed that whatever you fish for, the location of feeding fish trumps tackle and even to some extent presentation. It doesn't matter how fine you fish or how perfectly set up the angler is, if his quarry are not there or are there but not feeding, he will not catch them.

     So it is that over the last couple of weeks, I have fished Jubilee, the Ashby canal, the Erewash canal and the syndicate pool. I have caught occasional bream and very occasional tench on bolt rigs, light float tackle and the pole from a handful of proper bites without ever actually putting together a bag of fish. Interestingly, every method has produced silly, unhittable bites or more likely liners suggesting that, despite one or two milder days, conditions are still not settled enough for the fish to feed properly. despite all this there are still worthwhile fish to be caught as Pete demonstrated by catching the best of the lot, a 1-10 oz crucian. Now that is what I want to see on the end of my line. Hopefully it won't be long coming. Maybe I should just accept that fishing in April is all about managing one's expectations.