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Author Topic: Toft Newton Report - Feb 20th.  (Read 3267 times)
bracken
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« on: February 21, 2016, 01:00:54 PM »

The Venue: Toft Newton near Market Rasen in Lincolnshire. This is a large concrete bowl  and is greatly renowned for its fishing under the current management. The concrete bowl fly was developed for this water.

Nature notes: The topsy turvey nature of the weather over winter was highlighted by numerous hawthorn and elder bushes with leaves on them this early in the year. Our blackthorn blossom was out in January and is now long gone. At the lake there were rafts of wildfowl – mainly coots and ducks. A kestrel was spotted and the inevitable cormorants flying over.

The weather: If it had been as forecast it would have been a tolerable day. Regrettably the wind increased to a very high level about ten minutes after launch and gradually worsened until early afternoon, when it dropped back slightly. The day was overcast but fine until about 12.30.pm when it started to rain. An indication of the wind speed, particularly on the downwind shore, could be gained by the fact that the float tubes were equally as wet above water as the hulls were below it. The arm pockets were well soaked if the zips were not quite closed. Waves broke heavily over the backs of the fishermen in this area and it was very difficult indeed to keep off shore.

The fishermen: It was good to meet up with many of the old regulars after the winter break, (although several of them had been fishing almost weekly in the intervening period). Our antipodean triathlete re-joined us again after a year’s sabbatical, and now complete with a magnificent hirsute appendage which may well have fooled some of us into believing he was a Scottish Border Raider of old. Continuing the theme of hirsute growths, one of the chemical twins turned out redolent of Methuselah’s brother and emanating clouds of smoke. Perhaps this is an indication that the nice Mr. Osborne hasn’t put enough tax on cancer sticks, and also that Gillette have rather over-cooked the price of their razor blades in Chesterfield. I could be wrong about this though!

We were pleased to be joined by some Newbies and one returning less experienced float tuber. We were also pleased to meet another Newbie who came to observe and ask pertinent questions about kit so that he could complete his set-up for a month or two hence. It has to be stated here, that this turned into a horrible day for venturing out onto the water for the first time, and I have great sympathy and respect with those that tried it. The one over-riding lesson that they will have learnt is that float tubes are actually very stable and buoyant devices even in a gale i.e. you would have to work very stupidly hard to turn one over in high winds and large waves! Many of us more experienced types left the water early on this day.

Martin turned up in a nice new motor; – he has parted with his toe-rag and now drives a very flash hoodie. Phil sadly told me that he has managed to get written off three cars in the last 12 months including his nice Merc – as always Dave M. is now his kindly chauffeur!  Dave C. and Brian appear very happy with their Romanian immigrant and have found it really good at finding venues to get humungus breakfasts – apparently 3 sausages, 4 bacon, beans, tomatoes, black pudding, lots of hash browns, two griddled eggs and a half dozen rounds of toast off the M18 yesterday!? It’s no wonder they were half asleep on the water and couldn’t fill their bags after that lot is it!? Steve W. quietly joined us again unannounced and we were pleased to see him. The most recent member of the Leicestershire lob-wormer’s club turned out in devotion to duty – unlike his mate who prioritised burgering off to some rock concert – isn’t it time he realised he is getting too old for head bangers music – no devotion to cause some people have they?

The fishing: A bit mixed, depending on how good you were both with a rod and controlling a float tube in a gale. Also how well your ‘nouse’ was applied to the fishing.

Personally, having learnt that the wind had been blowing over the lake in the same direction for a couple of days, I formed the opinion that any ‘food’ may well have been blown down near the black pipe shore and so decided to head that way. I also decided to ignore the news that the fish were in the top two feet of water, because I long ago learned here that in windy conditions they can be found ‘deep’ at the concrete drop-off. A fourteen foot leader with a specially tied weighted black and green fly was my choice, fished on an intermediate line approx. DI 3. I never changed from this the whole time I was on the water. After launch the wind wasn’t too severe and I inveigled one fish to take out wide while heading for the black pipe and by-passing another couple of tubers and some bank fishermen. Phil went to my spot after I had passed and apparently caught a large(ish) pike nearby. Upon reaching the black pipe area I proceeded to travel parallel with the shore about 20 to 25 feet out casting with the wind and slightly across it it didn’t take long to put another two fish in the bag and lose two at the net – all of them small stockies. By this time I had attracted a bit of attention and was joined by several others seeking the fish I had found I’m not sure whether some of the had been forcibly blown there by the increasing wind or whether they were poachers! Ric had by now joined me as I tried hard to fill the bag. I got two more before the wind drove me onto the shore for a rest and an increasing feeling of despair that I would not be strong enough to get back out and catch the sixth. Ric had by now got three and I had to abandon my plan of working towards the ‘weedy corner’ and then down the other two quadrants of the circle back to the water tower, where I knew conditions were a little better. (I had already suggested to Lawrence that he walk his kit back there and re-launch in quieter conditions). Eventually I re-entered the maelstrom, full of admiration for Ric’s strength and tenacity in being able to cope in such awful conditions. Fortunately, it was not long before I caught the sixth fish. It was by now 12.20.pm and a coffee and a long quiet sit down beckoned. The only problem was how to get back – a potentially seriously knackering walk carrying the kit was my only alternative I decided. Not good for an old git with a dodgy heart and severely ropey back, but I did make it back just as the rain started.

While standing on the shore I had notice that the other tubers were mainly in the area where I had caught the first fish of the day, and guessed that they may be doing quite well because I had spotted the bank anglers had bass bags in the water. Gary had nearly joined Ric and me, having worked his way around the water the opposite way and fished across the ‘weedy corner’ out to the lifebuoy before turning back. It was in this area that he caught his big fish. I believe it was Martin fishing further down and he was apparently having a red-letter days fishing eventually bagging eight including the biggest fish weighed in – I don’t know about rainbow but this was one of the blackest fish I have seen for a long time, more redolent of the colour of a B2 stealth bomber than a bar of silver!? I guess it had been in the water a long time and was one which had somewhat failed the triploiding! Before walking his gear back, I was impressed to note that Newbie Lawrence demonstrated a lot of tenacity in regularly re-launching and trying to fish in the horrid conditions. Carl had obviously had a stunning day and caught some nice fish – I remember him as being a very good fisherman when he was with us a couple of years back. Eight of these fish had been caught on black and green lures and the others on buzzers – these latter would have been higher in the water. I was pleased to note that Dave M. was still on the water when I walked back past him although looking a bit tired he had had two fish on, but unfortunately lost both of them.

Steve F. had done well as is his usual practise, and had nine fish before coming off the water not too long after I had got back to my car. Steve Warner had also had three in the bag by this time and went on to catch another two. Unfortunately by the end of the match Ric had failed to catch any more than the three I left him with more than three hours earlier. (We nearly disqualified him on grounds of incompetence, so that I could finish weighing in and go home)!?

All fishermen were glad to get off the water early in this match; although most professed to have enjoyed themselves. The conditions were not particularly pleasant for float tubing – thus making a very unfortunate start for newcomers. I hope nobody was put off completely by this day because there is nothing more pleasant than fishing from a float tube in a gentle breeze. I might add that there was another little septuagenarian still out on the water nearly to the very end – (albeit fortified by a massive calorie intake early morning)!

What caught fish? Anything black and green – montana, viva or specials in these colours. Phil told me he caught his two on Cat’s whiskers – however, it turns out that the Doncaster variation is also black and green, (probably the result of a coal mining and steel industrial heritage determining colours)? I’ve no idea what Martin caught his fish on, he always tells me it was a buzzer – from my observations a Manchester buzzer is a quarter of an inch wide, times about five inch long strip of fur, with a few Christmas tree decorations included. It does however seem to work increasingly well of late as the lad is improving fast. Gary caught several of his fish on a real cat’s whisker – white and chartreuse coloured. This may have been the reason why his bag generally contained bigger fish than the average. As for the right line – on this day an intermediate was definitely favourite.

Where were the fish? Undoubtedly some were in the upper layers of the water, BUT, I caught all of mine deep. The fly was obviously ‘ticking’ the bottom at some points on the retrieve, and I had nine on in two and a quarter hours, so there was some pattern in this. I would also add that the fish took between 10 and 20 feet from the bank at the edge of the ‘drop-off’. I also noticed three fish caught by bank fishermen in this region of the water.

Gary, Carl and Martin all fished well and deservedly shared the honours between them. I think I had the first fish of the day and the fastest bag of six. I was very definitely grateful for the opportunity to get clear of the water alive on this day.

As a group we did not disgrace ourselves, 58 fish netted between us and a four plus rod average beat the records of the previous few days.

Asides: Here is merited an apology for the total incompetence of the presiding BFTA Officer on the pre-launch briefing. The dozy old fool had not read the back of the fishing ticket and assumed that the ‘common practice’ policy of catch and release until the sixth fish was knocked applied, rather than kill the first six. Greatest apologies for any misunderstandings and inconvenience caused. The old prat probably deserves a good kicking!

Acknowledgements: Many thanks to Mandy, (Jason’s sister), for welcoming and accommodating us all for this days fishing. (She did well, because the date had not been registered in the fishery diary and we came as a bit of a surprise to her). We must buy Andy H. a pen before next year!?

« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 01:45:18 PM by bracken » Logged
davec
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2016, 03:25:24 PM »

Good report Tony it was great having a bit of banter with the lads again, I would like to explain that Brian and myself do not go to fish only to build up our appetite for our next meal on the homeward journey so we are sorry for keeping you waiting I tried to fish the far bank but it was too much for me as I would have been famished by 12 o'clock and would have ended up eating the fish as I caught them , so wasted journey. Thanks to Steve F for giving me the fly for catching my only fish unfortunately Brian still beat me (bugger). Well done Gary you did show me where the fish were but I went paddling off in the other direction.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 03:34:18 PM by davec » Logged
bracken
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2016, 03:32:26 PM »

Now then Dave, I've seen the large stash of comestibles contained in your tube arm and wading jacket pockets. Surely the midday hunger pangs wouldn't be that desperate! I know you only keep two lines on board so that there is plenty of space to store the snickers and twix bars etc. I reckon you might be having us on here!?

You are dead right about the far bank - I can attest fully to that. I only wish I had your strength, dedication and energy. I have to be a short term lazy fisherman to compete!
« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 03:34:44 PM by bracken » Logged
davec
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2016, 03:46:20 PM »

The emergency rations are sometimes consumed in the 2 1/2 hours traveling to breakfast as for the lines I have 3. One floating , one that doesn't float so well and one that is crap at floating which I like to refer as my Died black.
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wardy
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2016, 09:53:37 PM »

Nice to be back and fishing a BFTA event again after a year off, I didn't really mean to not take part last year but building an extension on my house and several Triathlon events messed up my good fishing intensions. It was a small black and green Montana goldhead on a floating line that did most of the damage for me on the day. I had a score to settle with Toft as it was my first ever BFTA event when I joined about 3-4yrs ago and I blanked that day!! so scored settled me thinks. Look forward to seeing you all at a few more meets this year
Cheers
Wardy
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Ric the Red
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2016, 11:51:54 AM »

It was good to see some new faces out there on what proved to be quite a windy day and a difficult day getting around the lake, Toft is not the easiest place for your first time out but it will get easier hope you stick at it and have many more happy days afloat.

Ric
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buzzerman
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2016, 02:20:53 PM »

Had to go to the doctors today after discovering on Saturday I had gone deaf. Doctor advised me that it is a condition known as the 'Andre Syndrome' and reassured me everything would be back to normal by the 12/3/16 when the condition will be replaced by the 'Andre's HEAR Syndrome'!!!
Not a good day for the newcomers to try out float tubing but I'm sure if they stick at it they will enjoy this method of fishing like all the regular nutters.
Good to see Carl and Paul back in their tubes especialy good to see Steve W back with us after not fishing much last season. Congrats to Gary who had a tremendous bag on the day, poor Martin thought he was going to win with his equally exceptional bag, Tony you will need to have one of the Manchester buzzers for an anchor!
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 06:32:52 PM by buzzerman » Logged
bracken
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2016, 04:37:24 PM »

Good idea about the anchor Steve.

As a matter of fact I did try a small boat anchor here some years ago in a strong wind. It made a fantastic weed dredge, nearly ripped the side off the tube and didn't slow the drift down very much at all. I did try the same trick at Elinor last year before getting off the water, with exactly similar results, but taking about 10 minutes to clear the huge weed ball which probably weighed as much as me, so heavy then! Not convinced about anchors on float tubes!
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Welshboy
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2016, 05:46:15 PM »

Hi Everyone,
yes it was rather windy and I found it very difficult to steer myself in any direction lol, it hasn't deterred me so I will try again I can assure you, I need to master it and I am sure if the conditions had not been so bad I would have got some sounder advice and assistance on how to control the tube better.
Congratulations too everyone who caught fish and for a good day out with plenty of good conversation, glad to have met everyone there

Lawrence
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