Eem, Baarn - 23 October
Today I'm fishing on the Eem near Baarn with Roger Lickfeldt. The stretch here has a great bank and you can park behind your peg just over a little embankment. I've never fished here before so I have no idea what to expect.
It's a 180 km drive for me so with the 100 kph speed limit in Holland after 6 o'clock in the morning I need 2 hours to get there - arrival planned for just before 9 o'clock - hopefully we'll get a couple of pegs. We were the first here, so we had the choice of pegs.
I'm just going to fish the pole today. As always on a new venue, out with the deeper sonar ball first to see what we have in front of us. It's great to know how deep the water is before even getting the pole out of the holdall - I know exactly how many sections deep to set up. I had 3.6 m at 13 m and then it came up slowly to very shallow on the inside. I felt that my only option was to fish at 13 metres today. Top 3 today which is 4.5 m on my pole.
I'm using a mix of dark soil, Sonubaits Black River and Black Bream. I have made up 10 balls with some casters, hemp, dead pinkies and chopped-worm mixed in. The water is flowing to the right so I opted to feed the balls via the cup about 2-3 m to my right. The balls are quite heavy and packed tight as I want them to break down over a long period.
White maggots, white pinkies, casters, hemp, Dendrobaena worms and sweetcorn are on the menu today. I don't usually use sweetcorn but I had some I have to use up. I also have some dead pinkies with me too. I keep the dead pinkies in water to stop them going brown. These came out of the freezer but I usually make fresh ones the night before a fishing trip.
I'm fishing with 3 rigs at 13 m today - don't forget to get the 3-rod Dutch license upgrade! One rig is a 3g Hydra flat float as the water was pulling quite hard when I was setting up. Then I have a 1.25 g Inter Carbon with an olivette and 3 droppers. The final rig is a 1.5 g DH21 with 5 small stotz strung out below the olivette that is about 80 cm from the hook.
After feeding the initial hard balls via the pole cup I added a soft ball a little further to the left and started fishing. It was hard in the beginning. After an hour I only had 3 or 4 Tommy Ruffe although I lost a skimmer after it was on for 20 seconds and a nice 500 g Perch at the net.
Roger was catching a few small fish and the odd better Roach but it was pretty slow. I added some more soft groundbait with some live pinkies in the middle and I was regularly feeding 10 grains of hemp over the line with the catapult.
After a couple of hours I had my first Perch and then a small Skimmer so things were looking up. Maybe the fish were now over the groundbait. I tried all three rigs with all kinds of bait but could only get bites on the DH21 rig after I went to a size 20 B512 and a 0.09mm Akku Power bottom. After a couple more Skimmers I went up to a size 18 and still managed to get bites. The fish only seemed to be interested in a single maggot and I hooked them in the pointed end to stop missing any bites. I blacked out the tips on all the rigs as I was fishing in 'white' water.
The water was sometimes still, sometimes pulling slowly to the right and sometimes a bit faster. I tried the flat float a few times but it was just not working as the flow never really picked up. The bites would come better when the water was only pulling slowly to the right.
All-in-all it wasn't to bad for me. I only had 19 fish but they weighed 3840 g. Roger had 15 fish and weighed about a kilo - he only had 1 small skimmer and a few Roach apart from a few Tommy Ruffe.
Using the pole all day at 13 metres seemed easy as well. I guess it helps having a top of the range Preston pole, but even so, I was very pleased with how easy it was to handle at full length.
I had my first proper try with the Preston Slip Hybrid elastic today and although I was only using the number 5, it powers up very quickly in the monoblock tips of my pole. This elastic is not really for Roach with such a short piece of elastic (1.4 m) but it will be OK for Bream and Skimmers. I will try it again a few times.
I have used the Original Slip solid elastic for decades for my natural water fishing - Original Slip in 4, 5, 6 and 8 - it's just unbeatable!
It is not a bad venue and I think I will come back again when the fish are more active and the weather is a bit warmer.
My next trip out is the Stippevent next weekend. 80 anglers have booked in so hopefully the Twente Canal near Lochem will fish well and we'll all have a few fish.
We have a peg draw after the results and many tackle companies have contributed to the day.
Maybe I'll see you there next week.