It’s very rare that I get a chance to go pleasure fishing at the moment but on this day I decided to re-live my youth and return to a venue I haven’t seen since I was 16.
Patrington Haven Drain was one of my favourite places to go, approx. 10mtr wide at the widest point and approx. 3ft deep in the middle with a small shelf over on the near and far sides. Memories of this venue were of small roach and skimmers a plenty. Bigger skimmers/Bream were common and there was the odd stray carp that put in an appearance every now and then. The far side was reed lined but very fishable.
Driving up, joined by fellow Frenzee Angler James Burrell, I was like a kid again, as we pulled up to the venue though my heart Sank as all I could see was weed across the full drain and it spanned as far as I could see. Not to be deterred we drove around a mile and half down the drain to a point that we knew had been cleared, obviously by fellow anglers, as pegs had been created and some of the weed had clearly been raked away. This left us with two very fishable pegs.
To be honest I didn’t know what to expect and I set up with very little enthusiasm, my expectations weren’t high at this stage.
Rigs were simple as I was only going to set up two, FM05 floats in 0.5gm were selected. A heavy float for the venue but due to there been a strong cross wind I felt the extra weight was needed, also being a wire stemmed float they sit far better in my opinion. 0.10 mainline to 0.09 hook length and a size 20 hook were set up. Pink elastic was selected for both kits, set soft.
Plumbing up revealed a little more depth than I had remembered, I could reach the edge of the far side weed with 8mtr of pole and I had a similar depth at an angle to my right. Rigs sorted, bait was going to be simple, both myself and James had brought the ever reliable maggot, ½ pint of Casters, a few worms and around a kilo of G/ Bait.
By the time we were ready it was around 2 o’clock and we were only staying for a few hours anyway so we both fed our lines and started fishing. I had a mix of Bag’em Dark Skimmer and Sweet breams. A small ball was fed at 8mtr, one on the right hand track line and one in a small area to my left, which when plumbed had revealed a hole around a foot deeper than anywhere else in the swim. A few casters had been introduced also but not too many.
Shipping out with a single maggot on I was hoping for, far more than I was expecting a bite. I needn’t have worried though as within a minute I was getting some small indications on the float. I had dotted these down a little too much though and a quick change of shotting had me settled and happy. I then started to connect with some of the bites and small roach were making their way to my net.
James on the other side of the drain, but in view, was about 4 fish behind before he started to connect with good roach on Caster.
Over the next hour small fish came regularly to either a maggot or caster bait but it was clear they still had a liking for G/Bait as we were having to top up regular to keep bites coming. A swap to a worm head proved to be an inspired move as I had what I thought initially was a big roach which when netted was a stunning Hybrid just over the pound mark. This was followed soon after by a skimmer of over a pound. Those butterflies I used to get on here as a kid were coming back and I was longing for a bream or even one of the slime covered blades I recall catching so many years ago. Swapping baits was keeping us in touch though and James was landing some lovely fish also, including a perch of around a pound. He was losing some good fish on the strike and using barbless hooks was probably not helping.
Both of us continued fishing for a while longer and we were both catching fish regularly.
Unfortunately time had beaten us and we had to leave, very begrudgingly may I add. Bringing the nets out the potential of this water was clear and present. Had we arrived earlier in the morning and fished all day, or fished later we may have seen some of the bigger fish which im certain remain in this water.
What a shame that a water with so much potential and clearly full of fish has been allowed to get into such a state. Any volunteers to clear weed, cut back reeds and dig pegs……..#reepthebenefits