Tale's From The Riverbank






24th November 2014



Steve Palmer



Evening all,
My hopes of a fishing trip last week went to pot, Dentist Monday, where I had a tooth out and a filling, So that never started the week well Tuesday and Wednesday working, so I planned a fishing trip for Thursday, Got home Wednesday night and the Mrs informed me that the boiler had stopped working. No heat no water so Thursday saw me servicing the boiler.

I knew the boiler needed doing but I kept putting it off, and then I am forced to do it. I started at 8 and was still trying to get the pilot to light at 2 o'clock.
Now this boiler hadn't been serviced for I don't know how long and the soot and mess inside of it made a right mess, but cut a long story short we had heat and hot water before dark.

I had sent off for 4 new tyres, for the car, and seeing how they turned up Thursday morning, I wanted to get them fitted so that saw out Friday. The weekend rained so I was left to wait till this morning.

8oclock I was in the carpark, and loaded my barrow and off I went to the designated swim, I had decided to fish Marsh, and had remembered a swim on the other side of the top end, but when I slipped and slid my way round there, the swim was unfishable, The platform had the first couple of boards missing and somebody had pulled a big branch across the swim to tell you that its dangerous. Overhead branches also made it impossible to fish, so with disappointment I moved on to the next swim.

Now I know from when I walked round at the start of last season that there wasn't many fishable swims, so first one I could fish that I came to I would. the swim I found was the one you walk out too, its usually water but not today, Hazardness but able to walk my gear round in fits and starts.

My intentions were to free line a big Herring for the Pike, and my other rod would be float fished for whatever would take the bait, with the hope of a Marsh Carp which I still haven't had yet.

I cast my sonar over the swim and found that a seven and a half foot channel in the middle which shelved as it came to the margin, in a six foot move the depth changed 3 feet so I thought I would fish the slope with my float . but the channel never went to far and the rest of the swim seemed about four feet deep, so I decided to cast my Herring in a fan like manner throughout the day.

My Herring went out first, and then my float, I decided to fish the float in a laying on way, fished over depth but pulled taught on the line so any movement would show straight away. I had mixed up some ground bait about a kilo and thought I would trickle feed it in throughout the day. I had a tin of Spam, tin of Luncheon meat, a kilo of corn and mixed Pellet plus some pop ups.

My sonar was showing fish in the top third, but they looked like small stuff but nothing on the bottom { Yet } . I fished all day until the light went and not a touch from both rods, a change of bait several times but not a touch, I packed up while I could still find my way out, I should have found another job at home to do, as the fish were not at home,

Marsh I find hard every time I fish it, but next time I will fish the bottom as the top end is almost impossible. I know its protected and has to be left natural, but the fish are in there, the silt and the weed and overhead branches and the overgrown margins jut make it very uncomfortable, or am I just getting old. Tight lines all.





8th November 2014



Steve Palmer


Morning all,


Thursday morning saw me in the Turnford car park, the time was about eight. I had decided to fish the bottom end of Boot, for hopefully a Boot Pike.


As many of you read, I had been in touch with Lee Valley about Sonar, and although the mails back sounded encouraging, I still felt it would be some time before I heard any more from them, So this old fart decided to buy a bit of modern day Technology, Yes even the old uns still try to keep up with the youngsters, so a 60 investment of a hand held sonar device was the order of the day.

I hate plumbing swims, many tell you they can plumb a swim by pulling a lead and they can tell you where the features are and the depth and the type of bottom. All I can say is those guys are a lot cleverer than me, usually all I get is a rough estimate of how deep it is and a lead full of weed, and the feeling I get from the vibration of a weed covered lead, is that the bottom is just weedy.

Anyway the idea of the investment was to cast out the sonar transducer or whatever its called, then turn on the hand held display and map out the bottom, Well to my surprise this little outfit worked quite well, 11 foot 5 was the depth, and as I reeled in the depth decreased, it seemed to me that it was a gradual slope without any holes or bars, if I had to explain the swim it would be a hole of about 11'5 in the middle with just a gradual slope to the margins, so out went a ledgered Herring and the Sprat float fished at 11 foot to cover the swim.

The sonar does take a bit of getting used to I must admit, it has different settings for sensitivity which I am still working on but it also tells you the temperature of the water and has a fish finding feature on it as well.


While the baited rods were out, I decided to float the sonar over the swims to see if any fish were present, surprisingly there was bugger all, but the hand held device kept beeping and I thought the batteries was going, but when I looked , there was a fish icon appearing on the screen and every time a beep a fish was in the swim.

Now remember this is all new to me, so it took me a while to understand how it all worked, it also never helped that I got caught up on a overhead branch and thought for one minute that the sonar was only going to last for ten minutes and sixty quid down the swanny. As luck ha it I got it back and am still in possession.

Now Ken in his post had got me thinking, and I had decided to use some ground bait to attract the small fish which in turn would attract the predators. Now I didn't want the Pike feeding on the ground bait and leaving the Herring and Sprat, so used finely ground up ground bait and one mil pellet mixed together with a little Tuna oil, and threw that in to the swim, left it for about an hour , then cast out the sonar to see if any fish were in the swim.


Now I was expecting a few silver fish to home in on ,but bugger all appeared in the screen. While I was waiting I looked over the instructions again and apparently the beeps that it emitted, tells you with a fish icon, if its a big icon its a big fish if a little icon a small fish, game on I thought.


Bugger all fish in my swim, not even the sprat dangling on the end of my line so perhaps this device is not all is cracked up to be as far as finding fish but blinding for finding the depth and features should they be there. The fish icon did beep a couple of times but showed the fish to be midwater which didn't help a lot when both baits are on the bottom , and by the time you changed them the fish would have moved so not too much help I would say.


4 hours of doing this and not a sound from my buzzer and nothing from my float, time for a move. I moved closer to the car park swims and a guy at the end was bivied up so made sure I was 3 swims down from him so wouldn't interfere with him. I cast my sonar out and found a gully about 11feet on the other side of the lake which reduced to about 5feet where the lilies are normally present. No major holes or bars, so I decided to spend the rest of the day in this swim, and cast out my ledger to the 11 foot gulley and my float this side of where the pads normally are which shelved a little to about six feet.


Needless to say the day ended with no action at all, and as the light faded I packed the gear up. I did speak to matey in the car park swim he had done one night and was staying for another, he said when he turned up he had caught a 4 pounder before he was all set up but hadn't had a touch since, he was a Kings Arms member and was knocking on a bit, I said to him, bloody cold last night wasn't it and all he said was, well I'm bivied up with my kettle and sleeping bag , and I slept well with no disturbance, Now that guy is a tough old Angler, I felt, I'm off to my nice warm bed and a nice warm Mrs.

Tight lines all.




Turnford Angling Consortium 2020