It comes good in the end
Left to right: the only pike of the week, bringing the fish to the net, Dudmaston Big Pool
This week’s article features Dudmaston Big Pool on the Kinver Freeliners’ ticket. You can check out the club’s website on the home page of my site – as sponsors they have a link on there. In fact as you go on to their website, the first thing you will see is a photograph of Dudmaston. Better known for its summer tench fishing, as I say on the accompanying video, it does have more strings to its bow and one of them is the pike. There are certainly waters around that throw up bigger fish; but as for the beauty of the place, is there anywhere that can rival the Big Pool? For me, it takes some beating on that front.
The only downside is that it is a bit of a walk, but assuming you are reasonably fit and don’t mind that, the rewards are worth it. I love it in the early part of the year, fishing a deadbait for pike. Cast the rods out, sit back and take in the wider package that the venue has to offer. Already this year I have seen a female smew and a firecrest and this time round I managed a lunchtime barn owl in flight as well.
On all three sessions in this article I headed for the deeper water in the bay, which is the furthest distance from the car park. The water temperature on all the visits I made was in the 4’s. This is about as low as I like it for Dudmaston, previous records show that when the water has run high 4 and above, that is when I have been more successful. With my earlier visits this year having a part-frozen lake and temperatures much lower than that, I was certainly confident enough.
However on trip one all I had was a single enquiry. It had me reeling one rod in quickly, but unfortunately nothing developed. The next visit – when I saw the barn owl – was a short Saturday afternoon session. The result was still the same though – no fish – except this time I didn’t even have the excitement of a bobbing float to get me going. But not to be outdone, with the phrase ‘Third time lucky’ ringing in my ears, I returned once more to the venue. A sucker for punishment or a man determined to catch? Definitely the latter!
As is typical of Dudmaston in the week, I had the place to myself. Well, apart from the estimated 650 black headed gulls that were on it as I arrived. Casting out two rods, I fished tail sections, with a roach on one and a sardine on the other. It was a hectic first half-hour with three fish picking up the baits that lay on the bottom. Unfortunately though, they all decided not to pursue their interest and so the bottom line was still no pike. But the fourth one a while later did take the bait and I found myself striking into it. The bend in the rod didn’t last very long though as within seconds the hooks pulled.
But if there is one word to describe me I would say optimist has to be in there somewhere and so I wasn’t discouraged. In fact I tweeted that I was one run away from a 20. Something that my friend Stu Maddocks had achieved just a day or so before on the River Dee. I didn’t quite match Stu’s achievement but I did get my man. Or girl as the case may be. It came late in the day and reminded me of how many times my weekly Angling Journal has been blessed with just the one fish. It’s a fine line between success and failure in the specimen angling world that’s for sure.
I didn’t see a soul all day until just after the fish, when Steve Collett (who is also a member of the club) came by as he was out walking his dog. We had a good old natter and talked about another session somewhere together following our recent perch outing. As far as the club is concerned, you can make contact with another Steve – Williams – whose details can be taken from the KFAC website. If you’re local and looking for a well run club with some good waters then definitely consider this option. Yes, they do sponsor my site, but don’t let that deceive you. This is a partnership of choice and when I fish a Kinver water it is totally and absolutely because I want to.
Video number 9 on list
(Originally published February 2010)