TNS TOWN TOUR, RIVER SEVERN PERCH, LLANDUDNO, MOLINEUX, WPL PODCAST (Blog entry 685)

I have a number of responsibilities at TNS, one of them being the #TNSTownTour (we like our hashtags at the club). It involves going into the Oswestry area and engaging with local shops and businesses, building bridges between the club and the community. They display a poster advertising the next game and I take a photo and tweet it on the TNS account. Both parties get free publicity and everyone’s a winner. The latest visit to the the town was the first this season and it was great to get back on track.

Then, of course, ultimately what it’s all about, matchday. This week’s game was the second of the new season and the first on the road, as we travelled along the A55, Llandudno-bound. It was another victory, this time 5-0 and with other teams dropping points it means that not only is TNS top of the table, but we’re also the only side with a 100% record. The day was somewhat overshadowed though by a nasty head injury to one of our players, Adrian Cieslewicz. He ended up in hospital, and although surgery was initially on the cards, thankfully that isn’t now on the agenda.

On air at Llandudno and selfies from the TNS Town Tour
On air at Llandudno and selfies from the TNS Town Tour. I did try to find some men, honestly.

My opening angling session is the one that you can see in the accompanying video. As far as my fishing is concerned, I enjoy doing some exploring along the way. It’s the way most of my favourite spots have come about. Of course, it helps that I fish a lot. Not everywhere I go turns out for the good, some just never get off the ground, but my attitude is very much that at least I gave it a go. If you’re an angler who can only fish once a week, it’s not necessarily practical to pioneer. Your fishing time is very limited and you want to make the most of it, not chasing the piscatorial equivalent of the wild goose.

I didn’t show all the fish in the video, but you can see the biggest perch I caught on the session. I banked quite a few, along with chub and gudgeon. The swim was full of tiddlers and the moment that the worm hit the deck, the rod tip was bouncing. Gradually though, as the bait went in on a regular basis, the perch started to show. That’s when the smaller fish, understandably, decided on a quick exit. Regardless of the type of fishing I’m doing though, I never have a problem initially with hordes of tiddlers in the swim.

Perch fishing on the middle Severn
Perch fishing on the middle Severn

I see their presence as being positive. Their willingness to feed more freely than bigger fish will give the specimens the confidence that they need to get their heads down. Plus, there’s  nothing like the feeling that your lunch is getting away from you to spur you on to get tucked in. That’s why, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no such thing as a nuisance fish. Although I do target bigger ones, they are all valued, and indeed have a part to play. Don’t get upset about hooking 4lb tench and bream, they’re part of the process that will see a 30lb carp on the mat. It’s like life, you have to see the big picture.

If variety is the spice of life, then indeed this week’s fishing hits the spot perfectly. My next two sessions were late evening visits to a place that, although contains crucian carp, they are indeed very elusive. I’ll be fishing for them in a couple of weeks down south, more of that then. In the meantime though my attempts at banking a midlands one  proved to be futile. Some anglers who fish the venue believe that they are no longer there and declare that like its a fact. It’s not though, just that they aren’t showing as well as they have done in the past.

A peep into the brook and one of its residents
A peep into the brook and one of its residents

I also paid a flying visit to the brook that has featured a few times recently in my blog. Fishing maggots on a size 14 hook I landed three small roach but had pulls on a couple of decent fish. With the venue running very low and clear, that was about all the action I managed. Fitting in sessions when I can, it was back to the middle Severn for the next outing. Fishing a quivertip rod, a 20g cage feeder was more than sufficient to hold bottom in a river, that like the brook, was struggling due to lack of recent rainfall. This time I set up in a swim that I have fished a couple of times before for perch.

Its a classic overhanging downstream willow peg. With extra depth as well, it’s a good spot when the conditions are such as previously described. The cage feeder was filled with maggots and plugged with brown crumb, while the size 10 hook presented a juicy worm to attract my favourite species. First off though was a very small chub. However, that wasn’t an issue at all. As previously stated, the small fish will give confidence to the bigger ones that something is going on.

More fish from the middle Severn
More fish from the middle Severn

It’s great when a plan works out, as that’s exactly what happened. The initial taps and whittled worms from the hordes of hungry tiddlers suddenly stopped and I knew at that point that something bigger had entered the swim. It could have been a pike of course, but as I then had a number of decent perch, in this instance it wasn’t. Apart from one, they all required the landing net so it was a great way to end the week’s fishing. With five outings this time round I’m getting back to where I should be. It’s always a struggle to balance all the stuff that I do in life and it’s important that fishing doesn’t lose out. More of that in next week’s blog entry.

On August 22 two years ago, the Welsh Premier League season 2014/2015 began. I was at Park Hall, the home of TNS. Like I had done several times before, I paid my money and sat behind the goal in my regular seat, as an anonymous fan. Little did I know that by the time the next home game came round I would be on the balcony with a microphone in one hand and a team sheet in the other. The club had decided to launch a radio show covering matches. Well, although I’m into my third season now, it’s not quite two full years yet. What an incredible journey it’s been. It just shows, doesn’t it, you never know what’s around life’s  corner.

Back at Molineux and back on the WPL podcast
Back at Molineux and back on the WPL podcast

Still on the football theme, it was back to Molineux again this week, for my third Wolves game and nineteenth overall of 2016/2017. Taking a 2-0 lead within the first thirteen minutes, it looked like Wolves were cruising. However, within a minute of scoring the second, Cambridge United hit back and in spite of both teams having opportunities, that’s how the game ended. I thoroughly enjoyed being there and although I can’t return to my season ticket days, I’ll certainly do as many games as I can this time round. Back to Wales, it was great this last week to make my second appearance on the Welsh Premier League’s weekly podcast, interviewed by Marc Webber. You can listen to that via the WPL website.

I publish a blog entry every Saturday and this is the 685th consecutive week. Starting in July 2003, it wasn’t even a ‘blog’ back then as I didn’t know about the term. Instead it was Stewart Bloor’s Angling Journal and although the content has expanded in recent times, it still has lots of fishing stuff in there, of course. Why not subscribe to the weekly update, so you get the post in your email inbox as it happens. There is a submission link at the top of the page. In addition, my Twitter and Facebook page links are elsewhere on this page, so why not give them a follow and like respectively. You can also spread this entry via the ‘Share’ facility below. Thanks if you do. See you next week.  (Published August 27 2016)