Colin Mitchell's latest blog picks apart a high summer fishing session, when things did not go to plan.

If fishing near lilies you don't want to be undergunned - get those fishes' heads turned quickly!

You’d fancy your chances near lilies, wouldn’t you?


A WARM but overcast day with a nice ripple on the lake – are ideal conditions to catch a few fish.

If you answered yes and agreed with the above statement I would have been right behind you.

Yet last week those were the conditions that Music Mike and I face and yet we struggled to catch.

In fact on the first venue we visited it was a struggle to get a bit and we both managed just a few small rudd.

After two hours of struggle we were off to another club pond – I’m not going to name the venues because I know they are well stocked and don’t deserve a slagging off – where we still found fishing hard.

Blog MitchThe water at both venues had a nice tinge to it, and sign that fishing should have been great.

We both caught roach, tench and crucians at the second water but we didn’t catch where or how you might expect!

The only fish near the reed and lily pads cover were tiny perch and roach.

The proper fish were in the deeper water in what I would class as no-man’s land. Quite simply in the conditions they should not have been there.

Once I fed some groundbait – quite heavily through a pot – I started to catch. Mike took it a bit easier and didn’t get quite so many fish.

Yet it was like someone flicked a switch on the pond around 3.45pm. Everyone there stopped catching and started to go home.

There was one guy left as we trudged off the lake and I will swear he had fallen asleep with boredom.

So what was wrong?

Sorry, but on this occasion I can’t really tell you what was wrong.

I will hazard a guess it had something to do with air pressure – it was a ‘heavy’ day, really clammy despite no sun breaking through the clouds.

It wasn’t pleasant to sit in so maybe that feeling transmitted through the water and made the fish feel the same way.

It would have been an interesting session if there were bream in these lakes. On other occasions when conditions have been like this I’ve still caught them when other species have shut up shop.

Or it could be that the burst of fish we had early afternoon – and it was a major catching session that saw me get two tench and around 20 crucians in next to no time – was that golden time when they switch on and open their mouths.

What it does prove is that if you are on the bank at the right time you will catch.

In this instance it wasn’t early morning or evening that was best – unless someone went and bagged up after we had gone!

You can stiffen paste to help keep it on the hook but several modern commercially-sold products are brilliant without mucking about.

Paste was the better bait this time.

What was extremely interesting from the session was the best bait.

Maggots attracted small fish. No surprise there.

The usually effective meat failed to catch. Pellets were also a waste of time.

Sweetcorn wasn’t much better with just a few fish.

But once I mixed up a bit of paste it was a bit a chuck during the golden spell.

My favourite Sonubaits Green Fibre Paste was just the job – but like all paste fishing it was a devil to hit the bites.

I was on the pole and just lifted into a few small dips to connect with most of the crucians.

They may be shy biters but these were exceptionally shy. Hitting one in five bites wasn’t great… but it was still fun!


* A new book from Colin Mitchell containing loads of fishing tips and tricks is out now and also contains contributions from Bob Nudd, Mark Pollard, Darren Cox among others. Check it out at here.