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 River Berkel, Stuwweg - 14 May 

I had a great day a few years ago not far from this spot - in between 2 weirs -  so I thought it was time to try it again. Hopefully, a net full of Roach will be visible at the end of the day.

I was pleasantly surprised when I got to the venue. The bank is really good, I'm very close to the car - and there is a little colour in the water. Everything is looking promising.

Time to unpack and set up the gear. This stretch of water runs for 1.7km between two weirs. The fish are trapped and can't go anywhere. There are Roach, Perch and Tench that I know of.

First thing I like to do on a new swim, is take a look at the water with my Deeper Pro sonar ball. It gives a great insight into the water - and you can see a few fish too.

Across to the far bank it goes down to 2.4m about 3m from the bank and there is a 2.4m deep gulley about 2 metres wide. 

This is definitely an area worth trying with the waggler rod on my next visit. 

This is a really nice venue, and easy to fish with the pole or waggler. When there is some flow, a small stick would be perfect. Not much chance of rain at the moment though.

I decide to fish the pole at just short of 10m - top 6 and the mini extension. Waggler rod was at home.

I set up 3 rigs today. A Preston Chianti 4x14 for fishing on the drop, a Preston Inter Carbon 4x16 for fishing for Roach on the bottom, and a Preston Inter Carbon 1g for having a go for some lumps.

Groundbait today was a bag of VDE Secret and a bag of Sonubaits Black Roach. I sieved the groundbaits through a pinkie riddle before wetting to get rid of the larger particles.

I mixed the groundbait on the bank today before I started setting up my rigs. This will give it time to soak in some water.

Into the groundbait went a few casters, some hemp and a few pinkies. After cupping in I started the session at 11:30 on the Chianti rig.

I was using a size 18 B511 on the Chianti rig and fishing dead depth. I had my first bite after about 10 minutes and missed it. This rig didn't seem right so I changed to the 4x16 Inter Carbon rig. A bulk of Stotz and three No. 9 droppers.

This had a size 18 B611 hook and double caster - and it buried first put in. Soon my first Roach was on the bank. 

It was not easy fishing, I had to change rigs, change depths and change baits, but eventually I managed to put 23 Roach and 2 Perch into the net using the 4x16 Inter Carbon Rig with 2 casters fished hard on the bottom - they had no interest in taking a bait that was fished off the bottom. 

I had a few tries on the heavier rig, with worms, but I only had 2 Roach on this rig and the bites were slower. No big fish today. After I finished, I cast the Deeper Pro sonar ball over the swim, but there were no big fish that. 

I fished for 5 hours, and tried hard to get them going. I loose fed sparingly, and topped up now and again with the pole cup - but I think the water was just too cold today. The sudden drop in temperature over the past few days has taken its toll on the fishing. Many venues are struggling to produce fish at the moment. 

There was not much flow today, and the wind was quite strong - a very cold wind from the north. All in all, I would say I did OK today given the conditions. You just can't see how cold it was from the photos. 

I will be back here again when the weather warms up a bit - of that you can be sure. I need to have a session on the waggler across in the deeper gulley.