The shackles are off and in a couple of days we can all go fishing again should we choose. I expect lots of people will do just that and many waters will be very busy for a few days before things return to a level of spring normality.
Stopping angling was the right decision, back in March there was already lots of fear, confusion and many grey areas. Legislation has to be made with the most stupid members of the population in mind and let’s be honest, many of us have our fishing blighted by fucking idiots at the best of times. If anything the ban, like the lockdown should have come earlier, it’s worrying to think that the Football Association reacted to this pandemic quicker than the government. But now does seem to be a good time to lift the ban and allow us to clear our minds by the waterside, which after six weeks or so of confinement I’m sure many of us need. The angling trade has missed its busiest period of the year and will be desperate to get up and open again but that doesn’t seem so cut and dried to me, we can live without tackle shops for a while longer.
It’s been incredibly frustrating having all this free time without being able to fish and with no cricket either! To be honest it probably hasn’t affected me as much as it has many people, I’m quite content within my four walls, being a reader helps and I’m never without a book on the go, often more than one. Also I live in rural Suffolk so I only have to walk for five minutes in any direction and I’m out of town and in the countryside so my daily hour of exercise has been a pleasure. I’ve walked round the town lake and seen Rudd, Roach and Bream gathering ahead of spawning as well as Pike and Perch waiting for an easy meal. I also regularly saw Carp in the same place, these would have been easy to catch and I found myself mentally rehearsing their downfall. If they had been bigger fish I may well have been tempted. I’ve also walked miles of river and sadly seen next to nothing apart from the medium sized Chub in the same pool I’ve seen them in every spring for the last seventeen years. Few clues for my Gudgeon quest which hasn't been forgotten.
Apart from walking and books I’ve found some good entertainment on YouTube. I don’t really like the angling films in the John Wilson/Matt Hayes mould, where a producer sets out to make a program and a lot of what we are seeing is staged and obviously fake. I much prefer the video diary type thing where you see people fishing warts an’ all. However whatever Terry Hearn puts out is brilliant and his latest film about Carp fishing on the Thames is excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed part one and the second half is due out any day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqXr1jSHUWM&t=70s
Also another old school Carp angler, Dave Lane is one of the best angling writers there is. When I read his first two books I hadn’t Carp fished in years but loved them regardless. If you like anecdotal writing Dave’s books are as good as it gets, the species is irrelevant. Since we’ve all been confined Dave has been talking us through his first book “Obsession…” with a series of Vlogs. These are great and Dave often goes off on tangents that take us miles away from the waterside and very often involve pubs. I think he’s up to episode 19 now and they have become essential viewing for me these past few weeks. He’s getting towards the end of the book now, which is pretty good timing all things considered but when we’re finished I’m actually going to miss them.
Anyway episode one is here and I really recommend them to all anglers, not just Carpers but if you don’t want to go through the whole lot, start at the Wraysbury section which is the best part of the book and so far the best part of the vlogs.
I’m sure there must be some good Pike angling video stuff on YouTube somewhere I’ll have to have a search sometime but before that I’ve got to get some tackle sorted because I’m going to have a cast before the end of the week!