13th & 14th March 2009
Where one door closes, another opens. The huge Norfolk Pike in Angling times means some parts of the area will get hammered, others will receive less pressure. Instead of chasing the monster Richard and I decided to keep doing what we enjoy most, fishing Eden.
The last two days of the season were upon us and there was only one place I wanted to spend them. I was to fish overnight once again, Giles joining me in the boat on day one, then Richard was to arrive in his own boat later on. Once again we were treated to a bright day with a breeze from the west. Following on from our last session we were full of confidence and we began the day close to where I caught the big fish last time, what we now call the 'stump' area of the basin. We stayed in this area for most of the morning, upping anchors every now & again but only making short moves upwind. We covered the water as best we could with deadbaits but didn't have so much as a take. Plan B in the afternoon was 'hit & run' style fishing zipping between areas. We fished each one for an hour or so but still failed to find any fish. Richard joined us in the afternoon but we struggled to come up with a plan for the night.
All too soon it was time to drop Giles off at the boatyard. We hadn't managed to boat a fish but as usual it had been a highly entertaining day in his inimitable company. Back on the Broad, Rich & I opted to tie up the boats at the top of 'the Channel'. Here we could pitch tents and fish from the bank, which is exactly what we did. Once again we enjoyed the magic of a night on the system. We thought we had a chance of a fish in this area but it was not to be. We did treat ourselves to another enormous, highly unhealthy fried meat feast, washed down with a couple of glasses of wine. The night was anything but quiet with the honking of wildfowl and the call of Tawny owls, not to mention our laughter. I laughed literally until my sides hurt. Good company, fantastic location, fascinating fishing and possibly big fish. What could be better?
Once again I wound the rods in at midnight, swallowed a large glass of wine then retired to the relevant comfort of a tent. I dozed the night away, never knowing if I was warm or cold, comfortable or not. We were both up early and raring to go for the second day. Breakfast was fried again while we tidied our camp and readied the boats. Richard decided to go off searching while I opted to stay on the same area I'd spent all the previous morning in, I just had 'that feeling', I was sure a fish or two would put in an appearance. I was right but it was only a fish of around five pounds on a bluey. We had planned to fish until midday before packing the boats onto the trailers and towing them home. As the time ticked down I really didn't want to leave the water, would I get one more chance this season? The answer was Yes! A float was zipping nicely from right to left but as I picked the rod up it stopped. I wound down but the bait had been dropped and I retrieved a tooth marked bluey. Typical, this place always leaves you wanting a little bit more!
In some ways I'm always glad when the closed season arrives, I need something that stops me listening to the mad demon in my head that drives me to almost obsession with fishing this wonderful system. For the next few months my fishing will be more varied, more child friendly and less hectic. Once the autumn comes around again I'll be ready for another crack at my favourite place.