Another late start and a tedious journey north through sleety, shitty weather. When's it all going to end? I'm sick and tired of scraping the car windscreen, fed up with snow, ice, sub zero temperatures and slippery roads. It's crappy fishing weather so why bother? I've answered that one before. The journey was brightened by playing Happy Mondays very loud and trying to fathom Ryder's lyrics;
“I can do tricks I can
I'm like a dog with two dicks I am
why don't you tie me to a tree
and have another cup of Typhoo tea?”
My moan of the morning is why the hell do people take the piss and risk their lives over taking on bendy single carriageway roads? Giles & I nearly copped it last winter when some idiot was in a hurry and a work mate had a nasty experience the other day. Today I witnessed more madness but thankfully it didn't end in tears.
Once again it was mid morning before I was anchored up and fishing but I didn't feel I'd missed out on a lot by not having the early morning start in these cold conditions; however I wasn't here so I'll never know. There were three other boats about, two were close to areas I fancied so I ended up fishing what has become my normal starting point over the last couple of trips. I made a pigs ear of anchoring the boat and ended up side on to the wind but it wasn't too strong and this enabled me to get a good spread of baits. Three were fished downwind, while a fourth was cast upwind towards the reeds. The plan was the same as last time out, cold weather the fish won't be moving much. Keep the baits on the move, recast regularly and twitch baits, try to put one close enough to a Pike that she won't be able to ignore it.
The morning was quiet, in fact it was so quiet I took to listening to the sounds of birds. Above the racket made by the ever present gulls I could hear a Woodpecker tapping away, the unmistakable squawk of a Pheasant and a grumpy Heron sounding like a rusty door hinge. I spent ninety minutes in the first spot before pulling up the weights and heading for 'submarine bay', an area I hadn't fished for quite some time. I cast two rods upwind into open water and two more downwind towards the reeds then made myself comfortable just before a blizzard descended. This was my first experience of fishing in such conditions from an open boat and it wasn't the most pleasant part of the day by far. Soon it passed and a weak winter sun peaked through the clouds. I was treated to the sight of a Bittern taking wing, flying across the bay and vanishing amongst the reeds opposite. This is also a spot where the Harriers are guaranteed to come close, whispering death gliding silently overhead.
As the afternoon drew on the sky was mostly cloudy. Where do I fish next? All I could do was recall places that had produced at this time of year in seasons gone by. But surely in a more 'normal' winter the Pike would have spawning on their minds by now? My third stop was uneventful fish wise. I sat enjoying a little winter sun, watching filthy grey clouds passing harmlessly by to the east. I should have known better. From nowhere the wind strengthened and veered to an easterly, bringing the clouds with it and dumping a load more sleety crap on top of me.
My final stop of the day was another hour of sunshine and sleet showers spent in the area where I'd saved the blank on my previous visit, would it work twice? In short no. I watched the sun set and and fished until the floats, twitched right back to the boat, were barely visible. I packed up with the temperature dropping quickly but by the time I'd dragged the boat out once again I was sweating. Today had been a grueller but whispers on the wind were inspirational...