I took a slow drive listening to news from England's cricketers down under. This was followed by a mixed CD of sounds from my mis-spent youth. As I neared my destination I narrowly missed a lazy Muntjack crossing the road in front of me. Soon I was there and loading up but my departure was slowed by an ignorant individual who jumped in front of me at the slip way then took an age. Usually all is good and sociable here but there's always one...
I was soon afloat and settled for a spot I'd done OK in this time last year. I'd hardly got the mud weights down when I heard the sound of an engine. The boat that had held me up at the slip appeared and began to anchor up close by. Too close in my opinion so I set off again in search of peace and quiet. The area I eventually plumped for, was one I'd caught fish from in the past but not one of my favourites. I put four deadbaits out then settled down to wait . I poured a cup of tea to help wake myself up and smiled. Today I had a plan and it was good to get back out on the water.
I kept twitching baits and covering the water but wasn't really happy in this spot. After an hour the I'd had enough so ventured out into open water, eventually settling into the “stump” where my confidence was boosted by a breeze from the north rippling the water. I spent about ninety minutes here, a little mist was coming and going, as was the wind. I had another short move to an area new to me but this too failed to produce anything of note. My next stop was scheduled to be a favourite bay but when I entered there was a boat in the spot I fancied, yes it was “him” again! Oh well! I'd made up my mind that I would spend a bit of time in a part of the system I rarely fish so decided the time was right, do it now!
On my journey it became apparent that there were lots of anglers about, more than I'd seen all season. I eventually anchored up at a spot that had been very kind to me in the past. I fished a Mackerel and a bluey on the near reedline, chucked a Lamprey into the open water and set a Herring to drift under a float then sat back to enjoy the peace and quiet of my surroundings, only the sounds of bird life to disturb me.
My plan was to stay in this general area so after a couple of hours I pulled up the weights and had a short move, fishing with similar tactics. Rich appeared in the late afternoon, he was late due to spending a bit of time catching bait and kindly donated a couple to my cause. As the light began to fade I had a decision to make; where should I spend the night? I had two choices in mind, one was a spot I'd fished before, the other was totally new to me, I opted for the latter. As this was a new spot for me I spent a bit of time carefully casting a float around to find depths and weed etc. I was settled in just before dark; A mackerel cast towards a point in the reeds, a popped up herring chucked towards the weed in a bay, a bluey and a paternostered livebait fished in open water.
Just after dark a moderate wind blew up from the north, clearing the cloud and allowing the stars to shine out, however the temperature was dropping fast. Rich was tucked into the reeds a couple of hundred yards away but reported an otter was disturbing his swim so was planning a move. I lay back in the boat and vegetated for a while. I felt very tired but tea and sausage sarnies reinvigorated me. I thought about the swim I was fishing and repositioned the baits, covering what I hoped would be ambush points. I really liked this 'new' area and was feeling confident.
Time past and my confidence proved unfounded, by midnight nothing had disturbed any of my baits and I was thoroughly knackered. It was time to wind the rods in and get some kip. As I began to drift off I reflected that day one hadn't gone to plan but I hatched a plan for day two. The conditions might be good for trolling at first light, lets see.
The night passed, I was cold and uncomfortable so slept fitfully. I was wide awake long before dawn so recast fresh baits and woke myself up with a brew. I fished here for an hour then decided it was high time for a move so quietly left the area. A fresh wind had blown up in the early hours so trolling wouldn't work for me today. When settled again I had a slight change of tactics fishing a paternostered livebait upstream and allowed a free rover to cover the swim in front of me. I fished a mackerel and a Bluey on the near weedlines then settled back for breakfast. This was interrupted by a take at long last, something had snaffled the paternostered livebait. I pulled into a fish but felt minimal resistance. A very small Pike was dragged to the boat where it opened it's mouth and spat bait and hooks back at me, the little bugger. Oh well! I spent ninety minutes here then as more boats began appearing, decided it was time to leave.
In mid morning I rendezvoused with Rich again. We anchored up side by side and spent a couple of hours searching the water around us with live and deadbaits. There were lots of Grebes about and we thought maybe we had a chance of a fish but it was not to be. By lunch time we'd both had enough and tidied up. It was great to be back and an enjoyable couple of days but the system had beaten us again.