Monday, 20 August 2012

Summer holidays

It was another busy day in the summer holidays.  Madi, Isaac and I had walked through museums, mansions and a gallery.  We’d been in shops, through the market and had a burger so with all that behind us I needed a couple of hours of peace and quiet to restore my sanity.  Despite the children’s lukewarm response we were going fishing, no debate!

So in the late afternoon we rolled up at the puddle to find the car park deserted, perfect!  I wanted the children to catch fish so we headed for the first lake where the Carp are generally smaller but more numerous.  I fed with Chum mixers while I went through the process of setting the gear up.  We’d travelled light just a couple of bags, a net, unhooking mat, a whip and a rod.  The three of us would share this gear.  By the time we were ready to cast the swim was full of hungry Carp eagerly slurping down mixers.  It looked like a shoal of piranhas feasting on a carcass.  We just had to catch fish!

To save baiting up too often both set ups were rigged up with two pop up 10mm boilies hair rigged onto a size 12 hook.  Having been hammered all summer these fish are a little bit more cagey than they were in the spring but hunger and competition for food gets the better of them.  Madi wasn’t too bothered about the fishing to begin with but once Isaac had netted a Carp, she wanted to have a go.  Before I knew it both the kids had hooked fish at the same time and somehow I managed to get both in the net at once.  I didn’t get a look in to begin with as I was busy baiting up, netting and unhooking fish.  

 After a while the children decided to have a break which gave me the opportunity to have a fish for myself.  Like the last time I visited this lake I found it too easy, not my idea of fishing at all.  When the kids returned I tried to talk them into moving over to the other lake where the fish are a bit bigger but they were having too much fun where we were.  They soon resumed their positions of battering the Carp stocks and keeping me busy keeping them fishing.  Every now and then I managed to pinch a rod and catch a fish or two.  After a couple of hours of mayhem which included another “two fish in the net” occurrence and plenty of friendly sibling rivalry we’d had enough.  The family total was twenty four Carp, Madi caught the most and Isaac caught the biggest.  Best of all, all three of us had thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
 A couple of days later the three of us found ourselves in north Norfolk with a tent and time on our hands.  Because we were camping only a few miles from the boat yard an afternoon on the water was a must.  The main motivation for launching was to simply take the children for a little ride around the broads however it seemed daft not to chuck a rod and a little bait in the boat with us.

It was a warm sunny afternoon but with just enough breeze to keep us cool and give the water a healthy ripple.  After motoring around for a while I steered into the leeward bank and dropped the mudweights.  First job was to mix a little groundbait and set up a feeder rod.  I left Isaac in charge while I prepared to light the stove and get the kettle boiling.  Unfortunately I’d managed to leave the lighter in the car so no stove and no tea…oh well.  It wasn’t long before the quiver tip started rattling and Isaac eagerly began to wind in a few small silver fish, mostly Roach but with the odd small Bream.  We shared the rod, Madi and I caught a couple too but Isaac caught the lions share.  
 We stayed put for an hour or so, Isaac would happily have stayed longer but Madi was all set for a change of pace so we upped the weights again and went for another slow cruise around the broads.  There were loads of waterfowl as usual but the harriers were conspicuous by their absence for once.  As the sun began to dip in the sky we pointed the boat back towards the slip and headed back.  The children had enjoyed their afternoon on the water and I’d loved sharing a special place with them. The day finished with dinner in a nearby pub with a welcome pint for me.

When I’d booked the campsite I hadn’t realised how close it was to a lovely sandy beach so for the next couple of days the kids and I spent many hours relaxing there. The high tides coincided with the beginning and end of the day when the beach was at its quietest. This may have been why we were fortunate enough to see surprise visitors in the form of Seals swimming close to the shore. This delighted and excited the three of us and they even came close enough for a photo.

Sadly our week together came to an end and now I’m back at work. It was lovely sharing some of my favourite things with the kids and great to see them enjoy it so much.


Melanie Daryl said...

Looks like your kids are pretty good in fishing! The fish they caught are quite big and healthy. I’m sure you and your kids made a lot of good memories this summer. Memories like those are utterly rejuvenating when you are so tired from work. It can definitely change your mood.

>Melanie Daryl

Michael Hastings said...

Thanks Melanie