Monday, 10 September 2012

Do different

Friday night was spent in a busy Town pub, sharing a laugh and a pint with loved ones along with all the hustle and bustle that goes with it. Twenty four hours later I was in the boat tucked into the reeds fishing for Bream on a dark, starry night.

My original intention had been to have an early Pike session but the weather had been far too hot of late so that was ruled out. Instead I’d take the Bream rods and do something I’d never really done before. I could also spend time motoring around the system, getting the hang of where the weedbeds are and how things have changed since last year. This would provide useful information for the Pike season to come.

Saturday at work had been a grueller, I didn’t have a hangover but there was one lurking, ready to pounce should I drop my guard. Plenty of tea to keep me hydrated and the drink demon was kept at bay. Time dragged but eventually I was finished and racing home to load the car. Turnaround time at home was longer than expected but I eventually hit the road and chased the setting sun. I launched the boat in fading light but I was able to cross the broad and motor down to my chosen spot before it got fully dark.

I found a place on the sheltered bank, not a bay as such but a little indentation in the reeds about fifty yards long that allowed me to tuck the boat out of the southerly wind and importantly out of the boat channel. This area was shallow and weedy but gave me easy access to the deeper channel where I intended to put my baits. I fished simple cage feeders filled with a mixture of brown crumb and special G, which is a groundbait I have faith in because in a previous job I used to make it. Provided they haven’t tampered with the recipe too much it should be good stuff. Hook bait was sweetcorn fished on size 16 hooks with 18” hooklengths and these were gently lobbed into the deeper boat channel. I also baited the area with a couple of kilos of mixed pellets and I was fishing for Bream from a boat at night. Something I’ve never done before.

So I was fishing and it felt great to be out in the boat in the wilds once again. Good to get back in the swing of things, kind of a practice for when my Pike fishing starts in a couple of weeks’ time. I’m not an angler who can just switch methods and species with ease (I admire those who can), I need a trip or two to get my head around things. OK I wasn't Piking but I was in the boat so it was practice of sorts. To demonstrate my ineptitude as an all rounder, my total lack of night time Bream/boat fishing became apparent as it became fully dark and a bit of fog drifted in, I simply couldn’t see my quiver tips!! This was a bit of a problem which became obvious when a fish found its way into weed, undetected and was lost. I eventually got around this snag with a moment of genius, cut to one rod and touch leger!

Within a few minutes I’d detected and missed my first bite, there were fish out there and I thought I was in with a chance of catching a few. However bites did not come regularly and I had to wait a while for the line to be pulled from my fingers and I set the hook. My first Bream of the trip wasn’t a monster but required the landing net and I’d got a result of sorts. I fished on with enthusiasm but after an hour without feeling anything I became a little drowsy. The festivities of the previous evening began to catch up with me so I decided to get my head down and have another go first thing in the morning.

After a fitful night I roused around 0600 to find light growing on a misty morning. I recast the feeders, catapulted out some more pellets and began fishing again. Having read many times that Bream are nocturnal I didn't know what to expect. I began getting tremors on the tips but no definite bites, I guessed smaller fish were trying to eat my corn baits. With a couple of cups of tea and some breakfast inside me I fished on with a bit more energy and at last began to get some proper bites. I even began hooking fish, Bream and hybrids around the pound mark, not exactly what I’d expected but fish none the less. Bites came in spurts, I’d hook two or three fish then it would go quiet for a time before another little burst of activity. I've only ever targeted Bream a handful of times over the years so have very little experience but would guess I didn't have enough feed to hold a number of fish and was picking off a few each time a shoal passed by. As time passed a few bigger Bream showed up too, again nothing huge but big enough to require netting. As the morning wore on the boat traffic began to increase from annoying to “FFS!”. I’d arranged to meet the good lady around midday so although I was still catching the odd fish I wasn't too bothered about tidying up, lifting the anchors and heading off.
I picked Shelley up in the early afternoon and took her for a leisurely cruise around the system, showing her beautiful places she’d never seen before. After a couple of hours we found a nice quiet spot away from the madness of the boat traffic and I pinged out the feeder rods while we enjoyed tea and a picnic. Bites here were very slow in coming but after an hour of enjoying the scenery and wildlife the tip began to rattle again. Two skimmers came in quick succession before I hooked a third, much heavier fish. This was on for a bit, thumping its head before my hooklength parted. I suspect a proper Bream had taken my bait that time, live and learn.

With the sun beginning to descend we upped the weights and I pointed the boat back in the general direction of its home. With everything finally tidied up and secured we finished a lovely late summer day with a pint of local bitter and a lovely seafood pub meal. The long days of sunshine rarely appeared this year but this was one that we’d thoroughly enjoyed, however I’m ready for autumn now, ready for Pike fishing…

No comments: