Monday, 31 December 2012

End of year guff


It would have been a perfect weekend to fish in Norfolk but I just didn’t have the time. Three milder days after a week of frosty nights and bleakness just has to be worth a go. Milder weather brought wilder weather with big winds and heavy rain a couple of days ago. The river on Saturday was well up and I discounted it as a venue for Sunday. That left a certain stillwater which has been unproductive so far this year but I just had to fish somewhere!

Its been ages since an alarm has woken me for fishing but it wasn’t too early and it’s much easier to get up for fishing than it is work. The daylight was growing as I filled the flask but it didn’t take me long to get to the lake and by 0745 I had two deadbaits soaking. I’d had a couple of swims in mind and one was available, the pegs to my left were taken by two carp anglers who had bravely fished the night. The shaded south eastern corner of the lake still had a thin layer of ice left. I fished a Mackerel to the left and cast a popped up sprat to my right where there should be dying weed. I often sneak out a third deadbait but today I’d opted to bring a lure rod. I have some jigs that rarely get chucked around so the plan was to twitch these past my deadbaits and hopefully stir some Pike up. Instead of using my normal baitcasting set ups I tried one of my 10ft boat rods and a fixed spool reel for a change.

After an hour or so watching the sun creep above the tree tops, sipping tea and chilling out with cricket on the radio I gave the jig a go. Being inexperienced with jig fishing I experimented with retrieves and all that technical stuff. I like the idea of bouncing bottom with a lure like this but maybe a shad shape would work better than this eely looking thing? In India, England were 94-3 at tea, a little precarious? I twitched the sprat back towards me and recast the mackerel, this too was popped up. Every now and then I picked the lure rod up, trying a springdawg & a replicant before switching back to another jig.

The morning was pleasant, I had the weak winter sun shining and every now and then a breeze sprang up from the west. The lake was filling up, two people set up on the far side, one was certainly Piking. I hope I don’t make anything like as much noise as they did setting up. There was a flurry of action to me left, one of the carpers was into a fish which appeared to fighting quite hard. When they eventually lifted the net it looked like a big lump of fish and fair play to them, well-earned after a winter night. Good angling but what’s this? C’mon, you don’t need a bait boat to fish there! After a couple of fishless hours I may have had a move but there was little scope now. Back in India, Trott & Bell were batting well and saw England reach 161-3 at the close. I was just settling down to listen to Aggers & Boycott’s summary when I noticed my float slowly upend and lay flat. It didn’t move off and I didn’t really think it was a take but I couldn’t ignore it. I wound down and felt a tap so struck and found myself actually attached to a Pike. It was lively but soon under control, a small fish but more than I’d expected by that time. The hooks were just nicked in and she was back in the water in seconds.

Another Mackerel was soon on the spot and I settled back again. My experience of this water is it’s slow through the winter, mostly “one take days” but with a good chance of a nice fish. My one take had produced a jack but I fished on. The lure rod was given another good spin and I kept on twitching the sprat back towards me. Another ninety minutes drifted passed by which time I was hungry and had to find time for a few jobs at home so that was that. Hopefully Isaac and I will find time for another visit in a few days time.

Sadly we didn’t manage to find the time and that was almost certainly my last fish of 2012.

End of year guff.
2012 is drawing to a close and will be remembered in the UK with little fondness for being one of the wettest in living memory. Grey skies and rain have seemed never ending this year but the sun did come out on a few occasions. I was lucky enough to have three sunny days at cricket this year, firstly at Trent Bridge with the family where we saw England set up a win against the West Indies in May. Next was July with a group of good mates at the Oval watching South Africa bat us out of the game. Family again in august for a CB40 match between Essex and the Netherlands which was great fun and a home win. It rained at the Latitude festival in July, where the good lady & I spent four days and nights of Music, comedy and madness. The highlight of that weekend was Paul Weller playing a blinder. Despite my scepticism I really found myself enjoying the olympics this year too. I talk about all this, my addiction to cricket and a load of other bollocks on another blog called….


Back in the spring I had several rants directed at the Broads Authority and their dredging policies. The BA complimented me by instructing their solicitor to email me… Now to be fair to the BA, since that Prymnesium bloom they’ve began to listen. They’ve taken on board advice from EA scientists, from Natural England and the Angling Trust has also been involved. They have now agreed to dredge only in the winter and will be using the suction method instead of a clam shell and crane. So credit where it’s due, I’m happy to write something positive about the BA on this occasion. However I think it’s fair to say that none of this would have happened without the pressure from the angling community led by the Norfolk PAC/N&DPC. Thanks to John Currie, Micky Cox & Steve Roberts in particular. Steps in the right direction and there is other good news detailed in an interview with John Currie coming on the “Pike Pool” soon.

My first fish of 2012 was actually a 22+ pounds Pike and my biggest passion in angling remains fishing for Pike, from a boat, on the Norfolk Broads but sadly I still feel unable to write about this too much. Why? Over in Lumbland, Dave said it all and much better than I could on this post;
This year has been a good one for the Pike but maybe not quite as good as the one before. I’ve also enjoyed bank fishing closer to home a few times, nowadays this type of fishing is almost a novelty.

I managed to catch a Tench on just my third attempt this spring then later in the year another, my best ever. (I somehow managed to delete that particular blog post somewhere along the way) These were obviously fluke captures as I mostly spent the spring totally over complicating things and catching everything but Tench. Normal service resumed, Rudd, Roach and one half decent Bream. I really enjoyed a bit of Broadland Bream fishing from the boat, hopefully I’ll find time to do that again next year. Later in the summer catching my first ever Catfish was a lot of fun too, on the right water I could get well into fishing for those ugly things. I’ve really enjoyed fishing with the children in 2012, both Madi and Isaac had PB Carp this year along with loads of smaller species. Madi is a ‘take it or leave it’ angler but Isaac is showing more and more of an interest, is learning quickly and most importantly he’s enjoying himself!


I caught loads of Carp this year but nothing that was big enough to be particularly interesting. I used to enjoy Carp fishing but was never very good at it. This wasn’t the reason I jacked it in though, it was mostly because it became so popular and I couldn’t find any peace & quiet. I enjoy my Tench fishing mostly because of the water involved, this place also holds a few nice Carp and for the first time in nearly twenty years I fancy trying to catch a few. Or is this a double bluff? If I target Carp maybe I’ll catch Tench?


Finally, some more photos from a year of fishing.

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