Sunday, 26 April 2015

Searching for inspiration

A cool Friday evening saw me heading down to a little pit I rarely fish armed with a lure rod.  As strange it may sound I wasn’t really trying to catch anything, I use the lure rod ‘baited’ with a Springdawg to check depths and weed growth.  I cast out, count it down then skim it back quickly.  The area I had in mind has a shallow plateau with a bit of weed growth stretching away from a bed of Norfolk reed and after half an hour I had learnt all I needed to know.  I clipped on a glide bait then done a quick lap of the pit, nothing interrupted the lure.

The following morning I was up at the crack of 5am, this time with the intention of trying to catch Tench.  Had I known I’d find ice on the windscreen I wouldn’t have bothered getting out of bed!  For a moment I considered going back but no I’d done the hard part so what the hell.  The clear sky and cool temperature didn’t fill me with confidence though.

By 0545 I had two rods fishing with 10mm boilies tipped with fake corn on short hooklengths.  Both had small PVA bags full of pellets attached, one was dropped in the margins and the other cast onto the plateau at the edge of the weed.  I then sat back in my comfortable chair, well wrapped up against the chilly morning and watched the mist drift across the pit.  After a while I dozed off.

I would like to say I was stirred by a screaming bite alarm but it was the sun creeping above the tree line that got my flickering eye lids open again.  With the sun out the temperature rose quickly and I started to feel I might be in with a chance.  A fish of some description rolled on the weedline and the Grebes were having no problem catching small silver fish.  Tits flitted in the budding branches, (now there’s an image…) and it started to feel like spring.  I wound in the weedline rod only to find I’d misjudged the cast, removed the weed and put it back out in the right spot this time.  Something rattled the reed stems, my margin rod was close by, things were looking up.

Time passed and I grew into the realisation that a blank was on the cards but this didn’t matter.  With all that’s going on in Norfolk I’d lost the fishing mojo of late but on this morning I enjoyed myself.  Also I’ve not been sure what to do this spring; should I brave the crowds and target the Carp that are everywhere in this area?  No, this spring I’m going all out for Tench and happy to do so. Unlike most waters around these parts the pit was quiet and it’s good to have a new challenge to go at.  By 1100 I was on my way home content with my blank and knowing what I’m going to do this spring.

Monday, 20 April 2015


Just when you think things can’t possibly get any worse…  Following a second Prymnesium outbreak on the River Thurne last week, there’s been a third on Horsey Mere over the weekend.  I took the boat out at the weekend and saw hundreds of dead fish on the Mere.  The river was even worse, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

The first picture below is the BA's "Island recreation scheme" three years on.  Is this a success? Make up your own mind.  

 Most of these photos were taken on the river and are typical of what we saw on both banks along a stretch of about 1 1/2 miles.

If you look closely you'll see a few dead fish laying beside the sign.  Sickeningly ironic...

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Meanwhile in Norfolk

I managed to go two years without a cold then get one in spring just when its threatening to get warmer.  This coupled with having to work Saturday made me more grumpy than usual but an evening was spent blasting music, eating and drinking with a bunch of my favourite people.  That was much better.  Sunday was spent in recovery and by mid afternoon the lil lady and I needed fresh air so set off for a stroll round the lakes.  It was probably the first pleasant day this spring so there were plenty of people about.  I had an inkling to soak some boilies in one of the lakes so paid extra attention to where people were congregating.  I saw few fishy clues on the circuit but noted down a couple of quiet corners that might be comfortable for a Carp or two.

The following afternoon I drove to the far end of the lake around 1530, surprised to see only a couple of other anglers.  The area I fancied was completely free so I took a slow walk around, a reedy area just looked right but so did a couple of familiar quiet bays.  About midway along one bank I stood staring out into the water and all of a sudden noticed a Carp in the margins, almost at my feet.  It must have had a similar experience as the second I saw it, the fish bolted away leaving a cloud of sediment.  There was I fish here, should I fish it?  I’d spooked it though and ended up talking myself out of it.

In the end I settled into a snaggy corner I’ve fished many times before, with increasingly worse results now I come to think of it.  I fished a chod rig and pop up beside an overhanging tree with a dozen boilies scattered around it.  I could have used three rods but opted to stick to two.  The second was rigged up with a Snowman rig and a PVA bag full of pellets and cast into an open area about 30 yds out.  Another dozen boilies were catapulted around.  I’d travelled light and put very little bait out so if nothing showed here I could move.  I told myself this spot would do the business because it was on the back of the cool Northerly breeze.  At least I felt comfortable in the late afternoon sun, I even shed a couple of layers for a short time. 

I spent an hour looking across the water and wondering.  Also listening to the football scores coming in on the radio, Town lost.  Nothing at all showed in my area or as far as I could see and the fish I’d seen played on my mind.  By 1800 I had itchy feet and just had to move so after a quick tidy up I was off.  A few minutes later I was fishing again, I put two good scoops of pellets into the margins and dropped a pop up on top figuring there could be a bit of crap on the bottom.  The chod rig was chucked close to an island with a dozen or so boilies catapulted out again.  Then it was time to sit back, watch and wait.  If nothing else the move had lifted my flagging confidence, we’ll see.

It was nice to be fishing, I really haven’t felt the urge since March 14th but I was enjoying being out.  A frog played hide and seek in the margins where new green reeds are pushing through.  Ducks and a swan were a nuisance and Long tailed tits explored the still bare trees.  I don’t know what to do this spring.  I quite fancy having a go for some Tench on a little pit nearby and I also feel like flinging some lures around because it’s something I haven’t done much of in recent years.  Today I wanted to chill out and the easiest option was to try for Carp as it required the least effort in terms of preparation.  The move felt right but another hour passed and the light began to fade.  This should be my best chance for a fish and I felt optimistic.

An old friend wandered round for a chat about all things fishy for a while before he wandered off to get set up before dark.  The sun disappeared staining the sky red and reminding me of the old fishing proverb; “Red sky at night, your bivvy’s on fire”.  The temperature dropped quickly and I layered up again and wished I brought some gloves.  The breeze had dropped away leaving the water flat calm yet still I couldn’t see sign of a fish.  I sat it out into dark but by now had accepted the blank.  Hindsight, I should have set up where I’d seen that Carp, spooked or not.  I should get out of the habit of settling into familiar spots and fish “new areas”.  It works for Pike?  By 2030 I’d had enough and cleared off.  I still don’t have a clue what I’ll be fishing for next.

Meanwhile in Norfolk…
Over the last week or so there have been more disturbing reports from elsewhere on the Thurne system.  Unprecedented masses of fish have appeared in at least two more locations and once again the EA have been busy.  No one visiting the scenes have any doubt that the fish are seeking refuge from further Prymnesium blooms.  Once again the areas are suffering from oxygen depletion and the EA team has been forced to net and relocate hundreds of thousands of fish.  As I type this the operation is expected to continue for the next few days.

At this time we don’t know exactly what has occurred but it is likely that there have been at least two separate Prymnesium blooms on the system.  “Coincidentally” the Internal drainage board have been working on ditches in the area.  At the moment the situation is very worrying but it is unlikely that we will see a repeat of 1969 when the Thurne system was virtually wiped out.