Sunday, 19 June 2016

There's more to it...

The long summer evenings of June mean I can often squeeze in a few hours fishing after work.  This takes a bit of pre planning; gear prepped and ready the night before, extra food to eat at work and a flask to fill during the last tea break.  The biggest problem is rush hour traffic and after a bit of thought I came up with a clever short cut to the main road that saved me ten minutes at least.  I was meeting up with Mr N at Ted’s place at 1830 and was ahead of schedule.  Until I run into crawling traffic…  The cause was accidents on both carriageways and the last few miles were a crawl.

I arrived late and Mr N was already fishing so I crept quietly into position beside him.  Ted’s place is a very weedy water and Mr N remembers it being a prolific Tench water but nowadays they are less numerous but generally bigger.  This is another Suffolk water which has seen Tench stocks decline rapidly since Otters have returned in numbers.  We had discussed methods over the phone; Mr N was using a light link leger with a long hooklength so his bait of bread flake would settle on the weed.  He assured me this simple method had seen the downfall of many Tench in the past and I didn’t doubt him.  I had intended to copy these methods but in the end opted to do it completely differently.  I rigged up a make shift chod rig and mounted two pieces of fake corn on a short hooklength.  I swung this out into the weedy water then chucked a few small balls of groundbait on top.

It was lovely to be out on a still summer evening, in a remote and beautiful corner of Suffolk. We always find plenty to talk about and were soon discussing England’s chances in Euro16, the third test at Lords and mourning the passing of the great Muhammad Ali.  We shared the same opinion on the EU debate and moved swiftly on.  Meanwhile, shoals of Rudd dimpled the calm surface, we saw a Cuckoo before we heard it and a Barn Owl slowly drifted along the far bank.  As to the fishing both our methods worked in keeping our hookbaits out of the weed but bites were few and far between.  My fake corn produced just one rattle on the rod tip but Mr N had a couple of twitches and one proper bite on bread.  His strike failed to connect and we couldn’t work out how.  I wondered if my unflavoured fake corn just didn’t have the allure to draw a passing fish or was my make shift chod rig was presenting the bait too high in the water?

We packed up just before it got too dark to see, a blank but plenty learnt with great company, lovely weather and a perfect setting.

Saturday in Suffolk was soaking wet with thunderstorms and monsoon showers.  Everything was still very wet early on Sunday morning when I arrived at the big place after hauling my carcass out of bed around 0500.  I had a quick look around but the level looked higher if anything and my options were very limited, I ended up in the usual swim and set up with little confidence if I’m honest.  I float fished corn over a bit of groundbait a rod length out and cast a tutti boilie/fake corn on a short hooklength with a PVA bag of pellets tight to an overhanging tree.  I catapulted out corn and pellets here then sat back with the awakening brew.

The day was mild, dry and pleasant with a light Southerly blowing in.  The sun rarely poked through the cloud and it felt a bit muggy but it was still a vast improvement on the soaking weather of Saturday.  There were signs of small fish close in and a couple of Bream rolled further out so at least there was something to give me hope.  As usual there was an orchestra of bird song, I wish I could recognise the various calls, the only one I am positive of is the Cuckoo.  On the water I saw Pink footed geese, Grebes, Mallards, Coots, Shelduck and tufties.  In the air and trees there were Martins, Terns, Great and Blue tits, Pigeons and Blackbirds.  The trees were heavy with water from all the rain and from time to time there seemed to be rain fall as patches of trees suddenly shed loads of water, then another… then another.  I couldn’t work it out but eventually the cause shook the branches above me…

I had plenty of time to notice all this because on the fishing front absolutely nothing happened and it was no wrench to tidy my gear up around midday.  So far the Tench in the big place have been more than elusive but to be fair access has been extremely limited and I just haven’t had the time to make a proper effort.  There seems to be a theme to my spring fishing.  Every year I look forward to fishing in improving weather and make grand plans to catch monster Tench but I just never find time to do half of it and inevitably fall on my arse.  It has been alleged that summer is here and this inevitably means sporadic fishing and mostly short sessions.  I’ll probably be better off spending my time elsewhere but we’ll see.

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