Monday 28 March 2011

Marching on

I carried on visiting my favourite place through February and March. The fishing was hard but I managed to catch a few and loved every minute. And now the traditional fishing season has come to an end, no more visits to the special place for a few months now.

So it's time to look forward to the spring and summer, hopefully I'll have a little more success with the Tench this year and maybe one day I'll lose my self appointed tag as the worlds worst Tench angler. Or maybe not.

This weekend just past I found myself with a couple of hours to spare and just had to go fishing. Well to be accurate I'd had a few too many the night before and prescribed myself a bit of fresh air and a chill out session. The fishing shed was a dis-organised tip, no Tench gear anything like ready to fish with so I picked up my bank fishing kit, grabbed a couple of deadbaits, filled a flask and set off.

Half an hour later I was relaxing in a chair at 'The Pool' with a paternostered Pollan covering the open water and a float legered Herring dropped in the margins, in front of a reed bed. The signs of spring were all around, not only was the temperature hitting a heady 11 degrees but there was blossom in the hedgerows and green buds beginning to show on some of the trees. The first green reeds of the year were also pushing their way up through the margins. As much as I love winter Pike fishing its nice to enjoy the warmer weather and more vibrant colours. Warm weather fishing is so much easier all around.

The fresh air was doing me good, the easterly breeze in my face was keeping me awake and I was starting to feel almost human. It may sound odd but I'd forgotten I was fishing, when all of a sudden I was startled into life by the sound of an alarm, the float on the Herring rod was moving along the margins away from me. I quickly wound down and bent into a fish, for once the rod stayed bent! A decent fish plodded up and down the margins showing no intention of going in the net. She surfaced with a flare of the jaws showing a larger than expected head. Soon I had her in the net, then onto the mat. A nice fish that would have weighed a few pounds heavier pre spawning.

I sat back with a smile and promptly forgot I was fishing again. Sadly I wasn't interrupted by any more bleeping alarms as I enjoyed another hour or so of fresh air and countryside. I couldn't help but be struck by the irony; maximum effort goes into most of my winter Pike fishing and here I'd had a nice fish whilst recovering from a hangover. Maybe I should do it more often?

Tuesday 15 March 2011


The Pike Anglers club of Great Britain is without doubt a wonderful organisation. Aside from 35 years of preaching Pike conservation and sticking up for the rights of all predator anglers, the club has provided hundreds of anglers young and old the chance to fish for big Pike in beautiful places. It has raised thousands of pounds for charities and it has a great social side with regional meetings all over the country. The biggest social event of the year is the annual convention, not just for the event itself but also the chat in the hotel bar. People of all backgrounds from all over the isles talking about Pike fishing in all sorts of waters. It was through this kind of chat that I got to know Steve and Rob. These guys done most of their fishing on waters very different to the ones we know and love but they loved the same things and fished for the same reasons. Last summer Steve and Rob took my Barbel fishing in a wonderful place and this winter Rich & I had the pleasure of their company for a bit of Pike fishing.

A little different from the norm, waterside digs with boats laid on. I arrived first and had time to go out for a couple of hours fishing and a look around. The weather was grim and grimy and no fish crossed my path. I met up with Steve and Rob and after all getting settled in the digs we adjourned to the nearest pub for a couple of pints and a plate of grub. The food was great, the beer was excellent but unfortunately the music was not quite duelling banjos but it wasn't far off.

Rich joined us the following morning and ahead of us were three days fishing in a wild and beautiful place. The weather was typical winter fayre, with a bit of everythingWe fished long and hard over those days and travelled far and wide. We fished the narrow places, the open spaces, ditches and boat yards. We chucked everything at the Pike but the going was very tough. We did manage to catch a few fish up to low doubles on a variety of methods. The wildlife didn't let us down though with virtually the full set putting in an appearance.

The company was great though, with laughter often echoing out. We talked about the Pike we've caught, the Pike we dream of catching, the places we've fished, the near misses and the disasters. Along with this we talked music, cricket, football, TV totty, moments of sheer lunacy and all the usual bloke banter with the world put to rights once again. The evenings followed the days, banter flowed along with a little booze and lots more laughing. We all planned to meet up again for another weekends fishing soon. So the company, the banter and the setting were all first class it was just the fishing that was under par but as Rob said, we always felt we were in with a chance.