Sunday 30 November 2014

Late Autumn

 The nights have grown longer and the temperature has steadily got cooler, we’ve even had a couple of frosts out here in the East.  Over the last few weeks I’ve watched the trees lose most of their leaves and the reeds have turned from green to sandy brown.  Autumns colours have faded into winter shades but happily the bright red floats have continued to move regularly enough.  I’d have settled for that at the start. 

 It’s interesting to look back on the autumn as many fish have come from areas I’ve hardly fished in the past.  Once again the most prolific areas have been totally different to where we’d found fish at this time last year.  What has been more surprising is we’ve been catching at different times of the day, food for thought.  Lamprey had been the number one bait for the last two years but this year it’s a poor third…

A few tweaks have made the boat even more comfortable than ever before and more organised for when a fish comes on board. It’s been brilliant spending time in the boat through all types of weather, chilling out in my favourite place.  It’s been much needed therapy getting away from the non stop lunacy of a muddled and hectic life.  People tell us “you must be mad…” but the madness keeps me sane. Now it’s time for a break and a rest as it really is tough, challenging fishing in every way.

The broads were hit with yet another tidal surge this autumn, once again salt water travelled many miles inland killing any fish that were caught up in it.  This seems to be an annual event nowadays but every time it’s different, no one can tell which river systems will be affected.  There are still plenty of Otters around but these don’t seem quite so bad when your miles from the sea and a Seal pokes its head up between your floats. Thankfully there hasn’t been a Prymnesium outbreak since the Broads Authority changed its dredging methods, one thing to be thankful for at least.

Elsewhere in the wonderful world of Pike fishing the PAC Facebook page has been buzzing lately, for all the wrong reasons. Facebook attracts the casual Piker far more than any forum, this could be great for a club trying to attract new members but unfortunately it also attracts morons, chavs and wind up merchants.  At its worst it has been an embarrassment and damaging to the club.  Happily things have improved this week with the addition of a couple of extra moderators, I expect they’ll be busy in the future…

Elsewhere on “The Pit” that big West Country reservoir has been providing plenty of debate.  I haven’t a clue as how it has fished this year only that a couple of friends caught some whackers.  I don’t recall hearing of a “Forty” this time around but I may be wrong.  Until one of the main protagonists spat his dummy there had been an interesting discussion on the merits of the latest fish finding technology.  Some are questioning if what the improved technology now shows the angler is crossing an ethical line?  Others say it’s the future, get on board it’s here to stay. 

To me the moral line must be drawn when technology is clever enough to make a poor angler into a successful one, when the ‘skills’ we learn through experience are replaced by a gadget.  As I understand it now, in order for the finder to show fish, the angler has to put the boat in the right place and that’s fine with me.  I have an old echo sounder in the shed but I’ve never used it, what I know about the places I fish I’ve learnt through trial and error.  I’ve enjoyed the experience of learning through blood, sweat and tears I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Fishing where I do, I don’t need or want a gadget that tells me if there are any Pike in my swim.  I only want that mystery solved when the float slides away, or not.  

That’s the thing with ‘specialist’ fishing; the only rules that count are the ones we make for ourselves.  Records and lists don’t have to be aspirations; to me they are just mildly interesting. Catching a fish is a personal thing and what it means to the captor is the only thing that matters.