Thursday 30 November 2017

Sore fingers

Fishing has definitely enriched my life, bringing me many wonderful sights, scenes, adventures and experiences.  Of course the best thing has been the friendships I’ve made through this shared addiction, some have been lifelong while others have been more recent, to be fair these latter associations have been aided and abetted by the various internet forums.  It is possible to get to know kindred spirits through this medium and work out who you can share a boat with and who you’d rather set adrift.  Mr H and I have known each other for about a decade and although we are often afloat on the same waters we rarely fish together so it was high time we put this right.  Usually we fish on his local waters but on this occasion we arranged to meet at a special place that is slightly closer to my patch.

We both made it to the agreed meeting place ( a layby in the middle of nowhere) early and we were soon driving along a damp, bouncy track through a typical East Anglian rural setting.  This area is a haven for wildlife and in the lead car I spied rats, rabbits, a hare then finally a fox before we reached our destination.  We soon had our boat loaded and were plodding slowly down to our first stop of the day.  The sky looked fantastic in the pre-dawn light and I couldn’t resist reaching for the camera. A Heron creaked itself airborne and Pheasants were making a proper racket.  Mr H was quick off the mark and had cast before I had a chance, unbelievably this bait was taken on the drop but it took him by surprise and made off with the bait.  Within a few minutes we each had three deadbaits scattered around the swim and had settled back with the first brew of the day.

I didn’t get a chance to finish the brew before a smelt was taken but somehow this fish too got away with a free meal.  We didn’t have a chance to feel sorry for ourselves as the takes kept coming, first Mr H with his first Pike from ‘enemy territory’ then I followed up a few minutes later with a nice mid double.  A couple of hours passed in similar vein, half an hour would pass without any action and we’d contemplate a move then two or three quick takes would occur.  A couple were dropped and we lost a couple of fish but the majority were small fish so eventually we decided to pull up the weights and moved off, we hoped a change of swim would result in bigger Pike. 

A while later we stopped and resumed fishing, we were sheltered from the North Westerly wind and the sun was shining, it felt considerably warmer than the forecast 6 degrees.  We both agreed we’d prefer a bit of cloud cover as the conditions didn’t feel right, indeed after forty five fishless minutes it seemed the Pike agreed, then it was as if a switch had flicked and the Pike were on the munch again.  It wasn’t as hectic as first thing but takes came regularly and the average weight was better.  Two hours later we’d boated another six fish including three good doubles before things went quiet again.  Both of us spend a lot of time fishing hard waters so this was a real treat.  We sat smiling and laughing in the sun, enjoying the scenery and wildlife which included a Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk and a Harrier as well as a Kingfisher and all the regular waterfowl.

Another move beckoned so we made our way back towards our starting point and once again dropped straight onto a fish each.  Mine managed to knit two lines together so while I was unpicking braid Mr H managed to add another to our tally.  We’d watched the sun rise and we watched it set again, a bittern flew by in silhouette which would have made a fabulous photo had I been quicker with the camera. By now the Pike had had enough for the day, despite us fishing into darkness.  We finished the day with fifteen fish boated between us and both had sore, bloody fingers; for once things had gone to plan.  As we made our way back to the slip a Barn owl drifted along the far bank, another predator in search of a meal and another wonderful sight to cap a memorable day.

Sunday 19 November 2017


My favourite time of the year has come and almost gone.  Even after many years of basically doing the same thing in the autumn I still find myself fishing new spots and being more than surprised by what happens along the way.  I thought I'd pretty much worked out where and how I should fish, got it sussed?  No, not at all!  New lessons learnt, so much so I wish I could turn the clock back to the beginning of the autumn and start again!

Once the clocks go back the nights become maddeningly long and it's time to take a break from the hard stuff.  It really does take its toll on mind body and soul and so it should.  So now I'm looking forward to a change of scenery for a few weeks and possibly a change of method too at some point?

Talking of scenery...