Friday 9 August 2019

No cigar

By 1700 I was anchored up fishing three rods; a mid water pop up was cast upstream out of the way, I'd dropped a PVA bag rig beneath a gnarly old overhang and swung a chod rig into clearer water midstream.  Before setting up I'd paddled about a bit, the water was more coloured than before, some kind of algal bloom?  I didn't spot any fish so my chosen swim was random, one of those spots that just looks right.

I hadn't fished for a month!  Last time I had time it was just too fucking hot to go outside.  Today was better, a nice comfortably warm afternoon with a bit of cloud and a light north easterly breeze.  I settled back with TMS on the radio, England were in a proper scrap with Australia, the last time I fished I had listened to South Africa beat the Aussies in the world cup.  Another defeat for the sand-paperers  would go down well.

Once again I was fishing blind, just hoping something would pass by and find my bait.  Meanwhile there was a piping sound and two Curlew flew over quickly, I can't remember seeing them here before?  A Sparrowhawk was active, using the treeline as cover, the calm water was alive with insects and a million Rudd disturbed the surface, as far as the eye could see.  A few bubbles broke the surface, anything could have caused them but they give an angler hope.  The cricket was concerning, the Aussies were fighting back...

After two hours on the spot I was getting restless.  Although I had seen some interesting patches of bubbles I suspected these were caused by Pike launching themselves to strike at the shoals of Rudd.  I had itchy feet and no great confidence in what I was doing, after a month away from the water I decided that spending a bit of time paddling around and checking things out would be time well spent.  So this I did and found two or three areas that looked like the species I'm after might have visited them at some point recently but I caught no sight of the fish themselves.

Around 1945 I anchored up again and set to work getting the rods out.  This swim is one in which I've seen Carp before at least.  I decided to chill out here till the sun goes down, I was fishing so I was in with a chance.  The problem I have here is always the same, finding the fucking things!  And when I'm in the punt I wish I was on the bank; when I'm on the bank I wish...  

Half an hour later it seemed I may have some luck at long last, there had been some explosive patches of bubbles that could only have been caused by large bottom dwelling fish moving or feeding.  There was no evidence to suggest 'Pike' this time.  Yes!  A few minutes later a Carp stuck it's back out, I'm in with a chance.

The light faded slowly, a Buzzard flew upstream in silhouette, more patches of bubbles broke surface and I just had a feeling there were fish about.  I've got the hang of arranging the punt after all the practice of the last couple of years so I can keep movement to a minimum and I was screened against the tree behind me.

At 2045 I saw a bow wave coming downstream towards me and before I had time to wonder, a bastard Otter poked it's ugly head out.  It swam to within a rod length of the punt before stopping abruptly and hissing at me.  "No I'm fishing here, you can fuck off".  That wasn't a translation, I said it out loud.  The wasteful murderer dived and sped in an arc through the swim sending up clouds of bubbles that were far more impressive than any the fish had produced.  

Well that's fucked things hasn't it?  There's no sight that dents my confidence more but I remember two occasions when an otter through the swim had been precursor to me catching a Carp.  And sure enough there were more bubbles over the next few minutes and another large fish rolled.  I'm still in with a chance.

Around 2100 there was a strange clicking sound and fuck me it's a baitrunner, the mid water bait was moving.  I made contact with something that felt small to begin but actually heavier as I got it closer.  For some reason I thought 'Pike' though I can't put my finger on why.  Before I'd got to the 'where's the net' point the line went slack, I wound in to find the 10lbs hooklength had parted but not near the hook where I'd have expected it.  Pike?  I'll never know.

I had the feeling I'd disturbed the swim terminally but fished on for half an hour with just the two rods.  I didn't see anything, not even a bastard Otter.  I chucked a few handfuls of boilies into the swim before leaving. 

Twenty four hours later I was back at the lake.  As this was the closest I'd been to a fish here for over a year it made sense to get back as soon as possible and predictably I set up in the same spot again.  If anything the conditions were better tonight; more cloud cover and more strength in the Easterly wind.  I was set up by 1730 using the same tactics as previously, I felt happy with where my baits were sitting and was confident in what I was doing.  If fish visited this area again I felt I was in with a chance  Unfortunately I felt less confident about England's position in the test match.

The evening passed pleasantly but uneventfully.  I saw far less signs of fish than the previous day although there were still regular patches of bubbles nothing substantial rolled within sight.  After a while the evening began to feet different too, something inside me knew it wasn't going to happen.  At 2030 light rain rolled in, I was unprepared for this but stuck it out for another half hour before chucking it in.