Tuesday 8 November 2022

It's always over so quickly

Being a quite useless individual where practical things are concerned my fishing involves a great deal of planning and preparation, never more than my autumn Piking.  There are things I can do before I ever leave home that will stack the odds a little bit more in my favour; the hardware is tried and tested but line and knots have to be checked, as do traces and most weeks I can spend up to an hour in an evening just sharpening hooks.  Most important of course is bait, there’s no excuse for not having the right types at the right times.  Through October I’m obsessed, my mind is not in my body, more often than not it’s in one of several reed fringed weedy bays.  I spend hours studying the weather to come and looking at potential places on google earth.  For a few weeks (at least) I become a fucking Pike fishing trainspotter.  Dragging a fibre glass boat in and out of the drink is hard work and I seem to get more clumsy as I get older leading to frequent bumps and bruises.  Two days and a night afloat and I fish hard, as if I know every swim holds the fish of dreams, it’s physically tough and I get home exhausted.

Is it all worth it?  Based on what I’ve actually caught then there have been several seasons when a sane person would say ‘no, definitely not’.  But that doesn’t matter when the place you are fishing is so special and when it does come right no fishing I’ve experienced comes close.  But it is hard work and I know I won’t be able to do it forever.

It’s been this way for a long time now, I’ve been spending the autumn doing the same thing in the same place and honestly, going into this one I was asking myself ‘how many more?’  The beach fishing has been so enjoyable I didn’t want it to end but happily the changing seasons sees fishy migration in both salt and freshwater so the change came about naturally.  But did I really have the energy to take the place on again?

Now the month has ended, it’s still autumn but the clocks have changed, the restrictions are in place and I’m starting to descend to a place of relative sanity.  Seven visits in six weeks, the big effort is almost over for another year and as usual I’ve lived, breathed and loved it.  Everything was as it should be, the fishing was challenging, the wildlife was wonderful and for once I got lucky and avoided the drenching days.  It was a privilege to be afloat in my favourite swamp and I reckon I’ve got a few more seasons left in me.  But now I need a rest.