Like an absolute lazy beast, I had not bothered to make any fishing plans during the week, and that meant I had no bait. Well, I did, it just required a little lateral thinking. Instead of deliberating about a venue, the time of day to arrive, what species to target and how to fish for them, before buying the bait a few days before, this week I would have to match the hatch. The hatch in question being what I had in the cupboard. Sweetcorn and bread. The match, I concluded, would be the residents of a small farm pond. Tench and carp. That analogy didn’t really turn out as good as I’d hoped but you get the idea.
I’d not been to the venue for quite a while but the two things I remembered most about it was that it was hardly ever fished and it was quite shallow. With small beds of pond weed and lily pads scattered around, it was a case of fishing as closely as you could to them, for the best chance of a bite. Fishing at its simplest and most archetypal. On arrival I was glad to see the water looked even better than I remembered. Something that more often than not isn’t the case when revising childhood waters. I went about setting up a stumpy waggler and tying on a small, but sturdy, hook. The fish in here fight like tigers, and despite their size, can put an under gunned angler in all kinds of trouble.
In went a pouch full of sweetcorn. I wasn’t fishing a great distance but I had a facing wind so the catapult aided feeding no end. The water was little more than a foot deep so a fair amount of line was needed to slow the rig down, preventing the wind from dragging the bait out of the swim, and looking ‘unnatural’. Something my dad taught me when fishing on the canals in my youth “the depth and half again”, he used to say, and it used to be deadly for bream. Today, it was this lovely common carp that was tricked, after fifteen minutes fishing, a frantic and energetic fight played out in what seemed like seconds. Silt kicked up in plumes as the fish burrowed down. A perfect little carp, golden tones laid in perfect rows, and most importantly, a joy to catch.I had to keep feeding little and often throughout the day. Large amounts of bait seemed to interest the fish for a short time but there was far more activity in the swim, and therefore bites, if just five or six grains of corn were fired in every few minutes. Another small carp followed the first twenty minutes later and then one more, only this time the size of my palm, but still a beautiful fish. Eventually the carp dispersed and I had a run of small tench, eight or ten ounces in size, all dark and classically shaped. None realising it’s nearly November.
And then the water switched off. I couldn’t get a bite nor could I see any fish feeding signs. I moved swims. Still nothing. I tried altering the rig. It made no difference. I tried drinking cup of tea after cup of tea. This didn’t help the fishing but satisfied the tastebuds. I moved back to the original swim for the last half an hour in the hope that the fish had settled in my absence. But still the float sat unbudging. I’d had my quota it seemed. My memory of the water could remain intact and untarnished. It would be wrong to expect anything further. Time for home.
Thanks for reading and until next time,