Just enough time for excuses (Entry 214)

Three hours fishing. In the morning, before most people would even be thinking of venturing out, I would have already been and be on my way back home. Stolen time. I started fishing in darkness, before the birds started their dawn chorus, using a pole float I had made for just such occasions. A small isotope makes a fantastic beacon for tentative bite indication but on this particular trip, the fish made me wait until the sun had rose, before making their appearance.

It seems like this is happening a lot at the moment. To me at least. Early starts are generally not rewarded until much later in the day, mid-morning being ‘early’, whilst sometimes the float doesn’t move until early afternoon. The weather is up and down, low pressure is in control, the winds are high and the rain is cool. This angler is looking for excuses and its almost too easy.

20170731-IMG_3878-Edit.jpg

I fished caster today, feeding little and often, hoping to excite and attract some late summer tench or crucians from an old estate lake. The first success came in the shape of a mint conditioned, and deep bodied, little common carp. Double caster proving just too much to try and ignore. He fought sedately and never threatened any snags. Quite a lazy little thing really. My second fish, just moments later, was a beautiful three pound tench, that in comparison to the carp, fought tremendously hard. This tinca found weed bed after weed bed before diving, eventually, into my net.

20170731-IMG_3890-Edit.jpg

Then the lake just switched off. The small fish stopped topping; the rafts of bubbles appearing in my swim dispersed and were not replaced. Even the birds, a moment ago in full swing, seemed to now muffle their morning song. It all began to feel a little eerie. The clear sky had filled up, lost to heavy clouds, laden with that thing that clouds are famous for carrying. And it poured down. Buckets of the stuff. Rain so heavy, that at one point, my little pole float could not keep its head above the waterline. For forty minutes there was little point in doing anything else than stop fishing and take it all in. The coolness that wrapped around me and raised goosebumps; the fine mist born from rain drops shattering into a thousand fragments as they hit lush undergrowth.

It was spectacular in its own way. Though whether it beat being cosy in bed is another thing. I am glad I experienced it nonetheless.

Thanks for reading and until next time,

NorthwestFisherman

Two bites at the tinca cherry (Entry 186)

The sun began its descent toward the horizon, a little earlier than a few weeks ago, and my swim begins to come alive. First a single bubble over the baited area. Single bubbles turn into patches. They moved inch by inch, giving a clue to where the fish making them, may be heading. It’s a tench no doubt. Nothing else creates bubbles like that. At any one time there could be two or three separate fish sending up plumes of bubbles, signalling quite clearly that they were here, and feeding. But can you catch me, dear angler? As of yet, the answer was no. I’d had no bites; the float only dipping once or twice as a fin glanced the line. Patience was needed. I was sure the bite would come.

Consolation tench

Some time passed before the float sank confidently and I struck into such a powerful fish. It bolted at terrific speed. A line of bubbles ascending from where it had furrowed into the silt. I could almost hear them fizz as they hit the surface. The fish did not stop. Even with the stout persuasion I was giving it. Its progress did come to an end; finding the overhanging branches and roots of a tree. Fish one. Angler nil. And believe it or not, and let me say at this point I’m still at a loss, the same thing happened a further four times. Two made for the tree, one the reeds and one made the lilies its sanctuary. With each loss I was sure ‘that was the last time I’d let that happen’ but evidently the fish had other thoughts. Eventually I did land a fish, two in fact, but much smaller than the ones that got away. With the light now all but gone and the delicate tip of my float hardly visible, I had to leave somewhat defeated, but still glad to have been rewarded with two immaculate green jewels. A return session was in order.

A promising start

A dawn start back in the same swim. This time my baited area was a little further away from the overhanging tree. Maybe it would afford my reflexes that bit more time to steer these ‘steam trains’ away from danger. Straight away I had bubbling and fizzing in the swim. It was alive, and it took just ten minutes for opportunity to turn to success, as the first tench of the day was hooked. I even steered it away from the snags and landed it. But this fish did not have the power of the ones I hooked and lost last time. Still, a fish on the bank is worth a swim full of bubbles. The next cast and produced another tench. I had to wait a little longer for this one but again, this fish was not in the same league as the ones from last time. I wonder what they were? They didn’t feel like carp. Certainly not all of them. The greatest draw of angling; the need to find out.

They're getting smaller

Over the next 90 minutes the fish became a little fussy and I missed numerous bites. A combination of finicky feeding and a backlit float made bite detection very hard. I did hook another smaller tench which turned out to be the last if the session. The swim turning utterly lifeless. Just as the sun began its ascent from the horizon. The tench would no doubt be heading for cover. You know, trees, reeds and lilies. There was no way I would be making the mistake of fishing near such things this time.

Thanks for reading and until next time,

NorthwestFisherman