Sunday, 15 February 2009

Banks, Cranks, Bargains and Blanks

What can be said of a blank? Well, a blank with missed bites and lost fish is one thing, much can be learned from such a day, but an outright blank, an utterly bite less day without any action of any kind, tells an angler very little, if anything of use. Returning to Grassy Bend after a roach to top the two pound mark
, after catching one just under was always going to be either a great success, or more likely a great disappointment, and of course it was the latter. A sunny day, warm and peaceful, but as dead as a doornail and I broke my treasured tripod chair just to compound matters.


The next session was planned for a less bright day, as I had imagined that such conditions were not exactly ideal, but when the opportunity fell, it was a lovely bright day once again, and after the deep freeze of late, really welcome. I sat down to fish at Grassy Bend in peaceful solitude only for some bugger of a boatman to fire up his rickety-rackety generator a hundred yards behind me. Why some boat people have really noisy generators I will never know, I thought they lived on boats because they are seekers after solitude, like myself. I mean would you live in a boat without electricity and fire up a noisy generator up every time you wanted a cuppa? No, you would boil the water under a magnifying glass in the bright winter sun, right?

Well, this went on for hours, and you know that the human brain is so adept at adapting that I was actually just able to filter out such disturbance, but when it abruptly stopped, when the terrible sod eventually turned off his infernal machine, oh my lord. it was a beatific moment.

I sat back in my back up four leg folding chair, which on the flat bank was very comfortable (rubbish on rivers though) and sunned myself.From then on it was as peaceful and tranquil a day as I can remember, all bird song, warm breezes and fluffy clouds. It was bite free, but on such days it doesn't seem to matter so much, does it? Then, I spied a spot down the canal that I had an instict to try, an overhanging bush that I thought might hold a fish or two.

The view across from the old power station stretch

Ten minutes after casting a worm as close as possible to the roots I had a rattling bite that I missed completely, then a worm came back chomped in half after a tiny knock on the second rod. I thought that I was in with a chance, but then fate intervened in the form of a load of half melted ice flowing slowly downstream rendering the swim unfishable for twenty minutes, a swan couple came through demanding a double recast, Molly started really misbehaving and yapping at some floating debris in the margins, a pack of dogs came around the corner with their owner throwing sticks into the canal for them to crash into the water after and only stopping when he was thirty yards away, then the swan couple turned around, and of course, the fish, whatever they were, had gone.

Cheesed right off...

I walked back to Grassy Bend for the remainder of the afternoon and settled back in relative peace. I was considering packing away when the left rod received a mighty tug that once again, I missed. It was enough to convince me to stay on and try to avoid a blank though. About an hour later the right hand rod trembled and I hooked into a small fish that would just have to be landed safely. By now it was important!

It was silver, but not a roach. I thought it might be a genuine silver bream, and after a little boning up, I still believe it is. Not a big fish, but quite respectable for a silver bream, and a fish that saved my sanity and the day. Then again, had I gone fishless I would still have learned something from three or four missed bites in a place where I'd only ever experienced one per day. Something was going right.

A silver Bream I think...

Next day I had an urge to visit the local Cash Converters as I was in the vicinity and do like to rifle through their fishing tackle. I managed to find a load of bargains and secured myself a brand new Garbolino feeder rod with plastic wrap still on the cork handle, a nice Sundridge thirteen foot float rod and a good Shimano reel, all for twenty quid!

I thought the extra rods might come in useful, the feeder rod being stiffer than I first thought would be ideal for barbel, the centre pin I could fix to the float rod more or less for good and have it always made up in the quiver for those occasions when only a float will do. What I then considered was that I could use three rods at once on the canal, which in most circumstances would be ridiculous, but when facing one or two bites in a session shared between two rods, which is pretty much what I had experienced, then three rods seemed altogether sensible.

I tried it and it worked just fine. I still managed only the one bite in a four hour stint, and that from near the overhanging tree on the sub station stretch that had proved itself valid last time out, but happily it resulted in a fine roach of one pound and three ounces, which, if I discount the little roach caught on a little bait that led me here in the first place, and only include those caught since I started fishing big baits for specimens, makes for an impressive average size of 1lb 8oz for the roach banked so far.

No comments:

Post a Comment