Friday, 15 May 2009

A mixed bag...

I managed to get out for a late evening session, back to the spot where I'd caught a gorgeous rudd a short while back, but on arrival spied some commotion under the bushes some way beyond, so of course, I had to see what was causing it
. Getting the waggler to settle very near the bushes was difficult what with having to sink the line and drawing it away in the process, but flicking the rod top underwater does the trick, and of course avoiding hitting the bushes and losing gear.

The first bite came as soon as the float hit the water, but was missed. The next connected to a small perch, as did the next. The bigger fish sending out big ripples were moving around the bait and wobbling the float but didn't seem to want to feed on maggots, so the perch arrived one after the other until eventually a skimmer was hooked, which fought like crazy. After the bream I then caught what I thought was a half pound roach, but turned out to be a roach/bream hybrid, the first I've seen from the canal, just like a roach in body shape but with a breams long dark anal fin.

Then I hooked a good size fish which also turned out to be a hybrid of a pound in weight, followed by another bite which connected with a very good fish indeed, but one that slipped the hook. Now it does seems I am going through an unlucky streak of fishing, catching a lot of fish, but losing anything of size. Why this should be I have no clear idea, just bad luck perhaps, or am I simply doing something wrong? Well, if I am then I'm not at all sure what it could be at this moment in time...

Eventually I had a small roach and hoped for more of the same, but the swim fell quiet and I upped and moved to the spot I had intended to fish all along. The weather was brooding and dark, the water dead still, rain approaching but not yet falling, a few fish that were almost certainly roach were rolling on the surface and it seemed somehow, in the prevailing conditions, a right place to fish. The far bank float slipped away as soon as it settled but it was missed bite, and then nothing happened for some considerable time, though it was a pregnant pause, full of promise.

Then the perch arrived and came to hand one after the other, only to disappear from the radar ten minutes later. I wanted roach, and was sure that the fish rolling once in a while were them, so decided to abandon the little and often approach and adopt instead, a very much and not so often tactic, the very thing that I'd found often wakes the fish in rivers when all else fails to rouse them. And it worked. No sooner had I settled back after pitching in two great handfuls of maggots, and spraying them all over the swim rather than bothering with any kind of accuracy, than the float sank from view and a fair roach was on. It weighed fourteen ounces, and was slipped in the net to rest after a snap.

Then another arrived, followed by a couple of missed bites, and I thought I'd finally have that fluent fish a chuck session that I'd always considered good roach fishing to be. Another fine roach about the same size of the first came soon after and now my hopes were really on the up and up...but then I hooked, and inevitably lost, a much bigger fish. You always know the feel of a big fish, the strike meets a clunk of solidity that moves off with startling power (when you have been so used to underwhelming power) and even when the fish is just a roach, a fish that is rarely going to be big enough to seriously strain anything but the very lightest of tackle, it feels important not to make any mistakes. But what can you do about hook pulls? They are inevitable, a condition of fishing, and they happen, to everyone - but I'd prefer that they only happened to me, with fish I can afford to lose!

Damn and blast, or words something like that...

I fished on but the roach went away, as they seem to every single time I lose one. The perch came back and snaffled maggots for half an hour, but then I struck another perch bite but connecting with another of those lovely bronze roach; this time, because of the murky dimness of the evening, only actually seeing it for what it was when it was safely folded in the mesh. It was a ten ouncer, two ounces lighter than its previously caught school mate, but every bit as lovely, and was caught right in front of the same hole that produced her last week.

I suppose there must be something very attractive to the canals rare rudd at this place. Well, if both rudd and roach of good size can be found there, then they'll find me there too and they will think...

"There must be something very attractive to the canals rare anglers at this place", and they would be right!

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