Monday, 19 April 2010

Nothing Doing Down the Cut

After experiencing an infuriating but endlessly informative series of miniscule indications, slow pulls and twangs, knocks, tremors, husked maggots and the eventual hooking and landing one of the suspected culprits on Wednesday evening, I decided that not only would I get back to the same spot on the morrow, but would, because I could, get back not only on the morrow after that too, but on all the morrows following
till an entire week had passed.

The rationale underpinning this decision was that I would be able to experience the turn of the season, the entire transition from Winter to Summer, in full. Now I don't ordinarily set myself tasks like this because after a while they tend to become onerous, interfere unduly with ordinary life and even jeopardise the carefully managed and delicately poised relationship twixt angler and spouse.

But I thought that I could just about get away with it if I kept the sessions very short and mostly secret...

Went back to the same swim just after two and fished on till seven in the evening. The multitude of indications experienced on Wednesday did not reoccur and it was obvious that the roach shoal that I had found had either moved on or were not feeding. I did hook and land a small roach and a fish that I did believe was a genuine silver bream until I passed it by the folk of a certain angling forum who pronounced it a wrong un'...

A three hour blank with only a few bites and the groggy awakening of the bees to enliven an otherwise dull session.

Went out to the usual spot but became interested in an overhanging tree on the far bank. I put a bait under it and another to one side and sprayed with maggots. A quarter of an hour later I had a bite and landed a small skimmer bream and then discovered to my horror that I had left all my disgorgers at home. The hook was lodged in an awkward place, the fish's mouth too small to use the big artery forceps I did have in the bag, and so stored the fish in the landing net while I improvised a notched stick, which did not work at all, and then in a flash of inspiration butchered a peacock quill waggler, cutting a line guide vertically along one side and sliding the whole thing down to the hook and pushing it free. Phew...

Needless to say I packed down and returned home, got the missing articles and went straight back out again, but to a swim closer to home.

For a towpath peg this one is luxurious. It's sunny, has ample backroom, a soft grassy bank and if the grass is dry and free of fresh turds you can just lounge around on it. I fished it a couple of times last summer because it held a constant population of roach throughout the season. I sat there for a couple of hours and got a few twangs and then an unmissable bouncing rod top bite that saw me hooked up on a snag as the fish ejected at the last moment. I pulled for a break.

Strangely, this is a common phenomena on the urban canal; an ejected bait resulting in snagging on a plastic bag or twig. It is so common in fact, that I will always retrieve when a bite occurs and the rod top does not move again within two minutes.

I returned to the same swim and fed little and often with white maggots. The first touch came bang on cue at the half hour mark and then 45 minutes to an hour in, the multitude of little bites and sucked maggots that had first got me started on this seven day mission started up again. I shortened and lengthened hooklengths to see which would make the difference and the shorter hooklength rod was the first to hook up, but unfortunately the fish dropped off and the shoal was spooked. All bites ceased. The roach were gone.

I stuck it out for another half hour and then had a single positive bite that resulted in the first perch of the canal year. It wont be long now before that's all I'll catch on maggots...

Due to a mix up with the keys I could not access my gear and so the day's session was cancelled.

Walked all the way to the peg, set up nice and tight on the narrow towpath, baited the swim and cast the two rods. I had just got nicely settled in when I found that twice in the same week I had forgotten to wear the fishing vest with my disgorgers in the top pocket...

I packed it all down again and returned home for them. Luckily I travel extremely light on the canal so that I can move at will. The fishing, when I did get going on it, proved just as poor as it had been with just a single perch showing. The new duckling were fun though, I had them in the margins diving for maggots whilst mum and dad looked on.

Thankfully Keith had phoned earlier in the week and we'd arranged a trip to a local fishery for the whole day, and so this tiresome diary of non-events on the Spring canal comes to a premature but welcome close, right here!

Report coming up later today.

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