On Friday evening, we went out to the pit. My only run of the session, one that was in process of stripping the reel of its line, was picked up, leaned into, but there was nothing there. Clearly I'd not baited my hook with love enough ...
Martin had a similar run a little later. What he brought in to the bank was loving what he had applied to his hook, but it was the wrong kind of love for fish, because it was just a silly tufty who'd loved it so.
On arrival, keyed up to do battle with our caster and maggot pitched into the pond and toward what we thought was a very real chance of success, a match was about to start. Thankfully the match was taking place on the right pond, not our pond, so we paid our cash moneys up front and then followed up with pointed enquiries of the management about these roach of theirs, their numbers, and their whereabouts. I wish we hadn't, ignorance often being sheer bliss...
Seems we were well out of 'luck'. No, our pond, the one that had produced the giant roach by dint of its natural food resources and good chemistry, had been recently drained down and every single large roach removed, and to guess where? It was with heavy, heavy hearts that we trudged up to what was now the wrong pond, the only option available to us in the meantime, to waste the hours between 9.30am and 2.30pm, when the match would finally end, fishing for whatever they had either left behind, or stocked in place. If we'd known before paying we'd have left it for another day, but we still had enough optimism riding on the chance that would come later, that we failed to demand a refund.
For the first five hours we had a match between us. Weight was not the issue, the fish we were about to catch didn't have any of that, just numbers. One after the other they came, carp, carp and more carp. All very lovely mind, but all very small. We were fishing in a pond that had been purposely reduced, from what may well have been an ancient, idyllic place containing just a few, but special and very rare fish, to nothing more than a stew pond fit for six year olds to dabble in.
Quite why the fishery had drained this pond down is absolutely beyond me. Surely they must have known that the pond only produced those huge roach in the first place because of unique and specific conditions, ones that had ensured fast growth and large weight. What they had done was ruin those conditions by piling in baby carp by what must have been the ton, a fish that in numbers wrecks it all, and forever. That pond will never again produce large roach, or large anything.
Modern fisheries are just as stupid as they come, aren't they? They spoil what they already have in the pursuit of what they have not yet, never thinking of a moment to come when what they have already, might well provide enough, if it be left just as they found it. Crass. Bad. Stupid. Ignorant. Silly. I cannot go further with ordinary perjoratives, without getting deeply into choice expletives...
|About the size of it...|
|Blackbird filching maggots for his brood|
I could have put anything on my hook, anything remotely edible, and it would have caught fish. I could have used any method and still would have caught fish. I could have fished fifty pound line glued to a size twenty hook and still have caught fish. Perhaps I could have baited a bare hook with love alone, and caught regardless? I should have tried that out, just for the hell of it...
Sure enough it was. But the hopelessness was compounded by the fact that the pests we about to catch were far larger than those of the morning, and took an inordinate amount of time to get off the hook, once on it. Martin fared worse than I did, for unwittingly he chose 'Carp Corner'. At least I had only four carp with a few baby barbel, small tench and some bream between them. He was plagued, with one after the other snapping up his single red maggot hookbait and towing him about the lake.
We retired early knowing full well that the rare specimen roach were never going to be found in this heaving puddle of voracious carp, lost amongst them and probably never to be seen again. The pond that produced them in the first place, vandalised and beyond hopeful repair. They will never again breed successfully in their new home, their eggs wiped out by ever-hungry carp who will eat anything in their path.
|And so on, and so on, ad infinitum...|
I should have tried building a love line. That might well have worked, as that old quote suggested it might, where nothing else had. But what kind of love might it be that that a roach does like, but that a carp does not?
And where might such a thing be procured?
I ain't about to go into Lanes of Coventry and ask for a pint of hot love, and a half of tough, am I?