With the Bloggers Challenge nearing the end of its first third and with the autumn season in sight I've been working very hard to get what I can from the canal targeting those species that will be difficult to tempt come November and nigh impossible thereafter. Silver bream I can rest on. If I catch better as I go along than I already have then that'll be a bonus. There's no time to target them specifically. Rudd are similar. They turn up from time to time. And I really do mean time to time!
Carp are my next canal target. They have to be. They are so rarely caught around here that only summer will do for them and then usually at night. Tench I'm satisfied with. My best so far is good enough. There's no point chasing better when better is likely to come through carp fishing, is there?
However, there's points to score during the daylight hours I often have available between, before, and after work commitments, when I can walk round the corner and make my way with species that will keep the year round. Roach for instance. I have a pounder under my belt and ten bonus points for it but that advantage won't stand long. However, canal roach are my strong point. Every other competitor must travel to catch them, but I don't have to, unless you'd call a three minute walk 'travel'. I don't even bother breaking down my top kit when I'm over!
Perch are another. So this morning I went down Lady Lane to catch one large enough to catapult me from seventh place to fourth. I'd calculated that I'd require a fish of just six-ounces to do that. I thought that target a forgone conclusion and to be got in the first half hour. But I was wrong there. I had a succession of five-ouncers falling to lob head and tails over chop and most coming within spitting distance, the far shelf not producing well at all and when it did produce only giving up yet more of the inevitable skimmer bream who I've seen a little too much of lately.
So I concentrated on that productive near line for the rest of the short session. And was eventually rewarded with what I set out for. A perch respectable enough for purpose. I packed down just as soon as it was released having no reason to stay on to catch better with 240 days to go in which to.
At 1lb 2oz it scored 18 points, launched my name to just where I wanted it to be, and with a little in the way of cushioning points too. Not a significant fish by any means. None of my captures thus far could be called that.
But all are insignificant accumulators, nonetheless...