Thursday, 31 May 2012

Carp & Tench - More Spouting...

Following up on one of the weekend's leads, I decided to pay the lake, where I'd seen a group of what I hoped might be rudd swimming in the surface layers of the water, a visit. On arrival it was clear that I'd not find them easily because the entire Northern end of the lake was alive with fish moving around, and in the reeds and rushes, busy spawning. I couldn't say for sure which fish were spawning and which fish were eating the same. Some fish were in the throng were very small, some much larger, though I fancied I saw the green flank of a tench amongst them all.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Ear Tinglers & Eye Openers

We used to call them 'leads' when I sold double glazing for a living. I was a canvasser, a teenage canvasser. I started out quite shit, but ended up shit hot, but the route to becoming that hot, was not hard work, but pure flannel. My first round of cold-calling was Arctic. I was rebutted at every door. It wasn't that the houeseholders didn't want double glazing, everyone who didn't have it already, wanted double glazing back in those days, It was simply that they didn't want me selling it to them, because I was cold crap, and they wanted someone shit hot to bowl them over.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Silver Bream - Phew, what a...

Bummer! The weather, the weather, the flipping British weather! Just last Friday night I was sitting at a pit freezing my nads off dressed in full winter gear, seriously, the self-same apparel I wear when fishing in sub-zero temperatures, and this evening I'm going back to the same pit dressed in t-shirt and shorts. Crazy.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Canal Carp - The Long Moment

Sunday morning. Time: dawn. Venue: secret.

Canals are rarely quiet. At dawn we are the first on the scene. Across the water sheep bleet, on the water, water birds scooter, but the towpath is deserted. We're on the hunt for a special prey, one that must be stalked and found out before there is ever a chance of catching them. They are known to like three specific locations over a mile of water. Just three, and no more.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Big Pit Tench - A Burning Itch

The tench pit has finally awoken and the tincas are moving and feeding. A couple of weeks ago now, Martin had a fish, and then in the next few days reports came in of more serious catches made, tench banked in the kinds of quantity and quality that made a return the next Friday evening a certainty.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Silver Bream - Tomorrow...

'Till tomorrow' was how we left off after my last silver bream tale, and tomorrow comes around, inevitably. Would the silvers put in an appearance? Would they show? Would they fall to my rod once again, after an absence of almost an entire year, or pass me by as they have so often this spring, even though I know full well they are there, and have been for a month or more?

First cast, came the answer...

Friday, 18 May 2012

Silver Bream - Phenomenal Fish

Have I actually caught what the title suggests? Well, no. Quite the contrary. I have not. I'd like to have, but haven't. I've tried, but failed. Again.

I'm talking here about the real meaning of the word phenomenal, which means uncommon, or extraordinary, not grossly large. This fish, the silver bream, Blicca bjoerkna, is the most 'phenomenal' fish that swims in the canal. A beautiful fish to behold. Lovely looking they are, all bright scale and rose tinted belly, red in the fin and with puppy eyes that make them as cute as a fish can ever be. They come and they go, and no-one knows where or why. They turn up at certain places at certain times of the year and then vanish for the rest. They are, a phenomenon. For just one brief moment they can be caught, and then try as you may, you cannot catch another.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Canal Roach - The Sun's Burning Your Eyes Out!

Over the last four years I've got so used to fishing the local canals in the late afternoon, through evening time, and often an hour or so into darkness, that I'd all but forgotten that they are actually open to custom, the full 24 hours of the day. It's easy to forget such things. It's easy to dismiss such things. But nice to be reminded of such things by someone who fishes the early hours as a matter of course.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Handmade Floats - Wire-stemmed Balsa-bodied Avons

A new float making project of mine was to build a couple of balsa-bodied wire-stemmed avon floats for long-trotting. This requires a large bright sight tip for viewing at extreme range, a large bulky body with broad shoulders and a long heavy wire stem to help the float cope with turbulent or fast water.

I decided to go to town, quite literally, with these. Off to a Coventry model shop went I , and there purchased brass wire, some large gauge balsa dowel and some tins of paint, including a fluoro green as a change from the usual fire orange.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Stillwater Roach - Bait Your Hook with Love

I don't quite know where I came across that expression, and have always wondered what the hell it could mean. I'm sure it's quoted somewhere in a fishing book of mine, but I don't remember where. Perhaps it means that you must bait your hook with bait lovingly applied ? But that makes no sense to me. What is there to love about baiting a hook? And what fish could tell the difference, if you did?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Big Pit Bream & Tench - Outrageous Fortune

To be honest, my fishing since January has been difficult. I've hardly banked anything of note and lost every single fish that clearly would have been, had I the good fortune to. But Fortuna has turned her back to me, and it seems I am destined to lose whatever I am about to gain. She favours the brave, but I have not been brave. Where I should have trusted in my knots, lines and rods and turned the tables in my favour from the outset, I've pussyfooted with the fish, and lost them because of it.