Month: <span>November 2021</span>

After finally getting back on the bank for a short session I was able to plan for an all day one. All day at this time of the year is not that long as we only have about eight hours of daylight so it is important that I get out of bed early, which is something that I am not very good at these days. It also takes me a while to load up the car as I have to bring everything from the shed in the back garden round the side of the house to the car. I had thought of loading up the night before but as my car stands on the front drive I think this would be tempting fate. A few years ago I left my car open overnight and someone got in and stole my car park change and a few bits and pieces including a Swiss Army knife which I had for a long time and which was of sentimental value so I am not going to give them the chance again.

I did make my sandwiches the night before and did my best to get up early but it was still after nine by the time I got to the water. I chose to go to a lake that I have fished a few times before and which has been fishing well this year. It is one of the furthest waters and there is a decent walk along a rough path to get there so I have to be in the mood to manage that. There was no one else there when I arrived and I settled down in a swim that I fancied earlier. There was about 15 yards to an island and despite the water being high there was enough bank for me to lay out all my tackle. I put some still water groundbait in for silver fish and got my carp rod set up. The usual method feeder and boilie bait was cast out then the feeder rod with the swing tip. It was a decent enough morning with patchy cloud and a gentle breeze. Autumn in my part of the world has been late in coming this year but it had finally arrived with lots of leaves off the trees. 

It’s looking a bit like winter now – beautiful though!

This trip began to resemble my other sessions, I waited, waited a bit more, fed the swim with some maggots and some more groundbait, tossed a few maggots in, changed the area for my carp rod but nothing. Not a bite, not a knock, not a beep on the alarm, not a swing on the tip, nothing. The few sessions that I have had in the last few months have all seemed to start this way so I decided to give it a bit longer with the idea that If nothing was happening I would move. I had in mind that in winter fishing you have to work harder to find the fish and not just expect them to come to you. Nothing happened so I did move, round the corner of the lake where I had fished before with some success. I decided to fish the float rod as well as the carp rod and settled down again and waited, nothing. Nothing for about thirty minutes then the float bobbed and I was into a fish, nothing exciting it was a rudd and not that big either but at least it was a fish and saved a blank!

He was typical of the rudd that I was catching.

It was clear that the rudd had moved in to the swim as I was getting a fish a cast, those tell tale rudd bites where the float goes sideways rather than straight under but nothing very big. I wasn’t getting anything on the carp rod so decided to pull it in and put out the feeder rod in the swim with the hope of attracting bigger rudd. I also changed to sweet corn as bait in the hope that it would attract bigger fish. It didn’t and although I caught some they were all about hand sized. And so the afternoon wore on, if I was a match fisherman I would have been delighted with the way that the weight was piling up but it did seem to me that I was back to square one, catching little fish. Soon it was getting dusk and time to go so I packed up and went. 

So, no carp again, no big fish again, in fact no fish of any size at all. What had started out with great expectations ended up with me being slightly disgruntled. Also, Mother Nature had let me down as well, no kingfisher, no heron, no buzzards in fact only a few ducks sheltering under some overhanging branches and no passing walkers asking me how I was getting on, in fact no-one at all. Still, I suppose there is always the next time to look forward to!


It had been nearly three weeks since I had last been fishing and I had just taken my wife to yet another appointment when I asked her what I should do for the rest of the day. “Why don’t you go fishing? You haven’t been for a while and it is a nice day.” Well, you don’t turn down a suggestion like that and she was right about the weather. After days of grey cloud the sun was showing through and making me feel more cheerful so it was a quick trip to the local tackle shop for some maggots, a bite to eat and I was off!

Where to go? I thought I wouldn’t go far as I didn’t have many hours of daylight left and ended up at a lake about a mile away from home. I have been there a couple of times before and had some luck so was looking forward to it. When I arrived there were only a couple of cars in the car park and on my way to my swim I passed a guy who was playing a fish. I stopped to chat, as you do, and he said that he had had a few in the couple of hours he had been there and shortly after landed a nice looking common of about ten pounds. I thought that it was a bit of a coincidence as before when I was at this venue on the smaller lake I stopped and chatted to a young man who was playing a carp but I didn’t do so well with just a perch and a roach. Thinking that at least the fish were biting I carried on to my swim and set up my usual carp rod and decided to have a go with the float rod for silvers. It was then that I found that I had left the bag with my maggots, flask, snacks etc in the car so it was a walk back to collect them.

I soon had the float rod out and found that I had a problem. There were lots of leaves floating on the surface and being a calm day there was the reflection of the trees on the opposite bank, both of which combined made it almost impossible to see the float! Back to the feeder rod which was still set up with the swing tip then it was time to sit down and relax and reel in the fish! That was the plan but the fish didn’t seem to have read the script and nothing seemed to be happening and that’s how it was on both rods. The carp rod was stubbornly quiet with only one beep on the buzzer and the swing tip remained still. Then the swing tip swung and I was into a fish which turned out to be a small perch but at least I had not blanked! 

I don’t know who was the more startled, me or him! Actually from his expression I think it was him!

Time passed, I had a cuppa, continued to cast out my feeders and enjoyed being on the bank in the sunshine. Then I started getting movement on my swing tip, it would slowly lift then fall back again and do this a few times but not develop into a take. I didn’t know what to make of this so left it for a while then got a more positive bite which turned out to be a roach. I was hoping to catch more members of its family but it was not to be, the swing tip would slowly rise then fall back and if I struck I didn’t connect with anything. I didn’t think that it was a line bite as these seem to be much quicker and something was definitely sucking my maggots! Then the other angler walked up to see me. He was packing up and wanted to know how I had been getting on. He hadn’t caught any more fish and was going home before dark and I told him that I would wait a bit in case the fish started to feed as dusk came on.

You can see that I was loading the method feeder when I caught this one!

I kept getting those timid bites and eventually struck and felt a fish. It shot off sideways and I could tell that it was some size then the hook pulled and the line went slack. I said, “Oh dear, oh dear!” or something similar then cast out again. I had a few more of those gentle bites but didn’t hook into any of them and eventually decided that it was getting too dark to see properly and packed up. I used my head torch for the first time and was pleased with how good it was and how much easier it made things as I didn’t have to hold it and it would shine in the direction that I was looking. So, a perch and roach again after seeing an angler playing a fish while I was on my way to a swim, next time that happens I think I will just turn around and go home!


I have been pondering a deep philosophical question over the last few days, namely, how can I write a fishing blog without actually going fishing? I have been reminded recently of the people who used to say to me that now that they had retired they don’t know how they had time to go to work. I didn’t understand it at the time but it is beginning to dawn on me that it is true, well at least part of the time.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I got a phone call in the afternoon to say that my ninety three year old diabetic mum had had a fall and the ambulance had been called. She lives in a warden controlled block and had friends with her at the time so was lucky in that respect but she was in pain and could not move off the floor so I drove over to be with her. To cut a long story short she waited five hours for an ambulance and was eventually taken to hospital with a suspected broken hip. This turned out to be the case and only a couple of days later she was operated on and it was put back together. There was no visiting due to Covid so we had a difficult time phoning and trying to find out how she was but fortunately she is old school and wouldn’t let a thing like a broken hip upset her and she is doing well. She could have been discharged earlier this week but she has to wait for a care package to be put into place first so until that happens she is taking up a bed that an ill person needs. Fortunately she is going to my sister’s when she comes out of hospital so will be properly looked after and we will decide about her future after that.

What she didn’t mention to us was that a couple of days before all this happened she had a leak from the cistern in her airing cupboard which was dripping through to the floor below and although a local plumber came out late at night and fixed it all her towels, carpets etc were soaked. She blames tiredness and anxiety for misjudging her step and falling over, which may be right. Anyway, my sister and I cleared up the mess and also gave her flat a thorough cleaning at the same time. So, I have spent several days driving from one side of the county to another and we are not finished yet.

Then there is the missus. I have mentioned that she has poor health and that I look after her, well at the same time all this was going on I was taking her for a blood test, hospital appointment, dental appointment, optician’s appointment, dentists appointment, which left me no time to go fishing. On top of this I was changing a couple of taps in my house and turning off a gate valve in the attic the handle just kept spinning round and it started to leak so it had a big tin tray under it for the night until the shops were open again in the morning. And there is my sister, how many people do you know that have hit a deer and written off their car twice? In eighteen months? Thought not. She has. So, I have been helping her sort that out and expect that I will be driving her around the garages to find a replacement when the insurance comes through.

Fishing? Well, I have noticed that the days are getting shorter and the leaves are falling off the trees. I am thinking of going back to the river and looking for weed free places to fish in the hope of catching some nice roach, chub and perch. Perhaps I will have a go at pike fishing on the canal as I have never caught a pike and would like to catch at least one on my life time! To be honest I don’t know when my next session will be and whether my next blog entry will be an angling one or another chapter in the soap opera!