Those of you who read my blog regularly may have noticed that I have not been catching much recently. Yes, I know that it is winter and fishing slows down but I am getting a bit dispirited. I had a look back at my diary to see what I was catching this time last year and saw that I was going to the river quite often and managing to catch roach, dace, perch and chub. This year all I seem to manage is minnows!
Anyway, I had a couple of sessions this week. Firstly I went to one of the club lakes which usually fishes well and where I have caught before. I decided to leave my carp rods at home and take the float rod and feeder rod. It was later than I wanted by the time that I got to the water as just as I was leaving home the missus decided that she wanted the Christmas tree and decorations out of the attic. In the spirit of marital harmony I decided that I had better go up there and find them, at least it would give her something to do while I was gone! I arrived to find several cars in the car park and another angler just arriving. We had a chat and like me, he was after silvers, we walked around the lake together and chose swims near to each other facing the wind. It was the second of two milder days so we were both hopeful that the fish would be feeding.
I keep my tackle box in the top of my rucksack and undid it to take out something and didn’t fasten it up properly or zip the top up again. Next I lifted the top compartment up to get to stuff underneath and my tackle box deposited its contents on the floor, I have to admit that there were a few choice words said as I scrabbled around in the mud picking up floats, weights, feeders etc. I was particularly annoyed with myself as this is the second time I have done that recently, who says that we live and learn?
I fed the swim lightly with some groundbait and a sprinkling of maggots, I got the feeder rod in next to some reeds and the float rod in the middle of the swim and waited. When I brought the feeder rod in to refill it, it had caught on something but this time I was lucky and it came free. The hook had opened a bit but a quick pinch with the pliers got it back into shape. I cast out to a different place! Although it was a milder day it was still a bit dull and wintery and I kept myself busy by changing the depth of the float and refilling the feeder trying to find the fish.
Time passed, I hadn’t had a bite, not a twitch, nothing. Soon it was time for elevenses and I got my flask out and a packet of crisps. Sods Law says that a cup of tea in one hand and an open packet of crisps in the other is the time I will get a bite but it didn’t happen. Soon it was lunchtime and I had been here several hours without a sign of a fish. I was just pondering what to do, whether to do what I had done in previous sessions and to move somewhere else when the angler that I had chatted to before came over for a chat. He hadn’t caught anything either but was optimistic that the fish would start biting later in the day. On the strength of that I decided to stay and persevere. This turned out not to be a good idea as despite trying everything I didn’t get a bite all day! It was about three o’ clock when my eyes were beginning to close that I decided to pack up and go home. On the way back to the car I passed my fellow angler who hadn’t caught anything either. When I got home I found that I hadn’t got all the decorations out of the attic so when I had unloaded the car I had to go back up in the attic again!
So, another blank. Funnily enough I didn’t feel too bad about it, perhaps I am getting used to it! It was a quiet day though, no ducks visited me neither did a robin and I didn’t see many birds at all. There were very few sounds, a bit of traffic in the lane and the faint sound of children out to play in the nearby primary school but overall not much to see or hear. No wonder I was beginning to fall asleep, perhaps I should treat myself to a reclining chair for Christmas so that I can catch up on my sleep while I am not catching fish!
My next session was a couple of days after and I went back to the river. It had rained a bit and the water level had risen but was beginning to go down again so I thought that now was the time to go. I took my usual set up of float and feeder rod and the river was indeed higher and had a bit of colour but was not flowing as quickly as I expected. To cut a long story short I caught some minnows and a small silver fish and after a couple of hours I went home for lunch. There was a bit more non-fishing interest as there is a footpath nearby and walkers regularly pass by. This morning I think it was the W.I. as there was a large group of women chatting amongst themselves. A pair of swans came down the river and there was a terrific splash from under the bridge, the sort of sound a jumping carp makes and I could see the ripples but not what caused them. In the distance there was the sound of barking dogs which must be coming from a kennels although they do sound more like a load of foxhounds on the chase rather than a bunch of pets. I have to say that I am a bit disappointed by this swim where I was catching some nice fish last winter, perhaps it was just beginner’s luck!