Author: <span>Thirdageangler</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!

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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!

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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!

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I don’t like targets, when I was at work we had targets which were unachievable so short cuts were taken to meet them instead of doing a proper job. So I have ambitions, one of which is to fish all the club waters this year so I thought that I would give another new water a go this week.

The water in question is an old gravel pit with the reputation of holding big fish and being difficult to fish. When I got there there were a couple of cars in the car park but I couldn’t see anyone fishing as it is a big water they must have been around the corner. It was a mild but windy day and  I chose a swim on the side of the lake with the wind blowing towards me and got my carp rod out followed by my feeder rod with a swing tip. Then I waited and nothing happened. I did the usual of changing baits, feeding the swim, magic incantations, nothing. I even got my flask and sandwiches out as a last resort at getting a bite but that didn’t work either!

The only thing that was interesting was seeing three buzzards gliding overhead calling to each other with a strange kind of mewing sound. It is times like that I wish I had brought my decent camera but I have enough kit with me anyway!

After a couple of hours I thought about moving, I don’t like just sitting there for hours blanking and although I don’t expect to catch a carp every five minutes I like to pull out some silvers to keep myself occupied and if I don’t I start getting grumpy! I really couldn’t make up my mind what to do, which my wife says is just like me, so I decided to toss a coin. I had found a battered old twenty pence when opening the gate so fished it out of my pocket and said to myself, heads to stay, tails to go. It came up tails. The next decision was where to go, back to the water nearby where I caught the other week or to the river to see how that was going. Once again the coin came out and it decided that I would be going back to the lake. It wasn’t far away but when I got there the car park was rammed so I turned around and went to the river after all.

It was a bit higher than last time but still shallow with slight colour and I stuck the feeder rod in while setting up my float rod. My hands were full and the rod was across my lap when the feeder rod started jumping about. I put everything down as quickly as possible and grabbed the rod to find a minnow on the hook! There was no way it had made the rod jump about like that and I can only think that something like a perch had grabbed it but not been hooked. The minnow itself didn’t look harmed and happily swam away when I released it.

Then it was trotting down the river with a float and straight away I was catching fish, unfortunately they were mostly minnows and they don’t count! I did start catching a few small dace then suddenly there was a stronger tug on the line and I landed a perch of a few ounces. This was followed by another perch, possibly the smallest one that I have ever seen! The session carried on like that but no more perch and my mood brightened. I like being beside a river and can only think that it reminds me of my childhood when that was where I fished. I was cheered up by a couple of birds, firstly a kestrel who landed in a tree a few yards away and stayed for a few seconds before noticing me and flying away. Next was the blue flash of a kingfisher flying up the river, before taking up fishing again I had only ever seen a couple of these and now I see one just about every time I go to the river.

A nice little perch
His baby brother!

Soon it was time to go home with the thought that I had fished one of my target waters, or should that be ambitions? I know that I had not done it justice so will have to go back to fulfil my other ambition which is to catch a fish from every water. The only water I have left to fish is a specialised carp lake and as the club is losing it I will have to be quick. The only thing that I am worried about is what to do while I am waiting for the carp to bite? It could be hours, perhaps I should take a book but then if I am going to read I might as well stay at home in the warm and dry. They say that you learn about yourself when you take up fishing, what I am learning is that I like catching rather than fishing, I am thinking of renaming this blog as The Impatient Angler!

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One of the great things about being retired is that if you don’t have a medical appointment and there is nothing else pressing then you can decide to go fishing! So it was with me this morning. I woke late, had a cuppa in bed and was downstairs eating my cereal and looking out of the window at the windy, grey day and wondering what to do with myself so I decided to check the weather for the week. Well, today was going to be dry and mild and it was going to rain and get colder later in the week so if I was going to go fishing then today was the day.

I decided to keep my promise to myself and go to a different lake which is well stocked and where I had the chance to catch some fish. If I couldn’t catch there then I might as well give up! I arrived just before midday and walked around the water. I noticed several things, firstly, no-one else was there, secondly the trees around the lake were sheltering it from the wind and lastly, there were a couple of carp hanging just below the surface in one corner of the lake. I decided to fish near there and got my gear and before setting up the rod I threw some bread towards the fish, they ignored it! More bread went in and seemed to attract a few more carp so I baited my surface rig with bread and cast in. One or two fish came and sucked the bread and I wondered whether it had come off the rig but was patient for a minute or two longer and was rewarded by a fish sucking down the bait and I was in! It wasn’t the biggest fish I have ever caught and weighed in at 6lb but it started the session off on a good note! I was also getting warm by now so stripped off a few layers and was fishing in just a T shirt and jeans towards the end of October!

As the carp had made themselves scarce I got out my other rod with a method feeder and cast out then got my feeder rod out of the bag and decided to fish close in for silverfish with the quivertip. Leaving my rods set up means that I can quickly get fishing so with the addition of a couple of maggots on the hook I was away. I didn’t have long to wait and the quiver tip was twitching and I was soon landing roach, nothing special but I was catching fish! Soon it was lunchtime and it was one of those times where I had to take the feeder rod out of the water for a few minutes in order to eat my sandwiches without interruption!

Just one of the many roach

Lunch over and I was catching regularly on the feeder rod but nothing but line bites on the carp rod but at least I knew that my new alarm was working! I changed the boilie for a smaller hemp flavoured one and cast into a different place but still only line bites. My feeder rod was still catching and I was getting fed up with small roach and as I had a small hair rig on I switched to sweetcorn and cast out just a bit further. Pretty soon I had a bite, a small carp of about a pound. I thought that as I wasn’t having any luck with the carp rod fishing further out I could try adding sweetcorn to the boilie and fishing closer in. This seemed to generate a lot of half bites over the next half an hour or so, when the buzzer would sound a few times but never develop into a full scale bite. It went a bit quiet on the feeder rod so I went back to maggots and caught more roach and a gudgeon. Then came the tangle. For some unknown reason the line went round and round the rod tip in a right mess. The only thing to do was to cut the line and start again!

Even after trying it for a season now I still don’t feel comfortable using a quivertip and so decided to change to a swing tip which was in a job lot of tackle I got from ebay and which I have never used before. I also thought that I didn’t need a feeder as the fish seemed to be everywhere in the swim so just added a bomb and a smaller plain hook. The next hour or so was spent learning how the fish the swing tip and I managed to land more roach, another gudgeon and a tench. The tench was quite unusual as it was a silver colour and different to any other tench that I have caught. I didn’t neglect the carp rod and as the sweet corn was generating some interest I decided to cast back out a bit further away. The buzzer sounded off and on and I was just waiting for a take and a continuous alarm but it didn’t happen. After a few minutes I decided to reel in and refill the method feeder and found that I had a fish. He came quite quietly at first but as I got him near the net he seemed to wake up and started to fight. As he was not enormous it didn’t take long to net him and he weighed in at seven and a half pounds. My first carp I have landed on the method feeder this season, what a relief! I couldn’t work out when he got hooked though, was it all the noise on the alarm which didn’t develop or did I hook him just as I was reeling in? I will never know!

Tne nice silvery colour tench

It was getting on in the afternoon and after a quick text message home I was given a bit longer to fish and proceeded to catch some more roach! The final tally for the day was, three carp, one tench, two gudgeon and twenty roach! At last I seem to have put my lean spell behind me and would have landed more fish if I had recognised all the bites on the swing tip. Time to watch some YouTube videos I think!

The carp caught on the method feeder

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I don’t know if anyone has noticed but I have had the most awful time loading my blog recently. Photos were the first to suffer, If I could get them to load at all they would look fine here on my desktop but not show on my tablet! Sometimes they would and other times they wouldn’t until they stopped showing at all!

Then I lost the ability to edit posts that I had made, sometimes I would go back and change things after I had posted them but I couldn’t do that. Then the final straw, I couldn’t upload anything at all! My I.T. consultant, i.e. my son, wasn’t able to help and in the end he said that the hosting service was crap and I needed a new one so I asked him to sort one out for me. A couple of days later he came back and said that he had done some research and named what we should have. I did what I usually do in these situations, sit next to him at the computer and get the bank card out at the appropriate moment! As it was my bed time I left him to it and in the morning everything worked! The first thing that I noticed was how much quicker the site loaded and that the things which had disappeared were there! Anyway I had to leave it and get back to the real world job of finishing re-roofing my shed roof.

So, this evening I sat down at my desktop and loaded my last fishing session, complete with photos and it all worked smoothly, quickly and first time! Then I went back and edited a couple of recent posts and added a photo or two and this worked as well! Now, as I said I don’t know if anyone has noticed the difference but I certainly have. At the moment the new hosting looks like money well spent!

Anyway back to the blog.

After my last session, which was another slow one, I was feeling disgruntled and to try and get over it I went for a short session at the river the next afternoon. It was pretty low and I could see the bottom in about two feet of water. I spent a couple of hours trotting with maggots and caught loads of fish, mostly minnows! Last time I was here during the summer there were none to be seen but they have come back with a vengeance. I did catch a few nice dace as well but they were rather small. It was another session where I caught a few proper fish, I don’t count minnows, and my disgruntlement hadn’t faded away. I know this swim can have some nice fish in it I just think that it needs a bit more water in it. I will come back when the conditions are more suitable.

Minnows are a pretty little fish!

I think this is a small dace, not much bigger than a minnow!

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Well, I made it to the bank again! I thought I was going to go fishing on Thursday as I had felt much better on Wednesday but in the way of this cough to end all coughs I felt grotty again on Thursday and so it wasn’t until Saturday that I felt well enough to go. It was a grey day with a bit of dampness in the air but no wind as I loaded up the car and wondered where to go. I don’t usually go fishing on a Saturday and as the idea is still to stay away from other people as my wife is vulnerable I didn’t want to go to any of the popular lakes so ended up back at my “go to” lake where I used to do well but hadn’t had much luck recently. I had asked on a Facebook group what people thought, whether to give up and try elsewhere or stay and learn how to fish the lake and as you would expect had a variety of conflicting replies. I also had the thought that fishing on Mondays, which I had been doing, was not such a good idea as the fish would be having a rest from assault of the weekend anglers.

I arrived about half past ten to find there was no one else there. Just out of curiosity, on the way home I nipped into the car park of a more popular club water just across the road, it was full. Perhaps they know something that I don’t! Anyway, I had a walk round but didn’t see any signs of fish and there were no carp on the surface, probably because it had been a chilly night so I decided to fish the same swim where I lost a fish last time and quickly set up my carp rod with a method feeder and just for a change a pop up boilie. Then it was time for the ledger rod with a small method feeder and sweet corn on a hair rig. I am still trying this way of fishing on this rod and have had some success but am not totally convinced.

Then it was time to sit down with a cup of tea and wait. While I was waiting I noticed that when threading up the ledger rod I had missed the ring nearest the reel but figured that I could manage without it. I re-filled the feeders every so often and enjoyed just being outside and being fit enough to fish. I also began to feed the swim closer in to the bank with some groundbait, sweetcorn and maggots with the idea of fishing with the float rod later on. After about an hour without a beep, bite or even a twitch I decided to change things round a bit and put a small boilie on the ledger rod which has worked before. Then it started to rain, very gently and not enough to make me go and get the umbrella from the car but enough to make me put my hood up and wonder if it was sensible for someone recovering from the mother of all coughs to be sitting outdoors in the rain! However it soon stopped and a chilly wind started blowing from behind so I kept my hood up and wondered about getting the umbrella out as a wind shelter but didn’t do anything about it as it was only a gentle breeze and I could put up with it.

It was about now that another angler arrived and set up on the opposite side of the water so I was no longer alone. A couple of hours had passed and it was getting near lunch time so I thought that the old standby of opening the sandwich box and pouring a cuppa from the flask would do the trick but not this time, I was left to eat my lunch in peace! I decided that it was time to get the float rod out so brought the feeder rod in, hooked on a maggot and cast out into the swim I had been baiting up and waited confidently for a bite from one of the voracious rudd or roach that live here. I waited and waited, I changed the depth I was fishing at, changed from red to white maggots and back again and then tried sweetcorn. Still no luck which was galling as the newcomer had had a fish or two.

It was about this time that I started to doubt myself. Not so long ago I had given up using maggots as I had got fed up with catching smaller fish especially on this venue and now I couldn’t even catch them. Had my beginner’s luck simply run out? Last year I caught several carp on this water alone on the method feeder and this year none, not even a bite not even a beep from a line bite to show that fish were around. I knew that carp were in here as I had seen them cruising on the surface and even caught one a few weeks back but where were they now?

I decided that I wouldn’t spend any more time fishing this water and would go down to the river where I have had good luck in the past so I brought my float in, changed it for a river one and decided to check the shot pattern and as I was putting it in the water it might as well have a maggot on the hook and cast in. The float disappeared, far too much weight on the line for a lighter float so I took some off and cast again. The float settled nicely then dipped and I was into a fish! Not a big one but a nice little roach and after my luck so far any fish would do! I popped him back in and cast again, the float bobbed then disappeared and I had hooked a slightly bigger fish, a skimmer I think or a fat bodied roach, I was not sure. Now that I had a couple of fish all thoughts of going to the river had gone and I spent the rest of the afternoon with the float rod catching roach. I would like to say that I carried on catching regularly for the rest of the afternoon but I didn’t. I only managed five roach which was an improvement on the morning session. Not a beep on the carp rod with my new alarm which was disappointing but at least I had caught some fish. Oh yes, and I saw a couple of microlights flying over and the swans landed on the lake after being absent for the summer. I heard a robin around and about too but didn’t see him in the bushes and trees.

So, my first session for a few weeks was not an overwhelming success but at least I didn’t blank like last time. When I got home I had a good talk to myself about fishing somewhere else next time and giving my “go to” lake a rest until the fishing improves.  

The best fish of the day!

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I was hoping to write about going fishing this week but again I haven’t been. According to the tests I haven’t got Covid but boy, have I got a rotten stinking cough which is keeping me awake at night so that I feel even more awful during the day! Anyway, I have been on Facebook to pass the time and read this fascinating post by a guy called Harry Crosby about his fishing journey and I asked him if I could use it and he said that I could, so here it is! Thanks Harry for being my first guest blogger and if there is anyone else out there who wants to have a go then let me know.

“I’m now 61 years of age. I started fishing when I was 6, I grew up on our local brick pond chasing those striped sergeants with a tin of worms, in my teens I chased the fish I could see from a tree that overhung the corner of the pond, I wondered at their size and the dark olive green and their paddle like fins. A regular on the pond, Bob, was a master angler and I would watch him for hours catching giant roach on the slider and those big green monsters I’d seen from up high, he was always willing to give you a handful of his maggots if you asked to “borrow a few” or spare a hook if you needed one. He showed me how to hook bread flake, and the first time I used it, I caught, what I thought was a giant tench, well at 3lb it was the biggest fish I’d ever seen!

 I progressed from there to fishing the local rivers, learning to ledger, this was before feeder fishing. Moving forward I learned about ground bait and how to feed for the huge shoals of bream our local river was known for, by the time I was in my twenties I was catching regular big bags of those big black slabs, from there I moved onto the faster moving waters of the other rivers in my area. I went everywhere on my push bike, mile after mile with my rods tied to my cross bar and my basket on my back. I followed the chub through the seasons, until I caught my first barbel, then for nearly 20 years I concentrated on the barbel in some majestic places, cold nights and misty mornings, hour after hour watching the rod tip, with more failure than success if I’m honest. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had my red letter days and nights chasing those lovers of moving water, my whole world was consumed by catching the biggest fish in the river, and when I never, I was devastated. 

Until one day a few years ago, I sat with my neck aching and pins and needles in my arse after an uneventful session. I questioned why I loved fishing, and why my life had been consumed by hour after hour of sitting motionless with the off explosion of excitement. I got home put my barbel tackle in my shed, dug out my centre pin and my stick float rod, bought some waders, and went to the river and just fished for anything I could catch, I felt I had stepped back in time, and now I enjoy my fishing as much as I did on those long hot summer days at my local brick pond. Sometimes we can lose sight of why we enjoy the art of fish fooling.”

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Well, so much for hoping to feel better and going fishing! Instead I have had the most horrific cough which has kept me awake every night and stopped me sleeping. I had a lateral flow test last week followed by a PCR, both of which were negative and of course it had to be my granddaughter’s eighteenth birthday family celebration on Sunday and I couldn’t even crawl out of bed for that. So, no chance of going fishing last week or this and I have not even felt much like thinking about it or writing my blog.

So today I am going to do a bit about online tackle suppliers. Due to covid and the fact that my wife is vulnerable we have been keeping away from shops and crowded places, which includes tackle shops. I would prefer to support my local tackle shop but at the moment it is not going to happen. I also have faint memories of tackle shops when I used to use them in the past when they seemed more like a club for regulars and treated new customers like me with suspicion. A bit like walking into a country pub as a stranger a few years back!

So, online suppliers. Amazon and ebay are both sites that I use but I find myself going back to Angling Direct on a regular basis. I am on their email mailing list and get regular offers but one that caught my eye while I was lying in bed was a flash sale for Nash Siren S5 alarms at 25% off, which came to £16.49. This was just over their £16 limit for free postage so was an even better bargain. Of course, I needed a few other bits and pieces as well, namely a couple of Guru hybrid method feeders so it came to a few pounds more but then it always does whether you are in a shop or online! My justification for buying an alarm was that I had had several cheapo Amazon ones which were not proving to be much good. My NGT one gave up the ghost the first time it rained. Another one seems to turn itself off all the time and the other unbranded one I am using is loose on the screw thread despite my attempts to tighten it and 25% off, don’t we all love a bargain!

The alarm arrived a few days later and the first thing that I noticed was how heavy and solid it seemed compared to my cheap ones, a much better built piece of kit. The next thing was that batteries were not included, as the saying goes, so it was a search through my bits and pieces drawer only to find that I didn’t have one the right size so it was back to Amazon. The new battery arrived the next day and was installed and the alarm worked loudly. It took me a while to see how to turn the sound down, Youtube showed turning the on/off button but mine must have been a later model as you have to press the button to cycle through three different sound levels so I was able to turn it down. It seems to remember the volume level that you left it at which is good as I don’t like to have it set too loud.

Then there was the latching light and I had to look that up as well. Apparently it stays on for longer after the alarm sounds to show you which of your alarms has sounded, who knew?

So, it seems a nice enough piece of kit and I can’t wait to try it out. Of course, I will have to and will report back. In the meantime it has started raining again here and the rivers are filling up so it may be time to go back to my favourite spot! In the meantime I will try to take care of myself and get well, you will know if I have succeeded if next week’s blog is about fishing and not the state of my health!

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My regular readers, or should that be reader, might have noticed that I haven’t been posting lately. This is due to me getting hayfever/sinusitis for the first time this year and taking a while to sort out medication that would help. I don’t mind having the symptoms of a cold but when it got to the point of not having the energy to go fishing then it was time to take action!

I actually had a health check on Monday, for those of you not yet in your third age and who don’t know, you can have them every five years. It is just a load of questions and blood pressure and blood tests but I suppose it is a screen for problems that may occur. Anyway the girl asked me how I was and when I told her she got a specialist nurse in straight away who prescribed me a more serious nose spray which has actually started to work so I went fishing. Blanked. That’s it really!

I felt OK to go and had a bit of time one afternoon so thought that I would go and stay into the evening. Went to my “go to” water where I always catch something and walked round to see a few carp feeding on the surface so set up a rod with some bread but they weren’t having any and as the afternoon wore on they disappeared. I then switched to a method feeder and also put my feeder rod out but nothing. Still, it was a sunny afternoon and I was just enjoying being there so I wasn’t too unhappy. At about five thirty I thought that I would move swims and put the float rod out for a few rudd or roach for a bit of fun before packing up but I wasn’t even getting them!

Then I got a bite on the feeder rod, in fact it was so strong that the rod was on its way into the water so I had to grab it quick! It was a strong fish, must have been a carp and it swam to the right, left and then the line went slack so I thought I had lost it. In fact it had swum towards me and gone into some tree roots next to my swim as I found out when I reeled in. The next half an hour was spent trying to coax it out, letting the line go slack hoping that the fish would move and eventually just applying pressure until the inevitable happened and the line parted. It was very strange as once the fish had got in the roots the line was locked up and there was just no movement in it at all. Anyway, as it was nearly dark I packed up and went home having achieved my first blank on that water. Still, never mind, it happens to us all!

I suppose there is always next time but I think I will give that water a break for a while until it perks up a bit. The club has plenty more which I ought to try although some of them close soon for the winter. I hope that the medication keeps working and that the pollen count gets lower so that all this sitting out in the country while fishing is not going to affect me too much. Then I will have something to write about in my blog!

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