Back to the Bank

The river season is over until June, the days are getting longer and lighter, the club’s Facebook page is showing carp that have been caught so it is time to go back to the still waters and see what I can catch. 

The Facebook page had a thread about your targets for the year, the replies were all about increasing your personal best or catching more fish. I put that I wanted to fish all the club’s waters and then catch a fish in each one. I was told that was a good idea for a new member and so with that in mind I set out for somewhere I hadn’t fished before. It is a series of three lakes on a connecting stream and I had a good walk round before I picked somewhere to fish. I chose a nice sheltered spot with a reed bed a little way in front, eventually remembered how to set up my carp outfit and also put a float rod out and waited expectantly. After a while I moved the carp rod and fished in a different place as I remembered the saying that you have to find the fish in the winter. Then I changed the depth on the float rod, put in some more maggots and groundbait. Time passed without a bite.

I decided to have a go with the feeder rod. I have almost got to the point where it doesn’t get tangled any more and I feel pleased with myself about that. Still nothing, not a bite, not a twitch. I decided it was time for my fail safe remedy to get a bite and as it was now lunchtime  I got my flask and sandwiches out, still nothing. It was nice sitting in the sun and I was getting warm so off came some layers, soon I would be fishing in a T shirt! The swans came to see me, as they usually do, a buzzard glided overhead in the distance, some ducks quacked friskily and a swan chased a Canada goose right across the lake but I still didn’t catch anything. Mindful of the saying about if you do the same thing and expect different results I tried out different rigs and tweaked my setup with no result. To be honest I was getting bored. I went for a walk to look at moving to a different swim but there wasn’t much time left so I stayed. I had a chat with a couple of other anglers who were also blanking. I don’t know if that made me feel better or worse. Better in that I was not the only one, worse that nobody was catching any fish.

Eventually it was time to pack up. On the drive home I reflected on my day, I think it was the first proper blank I have had since I started fishing again and I didn’t like it. Previously I have caught at least a minnow or baby perch or even missed a bite but today it was nothing. So, was I wasting my time? I have read on forums about the benefit to your mental health that fishing has, how it is good to get out of the house, get away from the missus, have some “me” time and all of this may be true but I go fishing to catch fish, and I didn’t. I can do all of the above by walking three minutes from my house and be out in the country, I don’t need to go fishing for that. I go fishing for that moment where the float dips, the quiver tip twitches or the alarm buzzes. That moment when you pick up the rod and feel something alive on the end of the line. What is it? How big is it? Will I land it or will it come off? All this is still new to me and still exciting. That’s what I go fishing for.

So, was it a waste of a day? No, I did spend a day outdoors doing what I enjoy. I learned that you can’t always be successful. In everyday life we are usually in control, the car starts when you turn the key, the TV comes on when you press the remote, the shopping is delivered to your front door. Angling reminds us that nature is greater than we are and we don’t control it. You can do all the right things but still not get the result that you want. Blanking is a lesson learned and anyway there is always next time!

Not much sign of spring in the trees and hedgerows so perhaps it was a bit early to be catching much!

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