It’s Been a Year!

I had an email reminding me that my fishing licence was due for renewal which means that it has been a year since I started fishing again although I didn’t start this blog until a few months later. Time to reflect on what has happened during that time. I suppose the main thing is that I am still fishing and although it is my second hobby after sailing I probably go fishing more often. For a start the season is longer, my boat comes out of the water for the winter months and I only like sailing on nice days whereas I go fishing in all types of weather except absolute gales or downpours!

I have gone from being very rusty and wondering if I could remember how to set up my tackle and actually catch something to having tried lots of methods and refined my gear and ways of doing things and expecting to catch each time I go. I have fished in the canal, river and a variety of club still waters. I have caught my first carp, chub and tench and personal best perch as well as gudgeon, bream, roach, rudd, dace and eels. I have enjoyed being on the bank during lockdown and later as I have still had to be careful of being with people as my wife is vulnerable and mustn’t catch Covid. That said, I have had some interesting conversations with other anglers at a social distance! 

As well as the usual birds I have seen buzzards, kingfishers, robins, peacocks, herons and the ubiquitous ducks, some who stay well away while others are brazen in their attempts to steal my bait! I have fished beside main roads, next to farmyards, and in isolated spots in the country where there is not even the sound of traffic. I have been hot, cold, wet and fairly miserable. I have trodden in poo, fallen down the bank, got my gear tangled time and time again and lost stuff, most significantly a decent unhooking mat.

I have spent some money, not a lot and some of it was made up for by selling stuff on ebay where I also bought some things. Usually job lots of gear which had a few things which I wanted and other stuff which I didn’t and which will probably go back on ebay. My best ebay purchase must have been the two Sonik Dominator X carp rods for £38, my worst probably the carp barrowfor £30, it was clearly cheaply made and needed the addition of a few nuts and bolts to make it functional but it is certainly better than making two journeys from my car to the swim! I will see how it goes before making a decision on whether to buy a better one. I have also recently bought a Nash chair on Facebook marketplace for £20 with one mud foot missing. Nowhere could I find an identical replacement so it has one odd foot now. The seat fabric itself is in good condition but like the trolley the catches which keep the frame locked are all worn an have had to be replaced with bolts. Still, it should be good to sit on now and I won’t see the odd foot when I am fishing!

I have found that my old Diawa brolly still works at keeping the rain off but wobbles a bit and the rain drips off the edge. I also can’t get all my gear underneath it so I have been looking for a day shelter which is quick to put up. I saw an ideal one on Facebook Marketplace but despite contacting the seller within an hour of the advert being live and several times after I have had no reply despite the advert still being there. I don’t know if he is getting my messages or not, if it is sold or not, so have just given up on it. A quick reply one way or another and the removal of the ad would have been nice!

Stand out moments. Catching my first carp, then the next one and the one after that! Not so good moments. Forgetting to take my brolly and getting wet, falling down the bank a couple of times, catching eels! The important thing is that I am making progress with my fishing, I know how and where to catch small fish – float and maggot fished near the bank and am slowly learning how to catch bigger ones or at least not to catch small ones! I have tried lots of different methods and learnt a lot from Youtube videos and am beginning to find what works for me. I have fished all the club waters except for two, one is a specimen lake and the other a carp lake and have had success on all but one. I have even got a hankering to go fishing further afield but it will have to wait until things are safer as the idea is not to venture far from home and mix with other people. The main thing is that I want to keep fishing and writing my blog although I am not sure how much longer readers are going to be interested in the story line of, “Went fishing, caught some fish, got in a tangle, went home.” I need to think about how to develop the blog to keep it fresh, perhaps some writing from my readers would be a way forward, email me if you are interested!

So, one year done, let’s see what the next will bring!

A fishing blog wouldn’t be right without a picture of a fish, would it? This is the first carp that I caught. You can see how unprepared I was, I have now got a proper carp sized landing net and unhooking mat!

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