It’s Not Just Me!

Looking at the forecast I decided to have a session on the first milder day. It hadn’t been frosty overnight and there was a bit of a breeze so it was a better day to go fishing. I decided to return to my spot on the river where I usually catch something and sorted out my gear so that I wouldn’t need the barrow and could carry what I needed. When I got to the car park there was someone there and I found him looking at the river. After a chat he made his way downstream while I settled down in my usual place. I threw in a bit of ground bait and a few maggots then put the feeder rod out near the bank where I have hooked a couple of perch before and then tried trotting with the float rod. Bait was red and white maggots which had lasted from my last session, it is surprising how long they can survive in my shed when it is cold.

The river was flowing slower than I have seen it before and although there was a bit of colour it was not very deep. I soon got into the swing of gently casting out and allowing the float to drift and refilling the feeder every few minutes. I tried a bit nearer the bank and the float bobbed and I was into a fish, yes, you might have guessed it, a minnow! This spot is renowned for them except when they are not there! Time passed without much action, I caught a couple more minnows but not a bite on the quiver tip. I always have this thing after a couple of hours without catching, should I be patient and persevere or move on and try and find fish elsewhere? On this occasion I decided to move and soon had everything packed away. I wanted to see if I could fit my 10ft rods in the car without breaking them down and was delighted to find that if I rested them on the dashboard they would just fit.

You have to understand how big my hands are to realise how big this minnow was!

So, where to go now? I could walk the river and try there or go to one of the still waters. I didn’t feel that energetic so decided to go back to what used to be my “go to” lake where I could park near a swim and soon be fishing again. When I arrived there was no-one else there and I had a quick walk round to find a good swim. The wind was blowing across the lake towards me and kicking up a bit of a chop which would make float fishing tricky so I walked round a little way and found a quieter swim which also had the advantage of being a bit more sheltered from the wind for me too! It was still on the windward side of the lake so I figured that I was doing things right. I tossed a bit of groundbait in and a few maggots and got both rods out then settled down to eat my lunch. It was quite pleasant where I was and I was enjoying being on the bank, all I needed was a fish. Alas, it was not to be! I spent the afternoon looking at an unmoving float and quiver tip. I tried different depths on the float and put the feeder in different places looking for the fish but they were not at home. 

I had a few visits from the swans, which had come back for the winter and had a go at pecking my float, and a flock of blue tits landed in the bush next to me. A cormorant flew over several times but that was about it, no robins to keep me busy feeding them and the ducks kept away as well. As it was getting dark I packed up and went home, disappointed that I hadn’t caught more than minnows but nevertheless having enjoyed the day. I decided that not fishing my “go to” lake recently had been a good call and I won’t be back for a while!

Post Script

That evening I was looking at the club’s Facebook page and noticed the result of a match on the river nearby. Thirteen anglers fished for a total of fifteen ounces! Yes, that is not a typo, fifteen ounces. Most of them blanked and the winning weight was five ounces. I would have placed with my three minnows! Then there was a comment that three of the club waters had not produced today, to which I added a fourth. So, it is not just me then, that’s a bit of a relief as I was beginning to doubt myself! I don’t know whether it is the cold, the time of year or whether the cormorant has eaten all the fish but it seems like catching is really hard in our neck of the woods at the moment. Still, that means that it can only get better!

Although it was milder it was still a bit bleak!

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