Tuesday 28 March 2017

Old Albion is Reborn

"Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you"


A run I've done a hundred times and I never get bored with it. Up early and taking it all in as I jog along the river.

Not a bit of wind, birds singing, nobody about. Perfect.

Careful over that dyke old boy.

Had a quick roach trip to Alton too. Just a couple, but it looks the doggies dooh dahs down there at the moment. In the words of Arnie, I'll be back.

A totally unrelated photo of a damn fine coffee shop in Brighton, where I holed up to get warm when I should have been plaice fishing two weeks ago. A good coffee, something to eat and a paper to read. Luxury ( especially if you're reading about Utd being beaten ).

Bloody wind putting the brakes on the skate fishing at the moment. However, a week ago, I saw a two or three hour weather window where the forecast said it would drop off briefly. A call to Deadly Dave and we were on the beach in an hour.

Started horribly rough but then it dropped off nicely, whereupon me and DD helped ourselves to nine roker each in a couple of hours. Best fish of 9lb falling to me. Because as you know, I am the Ray God.

Friday 17 March 2017

Win Some, Lose Some

" Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement "

Helen Keller

You've got to be optimistic if you're a fisherman. 

Two enjoyable days fishing this week, albeit for different reasons.

Me, Conc and Phil set off early for Brighton, in search of plaice. When we arrived we were greeted with a surprisingly strong westerly wind and coloured water. Just what you don't want for plaice.

After a short while I went for a wander to find a cafe for breakfast, confidence was low and it was bloody cold. Coffee, brekkie and read of the paper and I was more enthusiastic, especially when the phone beeped and a photo of Conc catching a plaice materialised.

Conc and Phil
It was slow for the next couple of hours, but around midday I saw a small patch of clearer water appear and within an hour conditions had changed for the better. Conc had caught several before I had my first plaice for about forty years, a cracker of 1lb 12oz that turned out to be best of the day.

The fish were a long, long way out and only The Concmeister could consistantly reach them. You really needed to be in excess of 150 yards out. Too far for everyone else on the beach.

Seven or eight other blokes on the beach had four fish between them, Phil had three, me six and Conc twenty smegging four. Sometimes it's essential to get that extra distance and without it you're helpless. Bastard.

Having said that, if you'd have said I'd catch half dozen sizeable plaice at the beginning of the day I'd have bitten your hand off.

Really good day and plenty of food for thought.

The previous day I had a trip to the Fens to see TT and Wak Baines and a chance to fish TT's private pike spot. He's had fish to mid twenty this year, so hopes were high.

Unfortunately, it was a very slow day on the pike front. Tea was drunk, bacon sandwiches eaten, skate swapped for various preserves and we had a good chat ( maybe a snooze in the sun too ), so despite the lack of fish it was a enjoyable day. There's always next season.

TT and Wak hard at it

 You can never get it right all the time in fishing. It's about right time, right plaice ( sorry ).

Thursday 9 March 2017

Art....Bit Not As You Know It

Yeah, TT can do his fancy prints, but sometimes you see something that you recognise as pure genius.

Released as a limited edition of ONE, the ( obviously ) original will be presented to the subject in The Heart of Darkness next Monday.

TT, you'll have to make do with skate wings I'm afraid.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

The Hordes Descend

After Wak Baines decided he'd stay and fish locally, on the Bure and I decided I'd do the same, a quick text to Conc and we were on our way to  "The Beach".

Before we started the walk Conc donned the fleece and the waterproofs. "Ridiculous" I said, "You'll be sweating your dooh daahs off". I set off with just lightweight top and troosers. Ten minutes later, a torrential shower and I was drenched and he was dry. I'll shut up next time.

After the rain, it brightened up and the wind changed direction and dropped. It looked perfect. First cast and a few minutes later the tip went round and skate number one was on.

It was slow but steady up to the top of the tide, by which time we'd had six each, plus a few tangles. I blame Conc's wayward casting.

After the tide turned we had one or two more, but about an hour and a half after the top of the tide, the flow  dropped off it went mad.

At this stage every cast was resulting in a fish . On four occasions we had double shots. I had the best fish of the night at 8lb, with another about 4lb at the same time. They took a bit of moving in the tide.

I had a snap off mid cast for the first time in months. Bloody great tangle. Trying to sort the mess out, hearing Conc chuntering on in the background, " Got another one ! ", I was not amused. Finally sorted out and re tackled and almost as soon as bait hit the bottom it was taken. There were masses of them.

They were still feeding as week packed up, having shared the spoils with thirty five plus roker between us. I was knackered, but a great evening.

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Get Thee Behind Me Winter

"Inside or out, no one relaxes in March"

Ogden Nash

The sea fishing this winter has been the worst I can remember. Absolutely awful. But.....

I was keen to see if the skate ( yes, them again. there's bugger all else worth catching ) were about. Me and Conc had the first session of the year at " the " beach. Surprisingly, a couple of  brave Beach Gentleman were out, completely starkers, with the exception of the obligatory sandals. Yes, in February.

Baits were cast out and it wasn't long before the first skate of the season hit the shingle. A pleasant day made even better as I beat the Concmeister 10-4. He don't like it up 'im !

Since then I've had a couple of very short sessions resulting in a further thirteen roker. Nothing big, but at last, a few fish.

Also been out on the trails and marshes training ( I love referring to it as "training", it suggests I'm a proper athlete. Which I am, obviously, in my tiny, deluded mind ) for the Stowmarket half marathon. I've even picked up an injury, just like the pros do.

Interesting photo, eh ?

I just can't get the enthusiasm for freshwater fishing locally, it seems like it's all been done before. The Stour is a shadow of it's former self. There's always "the ressie" of course, for roach, pike and tench, if you're very lucky.

Agility, grace, power. That's me, that is.
Things are certainly looking up, I received an invite yesterday to the fish Fens and the Bure from TT and BB and as soon as the winds drop we're going plaice fishing on the south coast. Wunderbar.