Thursday 28 October 2021

The Jumper

I thought I'd better mention it before you did. Before you take this piss further I'll have you know my mum knitted it. Makes my forearms look like fecking Popeye's.

This is about 1982-3 I reckon. Fishing a small very shallow area in early spring  with a "spratanoster" on an old ABU 223. Ten feet of light red fibre glass and mega through action, I loved it.

I can't remember the exact details but I do remember getting a fifteen pounder and another decent fish one mild day in March on the spratanoster.

The pit never has produced a really big pike, though there has been plenty of prey fish at various times. Poor genes perhaps ? Who knows.

Piking in the Old Days

The old days being forty odd years ago. It seems impossible but it is so.

Id fished the pit since I started fishing as an eleven year old "skinball". Anyone remember that charming phrase ? Pike started off as a bogey fish, I just couldn't catch one, until one day at the end of the season.

I'd walked right round to "Number 24" after school on a silent, damp, dank day in late February. This peg was notable for two things, a great place for roach and pike and a place where porno mags ( that's what we called them ) seemed to be dumped on a regular basis.

Obviously after setting the gear up I'd have a read and bank the images for later use as any self respecting adolescent would do. But not today. No, the light was beginning to go and although I'd blanked every other time I was strangely confident. I always was. And am.

The green and yellow plug was worked along the reeds, trees and any cover and then out of nowhere a whack and what felt like a bolt of lightning through the rod as a pike hit the lure. It thrashed, mouth wide open on the surface but soon succumbed to the pressure and was in the net and my first ever pike was landed.

Amazingly I had another two fish in the next five minutes before dusk fell and the mist thickened. I walked back to the bike with the only sounds the random calls of the resident coots.

The sweaty cycle ride up the hill past the burnt out church was hardly noticed as I peddled home head in the clouds high on success.

Tuesday 19 October 2021

This, That and Yes the Other

Last week I did a couple of days grape picking. Well, they can't get any foreign cheap labour now can they and those lazy British people just don't want to work do they ? 

Well, not when you tight bastards are paying 9.50 an hour for temporary work lasting a few weeks they don't. Anyway, it was alright to begin with. When I say begin with I mean the first hour.

Nah, I'm exaggerating for comedy effect. I lasted two days before bailing out and going fishing.

Piking to be exact. Another slow session, yet again one fish. That's five sessions in different areas with one fish each time. Bizarre.

A few days later I decided to try for a late bass in the river with GG. It's a low water mark and you only get two hours fishing, so you have to make the most of whatever bites you get.

First fish was a schoolie, followed a big slackliner which I missed, then a weird un-bassy bite, which resulted in a dogfish, the first ever this far up river. And in the next two casts....more dogfish. 

As you can see they weren't "returned unharmed", they're heading for the pot.

Today I've been doing yet another different job, a bit of garden clearance and maintenance. It was almost enjoyable, so much so that I'm going back tomorrow.
After that job is done I'm going back piking for a quick session and I'm having a multiple fish trip. Hopefully.

As you can see, it's a boooootiful water, which is just as well as at the moment nothing much happens when I go piking.
Moany old git.

I made a quite magnificent chilli with Turdy's venison mince the other day. The accompanying naan breads were thoroughly burnt and inedible. However, with a bit of imagination I managed to turn them into my version of Edvard Munch's painting " The Scream ".

Wunderbar, eh ?

More of this nonsense soon.


Monday 11 October 2021

Hev You Got A Poike Boi ?

I think I might have the pike bug back. 

At the back end of the river season I enjoyed some consistent, interesting sport on the local river, with some nice fish to low double figures.

So far, I've had two sessions on the "big stillwater" and had two good soized poike boi. No other runs but sometimes that's the way it is here.

It's an interesting place with the chance of fish to over twenty pounds. Not fished too much either which is a prerequisite for me.

Today I had a plump lump which ripped my thumb to shreds. It's still throbbing.

Had a nice chat with DD, who has good results doing it his own way and has done so for donkey's years. Good ol' boy.

Takes a while to get back in " the groove" but next time out I'm confident of some more action. Many of the takes come in deep water a long way out and I've a bloody brilliant idea on how to get a bait out further. Without a ridiculous bait boat.

Yes, the pike season has begun.

Thursday 7 October 2021

Shining Times

The road trip to the canal started well, the camper chugging along steadily and uneventfully for three hours. Pitched up at the riverside campsite, kettle on, all was well with the world.

Things got even better when Wak rang. " I don't know where the fuck I am, I've done three circuits of Huntingdon and I can't work out how to get back on the main road "

This pleased me greatly.

This is Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, not the Yukon or Saudi Arabia's Empty Quarter, but those old Norfolk boys do get confused moving into a county with tarmac roads and electricity.

Anyway,an hour or so later he made it safely.

After a cuppa we had a bit of a walk ( that's always how I describe a hideously long hike to buddies ) to a lock that was a dead cert (thanks Mick).

Conversations with Wak are a often a bit confusing, as he's a constant mumbler and you just have to pick out odd words and guess what he's just said, especially when he's loaded up with half a tonne of gear and winter clothing and is blowing out of his fat arse.

The dead cert was in fact a dead cert, as I drew first blood with a schoolie zander after missing a couple of runs.

The rest of the session was a bit unpleasant, with a cold blustery wind making things distinctly autumnal. A couple of dropped takes and that was it.

We were glad to get back to the van and tuck into some curry and a few drinks. We chatted the usual cak, all manner of subjects covered including the current mob in power ( let's just say Wak's not keen), old friends, Lidl-Aldi wine and cheese ( good ), fake rock bands ( yes, you Killers, Stereophonics and several more ) and " what was the best gig you ever been to ? "

I can tell you Iggy Pop, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, Neil Young, Savages, The Fall and The Smiths were, in football parlance, " there or thereabouts ".

Next day a bit warmer and we had a bit more action. We met the The Canal Zander Guru on the bank, had a good chat and found out what had been going on during the past few months.

Nothing massive caught but we had several zander and a pike, so we were pleased enough.

A very quick session the next morning resulted in a small zander for me and an absolute cracker for Wak. We didn't weigh it but it wasn't far short of 5lb and made the long ( ger than necessary, sorry I can't help myself ) trip worthwhile.

All in all an enjoyable couple of day. Shining times indeed.

Oh, and he got lost on the way back too.

Sunday 3 October 2021

Don't Forget To Smell The Flowers Along The Way

The wonder of the world

The beauty and the power

The shapes of things

Their colours, lights and shades

These I saw

Look ye also while life lasts

I've been so lucky to have been to so many fantastic places and met so many great people. Best take time to ponder and acknowledge my good fortune.

There's no "best" place, they've all got their charms, from the understated gentle landscape of the canals to the wild splendour of the Atlantic coast. And closer to home too, those desolate mud flats and marshes of the Essex and Suffolk estuaries. I love them all.

So, hurry ye not, lean on that gate post, stop, contemplate, stare and reflect that in a universe of billions of uninhabitable stars, somehow you're here, alive.