Tuesday 18 October 2022

Every Cloud...

Getting a bit concerned about the lack of work, but on the plus side yesterday I could go out and do what I do best. Loafing.

I say loafing, it was foraging in the morning and after rain overnight there were field mushrooms everywhere. After the box was filled it was into the woods for chestnuts. Again, absolutely loads of them.

Just had to go from tree to tree trying to sort out the better ones. Which means bigger. Do they taste any different ? No, but whether its bait digging, blackberrying, fishing, mushrooming or whatever you're always after the big one aren't you ?

As you can see I got a few damsons too.

After a monstrous lunch of streaky crispy bacon, eggs, baked beans, toasted sough dough bread and some of those mushrooms I went off looking for mullet.

For the first time this season I had a run in with the RSPB man. This time he was polite, I was polite. Last time he was an arrogant prick and I got very, very angry. And I felt a bit of a twat afterwards.  Thought you were meant to mellow as you got older ?

Anyway, I packed up and left and went to another mark which has access through a wood owned by....yes the RSPB. Feck me if a warden in a 4WD didn't pull over and say "You can't fish in the estuary".

Now this somewhat sweeping and factually incorrect statement did, I admit, "boil my piss" and though we had a civil exchange I left determined neither of these people would not ruin my day.

I found a lovely quiet spot, sat down and watched for any surface activity. It was a bit windy for my liking but the occasional fish was showing so I was in with a chance.

Within an hour it had calmed down and the surface had the faintest ripple and more fish were present. One or two bits of bread were nudged and taken which had the effect of turning me in to an over excited incompetent wreck. No, it doesn't take much.

Although they were feeding I couldn't get a take and I was concerned I might have missed my chance. However, after the tide turned they became even more active and for a period of maybe twenty minutes they were taking the bread well.

I missed a really good bite which dragged the float under quickly, a few seconds later I recast only for a fish to take the bait immediately. I made contact with it, whereupon it leaped clear of the water twice before throwing the hook. Bastard !

I thought that might have scared them off, but no, they were still there. Next cast a fish nosed the bread, which then started to sink before being taken. This time the fish stayed on and a very welcome autumn mullet hit the beach ( hit the beach, hit the net, whatever, there's only so many ways to describe it ). Just under 5lb. That'll do nicely.

I was well chuffed. I packed up with the sun setting, the mullet still crashing and swirling in the now ultra shallow water and a huge flock of brent geese wheeling overhead.

What a great day.

Sunday 16 October 2022

Old Mates

Sh(anus) was over from Canada, visiting family for a while, so a trip piking with Waaaak was arranged to the usual "big stillwater".

I say piking, it involves casting out, sitting down, chatting, eating sausages, drinking tea and winding in every two hours to re cast.

When me and Shane arrived Waaaak was setting up and as always they amused me with their greeting, or lack of it.

Haven't seen an old school buddy for years ? Man hug ? Handshake ? Nah, just carry on tackling up and mutter "Alright ?"

Makes you proud to be British.

First cast the rod tapped and the visitor got "first dibs" and landed a welcome, very lean autumn pike.

The next five hours passed off with no further action but the sun shone, old stories were re told and the terrifying £25 on the bank day ticket was avoided.

On the walk back the ageing, overloaded Waaak provided us with more entertainment struggling and sweating up the steep bankside full of tree roots and obstacles. Simple pleasures eh ?

A splendid day.

Last Chance Saloon

Mid October and still plenty of mullet about. Haven't had the hunger to catch them though, but Bazza was down at the sluice and I popped down to see him. 

He'd been down fishing for four hours with lots of fish showing but no takes. He sat down for a smoke."Let me have a go" I said. "Help yourself" replied Bazza.

First cast we spotted a thin lip mullet following the spinner..."Take it ! Take it ! Take it !"

Literally inches from the bank the mullet grabbed the spinner but was so close to dry land that with a thrash of the tail managed to beach itself on the mud ! Oh well, they all count.

The look from Bazza said it all.

We then went off down river in search of thick lips. Conditions were far from ideal, a strong SW wind colouring the water and menacing autumnal clouds on the horizon.

A few fish were showing though. I got comfortable, stretched out and went to sleep.

Bazza was watching and chucking bits of bread in, the occasional fish showing but not feeding.

The ebb started and I found a couple of fish that were taking one of two bits of crust. Out of nowhere the float shot under, I struck and inexplicably missed what turned out to be my only chance. 

Ah well, an interesting session anyway that probably finishes a good summer mulleting.

Thursday 6 October 2022

In The mind of a Loafer

Cash pile in need of replenishment. Offer of work grape picking. Ooh yes, outside in the sun, etc. Fun for, oooh about half an hour then a bit boring. And knackering.

Never mind, needs must. I'll do five days, a full week. Monday and Tuesday, yeah not bad. Warm. Sunny. Decent company. Wednesday a longer day, by lunch time Ive had enough but made it through to 16.00. What a trooper.

" You OK for tomorrow ?"

" Erh, no sorry I've got some stuff to do "

Yeah, like going pike fishing. Priorities you see.

I started about eight ish, a bit late really, but first cast around the yellow buoy and I was away with a jack around 5lb. A nice start.

Cooky, BB and B were all bream fishing along the same stretch, but apart from a few skimmers and micro perch it was strangely quiet. BB entertained everyone by casting the top section of his broken and splintered rod about forty yards in to the ressie. Good show.

I sat lazing in the sun drinking coffee and chatting and out of the corner of my eye spotted the orange drop off fall to the ground.

I wound in to the fish and felt a satisfying thud as the pike charged off at a rate of knots and continued to do so on and off for several minutes. Most un pike like.

It was rather lean but was probably ten or eleven pounds and a nice way to start the pike season.

With that I packed up and went for a recce along the river. Tomorrow I will go to work again. Honest.