Tuesday 29 November 2022

Back on the River

I finished work by midday ( more of this later ), grabbed a late breakfast and headed for the river. It was at least a foot up but was suprisingly clear, visibilty being about eighteen inches. Bit clear for roach, spot on for chub.

I started trotting for anything that might like a maggot. The answer to that, after trying three swims, was nothing.

I started to think about trying a different stretch but despite just having the float rod and a crappy, crumbling half loaf of bread, I decided to try for chub.

First swim nothing, next one a missed bite and the third resulted in a nice fish around 2.5lb.

The swim in the photo, despite it's Crabtreeesque ( ridiculous attempt at a suitable adjective ) perfection has not produced a single chub for me, ever. But I keep trying, because I, in my know-it-all wisdom do not accept that old Dummkopf ( I'm multi linguel ) does not reside here.

First cast drop back bite. Missed. Second cast same. Missed again. Third cast and I got one. Well pleased.

The river really did look spot on and so it proved, bites in most swims, too many missed, I'm a bit rusty, but I ended up with seven fish in a couple of hours, so a good session to start the chubbing campaign.

For a change I didn't bait up with mash, just a very big lump of bread flake on the hook and that was it.

A very nice few hours.

Friday 25 November 2022

A Piking We Will Go ( Again )

After Tuesday's trip we agreed we'd fish the same place in a week or so, but on Wednesday I noticed that Thursday was forecast to be dry and sunny, so asked Bully Boy if he fancied it.

Of course he did and with my x ray eyes I could see him checking and packing his gear as soon as we put the phone down.

BB is a cheerful, smiling chap, a real gent, but don't be fooled, he's hungry and driven, despite being quite an old bloke ( sorry 🤣 ). He's still got a fire in his belly.

I arrived a short while before him and left him the same spot as he fished, very successfully, on Tuesday. 

After getting set up and having a coffee my right hand rod baited with herring was away, I had the fish on for a minute and then the hooks pulled. Bastard ! Felt a really good one too. Good start though.

Five minutes later, BB's left hand sardine rod was off, the rod really hooped over and the pike and the midget did battle. 

Once again, a really hard fight but eventually the fish was drawn across the waiting net and what a corker it was.

16lb 4oz of prime esox.

It then went dead for a while until BB's left hand rod was away yet again. This  time the run was missed.

We sat there chatting and eating until mid afternoon when, yes, BB's left hand rod was off. This time a jack of around 6lb. 

You won't be surprised to learn the next run came to THE SAME SMEGGING ROD ! This time a low double that spat the hooks half way in. 

That was it for the day. Four rods out, one of the rods having five runs, the other three rods one run between them. Interesting eh ?

Interesting, but also quite poor form from Bully. Greedy git. That's three times on the trot he has outfished the host. It's not big and it's not clever and if it happens again I am withdrawing my kind offer of Stour chubbing on my favourite stretch.

I don't know if he noticed, but on the walk back, both of us loaded with gear, I increased the walking pace to give his new knees a proper workout. Disappointingly, when I glanced back, hoping to see him a hundred yards back trailing in my wake, he was just a few yards behind, digging in and refusing to be dropped. A wolf in sheep's clothing.

Joking asides, another great day and we just missed the torrential rain that bucketed down on the drive home.

Wednesday 23 November 2022

Ups and Downs ( Again )

I got a job, labouring at a place twenty odd miles away. Monday morning I left the house in the dark, to be met with a heavily iced up car. 

On the main road, heavy traffic. Ah, I remember this from the old days. I arrived to see a load of blokes donning wellies, waterproofs and hard hats. The site looked like the Somme, puddles and mud, with rubbish and assorted detritus everywhere.

One of the guvnors starting shouting for labourers. Get some pallets down so we can get the low loader to the house, hurry up,  blah, blah, blah.

I looked at scene, froze for a few seconds and immediately fucked off. Lasted half hour. I'm not the desperate for money yet. I do need to apologise to the bloke who got me the job though. 

The next day I arranged to fish the "Big Lake" with Bully Boy. It was bloody cold again and I somehow forgot my buff, gloves and warm hat. Poor show.

I managed to get a spot tucked away out of the wind, which according to the forecast was going to be 8 mph SW all day, but was more like 15 mph. Honestly, this year the forecasting has been pathetic.

We sat there chatting for a good couple of hours before BB's state of the art, four quid alarm beeped ( I've got some too ) and the drop off, well, dropped off and he was in. A nicely conditioned pike of 12.5lb. Excellent.

It looks bigger than 12lb, but he's only a lit'lun at 5' 2" in his Mothercare bib n brace. 

It was rather chilly and as is pretty normal for this place there are long periods of inactivity. In the middle of the afternoon, out of nowhere I was away on a sunken float paternostered half herring, which resulted in a lovely fish around 11lb ish.

A few minutes after returning this one, BB's right hand rod screamed off and he was into a very lively fish. I managed to get a few decent shots as he was playing it and it certainly pulled a bit.

They really are fighting extra hard this season, I've no idea why.

This one went 15lb 12oz and is the biggest BB has had since a thrupenny bit would buy you a pint of maggots and you could get sixpence back on your old Corona bottles.

We sat there until dusk hoping for another one, but that would have been greedy wouldn't it ? Three doubles on a cold late November day is a good session in my book.

I'm looking forward to the next session already.

Friday 18 November 2022

Bring On The Clowns

"Hell Is Other People" 

Jean Paul Sartre

Fecking right JP.

I arrived at the ressie just before 07.00 to find three cars already parked up. As The Pike Guru said " I preferred the place unloved and unfished ". Too right.

It is three hundred and fifty acres, so plenty of space, so I walked twenty minutes to the spot I wanted, only to find somebody already there. FFS, a great start. How dare they ?

I wasn't going to set up next to him, so walked all the way back to the car and drove around the other side, then walked another twenty minutes and set up, grumpy and not very confident. Drank my coffee, eat my food and got bored quickly.

Indicators motionless, wind and feet cold, mood black.

I moved a couple of hundred yards, whacked a bait out as far as I could and within five  minutes the left hand rod was away. It felt quite heavy and put up a good scrap and I was glad when I slid it over the net.

This is where it became interesting. I put the fish on the mat, kicked over my trace box, which resulted in about thirty trebles getting hooked up in the mesh. A total shambles.

No chance of weighing the fish in the net, so I unhooked and returned it without even a photo, but as a guess it was 15-16lb, possibly a bit bigger, but we'll never know. A cracking fish.

It was a bloody circus, with me as Charlie Fecking Corrola. For the next ten minutes I was trying to unhook the trebles but every time I did another one would get caught. Happy days.

You might think this would make me extremely angry but....no, you're right, I was extremely angry.

I sat there for two hours with no further action.

A rather strange day.

Wednesday 16 November 2022

A Mixed Bag

Monday I had a go on the lower river, which was flowing slowly with a bit of colour for a change.

It was a dark, dank day, but with no wind it made controlling the float easy. I caught chub to 2lb, nice dace, small roach and some big bleak.

Not a bite a chuck, but enough action to keep me interested. First what I'd call winter session, really enjoyed trotting for the first time in a long while.

Today I went piking with BB. I bumped in to The Pike Guru in the car park, asked him where he was going to fish which turned out to be where I was heading. By the time I'd unloaded he was on his way and was waiting for nobody. Sprightly old bugger.

TPG is a nice, quietly spoken old bloke i.e older than me, but is also a hungry bastard and knew exactly where he was heading. "I'm going to the right of the tree" he said. Ah, I guess that means I'm going to the left then ?

Within an hour TPG had three fish while my drop offs remained motionless.

BB arrived, set up and then I had a call from TPG. He'd got " a decent one ".

He had. 20lb 8oz and as fat as a pig, unlike many fish at the moment. An absolute beauty.

What a clonking fish. Then the rain started and continued all morning. Good old BBC had told me it was going to be dry and sunny. Fecking useless.

TPG in action

I had to leave a bit early but the scores as I left were...

BB - 2 runs, 1 fish

TPG - 9 runs, 7 fish. One 20, a 14, an 11 and other 7-9lb.

Me - Feck all

How did that happen ? No idea, must try harder. I'm going again on Friday and am not leaving until I catch a few.

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Social Piking

I met up with Bully Boy for a bit of social piking on the big still water the other day. Great conditions, mild, breezy and sunshine on and off all morning.

We walked through the chestnut wood to the desired spot, only to see a bloke already set up. How dare he ?

Never mind, its 350 acres, plenty of space. Five minutes after arriving at the swim I had both rods out and a coffee on the go.

Bully finally sat down after an hour and a quarter of messing about, tieing and re tieing traces, adjusting and moving his rod rests, tweaking his chair so it was in exactly the right spot and generally poncing about. We all fish in different ways eh ?

However, ten minutes after settling down he was away with a fish that had taken his mackerel. A nicely conditioned fish of around ten pounds, a nice start. 

He had another run a while later and briefly had the fish on before it shed the hooks. After that it was totally dead. Strange.

We spent the time chewing the fat on a full range of topics including religion, America and some of the cretins that reside there ( yes, Trump was mentioned ), the long black nothingness before your birth and after your death, elderly parents, kids and lots of more light hearted stuff. And black humour of course. 

We agreed that after we croak it, there would be eternal nothingness, so we both used this as an excuse to search the web for new reels to enjoy while we still could.  Quick, buy some more stuff, the end is nigh.

A most splendid day.

Sunday 6 November 2022

Laying Low

My old mate Goozgog always says to me that he hates " the long drag up to Christmas ". What a ray of sunshine he is.

But I know what he means. Dark really early in the evening. Well, dark in the smegging afternoon now and getting darker by the day. Not good for the spirit. Makes me feel lethargic and less sociable ( no smart arse comments thank you ) than usual.

Here's a few totally unrelated old pics for no reason. The one below is the first twenty plus carp I caught from the Suffolk Stour. 22lb 12oz. 

As we enter the new year I feel more positive. Yes, it'll be cold, we'll have spent our money and the world will be a mess, but the evenings starting pulling out and there are plans to be made. There's hope.

Next pic. Forget the roach, look at the hair cut, proper flat top. And brown hair. Ah, those were the days.

As I write this it's a grey, wet November Sunday   ( cue Morrisey ). Can't be arsed to fish. Waiting for a good flood so I can start the river chub and pike fishing, with some trotting chucked in too.

First Ebro catfish, 2 metres 15 cm, estimated 140lb. Dragged the boat two hundred yards down stream. We had a little concrete anchor that wasn't quite man enough.

Planning to pike fish on the "big stillwater" on Tuesday with Bully Boy, a nice leisurely session hopefully. I'm confident of a few fish too.