Friday 30 June 2023

Fenland Magic

Yes, back after a biggie. Hopefully. 

The first afternoon I started on a stretch a fair walk from the campsite. Rudd of all sizes hammered the floating bread. You have to find a method to get through to the bigger fish, as there a huge amounts of litluns.

I resisted the urge to cast until I saw a bow wave of a bigger fish approaching the crust. A bit of compressed flake, pressed hard to withstand the inevitable attacks from the hoardes, was cast out towards the swirl. It was taken straight away and the rod hooped over.

Not the fish I hoped for, but a decent rudd in pristine condition. 

Moving downstream I spotted a decent fish near the far bank lillies and cast accurately for once. The fish hit the bread immediately and I could tell from the start this was a big'un. I hustled the fish unceremoniously over the weed and in to the net. It was a big old warrior and went 2lb 3oz. Well chuffed.

I'd put some mixed seed and corn in a couple of swims to see if I could get a tench or more probably a bream and sure enough, both areas were covered in bubbles. I won't bore you with the details but I caught four bream to 6lb in half hour before getting back to the camper for much needed sustenance. No tench.

A good start indeed and I was already looking forward to fishing the following day.

I won't give you a blow by blow account of the next session, but briefly this is what happened.

I decided to have a recce downstream. I walked about a mile and a half without finding any accessible bank.

When I did find a swim i.e a miniscule gap in the reeds, I started catching pound plus fish straight away.

A speculative cast to the far bank resulted in the float shooting under and I was attached to a very big rudd. Again, I had to bully the fish through weed before it hit the marginal lillies, but I couldn't reach it with the net . It just lay there agonisingly out of reach and as I prodded the net further out I knocked the fish. It flipped over, the hook fell out, then ever so slowly a huge rudd waddled away, never to be seen again.

I was gutted. "Only a fish" , but feck me I was not happy. I then managed to hook one of the poxy swans. Luckily for the swan it came off. God, I loathe them.

To compound the situation I managed pee a full bladder full of urine into my chest waders. I think you'll agree it was time to pack up.

For the final day I decided to try even further downstream. Bully joined me for the day and this stretch proved to have slightly easier accessibility which pleased the ageing Bully.

On my first cast the bread was hit within seconds and a clonking fish just short of two pounds was in the net.

Next cast, same thing. An even bigger fish, 2lb 2oz and in immaculate condition. Fantastic. 

I ended up the countless fish with lots over a pound, a great day.

The condition of these fish is amazing.

A great few days fishing,  I want more of this.

The mighty Fens, big skies, massive empty spaces, some strange places and very different to anywhere else. Long may it remain so.

Tuesday 20 June 2023


Little recce to a lovely Fenland river in search of big rudd. No a/c in the camper, so when the electric windows wouldn't move it was rather a hot journey, as it was 28 degrees outside ! Oh well, the old van has it's idiosyncrasies. 

Parked up in a big field by the river, only one other person there, magic.

Before I got my gear ready, S demanded a G and T ( slice of lime, lemon and loads of ice ). Good job she did too, because it was bloody lovely and a real tonic ( ho ho ho ).

In the evening I made my way to the water, the further I walked the more overgrown it was. No signs of early season anglers from the bank, but I saw a couple of blokes in a boat after the rudd.

As usual, plenty of rudd hitting the crusts I was chucking in, but the trick is to find the bigger fish. I saw a couple of bigger swirls a bit further upstream and battered down the stingers and goosegrass to reach the bank.

First few casts resulted in rudd of half a pound or so, then I hooked some bigger. A cracking fish of just over a pound and a half I guess. Next cast another a bit smaller. That'll do.

I stuck at it until dusk, but activity surprisingly died down. I did, however, spot some discoloured water and saw several bream or tench roll. Before I left, I chucked in a bit of bait in preparation for the morning.

Up at the crack of dawn, I was greeted with the sight of a barn owl quartering the misty meadows. Always a thrill.

I poked my head over the vegetation and immediately saw signs of feeding fish. I dropped a large bit of flake, compressed ultra hard to resist the attack of small rudd on the way down, with an AA a few inches from the hook.

A few minutes later the peacock quill slid away and a good sized fish took line off the clutch as it sped towards the far bank.

Sped is not a word you associate with bream, but this one thought it was a tench. Nice fish at well over 6lb.

Not surprisingly, this commotion killed the swim, so I tried another baited area. Same result, a chunky bream. Then another.

After those three fish it was back on the rudd. Nothing huge but several nice fish around the pound mark.

A nice start. I'm going back next week for a proper go.

Tuesday 13 June 2023

Recharging The Batteries

This is not a moan, but it's a bit shite at the moment. The fishing, that is.

I really can't complain, because the weather has been dry and gloriously sunny ( although often very cold ) for probably a couple of months and I've been out in it most of the time.

The never ending northerly wind has ruined two months of mullet fishing and I'm also blaming it for my total failure to catch even one tench on the TBS. So, at the moment I'm having a ( very short ) break from fishing and getting ready for the new season, which is three days away.

Plans have been made for a recce trip to the Fens this weekend, followed by a session on the river Yare next Wednesday and then four or five days back on the Fens, in search of some big rudd and anything else that comes along.

Me and Bully have also pencilled in a few days on the Trent in July too. Can't wait for that.

Lots of other stuff including a Dutch or French trip in September. The ferry is booked, I just need to decide which way to point the camper.

Last Sunday there was an Earth Festival in the town and for the first time this year it really felt like a proper summer's day.

Loads of people milling about, food stalls, all types of stands selling various stuff, music ( no dreaded "singer-songwriter" with acoustic guitar thank feck ).

Highlight was the Manningtree drummers. About eight blokes dressed in rainbow colours banging the shit out of various drums in a random, haphazard fashion. Utterly tuneless and quite mesmerising.

Two pints of Mosaic pale ale drank outside, followed by a fantastic Italian meal finished the day off perfectly.

Old Blighty can be magnificent sometimes.

Saturday 3 June 2023

Modern Life Is Rubbish

Or is it ?

Down to Wiltshire in the van, just us in a big field by the canal, lovely.

I had some nice hybrids, 1-2lb which fought like mad and some other bits, but I didn't really suss it out.

Was interesting fishing though, with just about enough success to keep me keen.

That's the van in the distance, nice spot eh ?

Had a walk along the chalk downlands, taking in Silbury Hill and the Avebury stones. Apparantly the largest Neolithic stone circle in the world.

Both Silbury Hill and Avebury are strange, mystical places, or they would be if the National Trust hadn't sanitised and "protected" them.

Fecking interpretation boards, ropes marking off areas, silly souvenir shops and all the rest. Does everything have to be micro managed ?

Yes, it's difficult and needs preservation, but all that fussiness takes away from the magic of it. For me anyway.

I did manage to get a few pictures where I carefully avoided getting cars or the hoardes in the frame, have a look.

There's about forty million too many people in the country and we need a cull. Twenty to thirty million would makes things so much better.

The cull shall include, but not be limited to....

Bigots of any kind

Man Utd, West Ham and Everton fans

Water company bosses ( while we're at it, all utility bosses )

People in shops who call me "fella"

Kirsty Allsop

The bloke down the road who has car reg SAT 666 and dresses in black and who grunts when I give him a cheery " Good Morning". I suppose you should expect this from The Prince of Darkness.

Anyway, on the way back I got caught in five hours of motorway traffic and was rather grumpy about it. Maybe Blur were right.