Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Don't Think. Feel.


Yoda knew a lot of stuff.  One of his many teachings was the idea that you should feel rather than think.  Today I did just that.  Against my better judgment I decided to head out despite the cold, wind and rain.

For know real reason I thought I would head over to a little fishery near me (Higher Farm if you are interested).  3 lakes - one by itself and two a bit further up the hill.  I let my feelings guide me and ended up at the lower lake.

I unpacked and then wished I hadn't.  Yoda's advice might work in a galaxy far, far away.  But here things weren't good.  The wind was whisking through and it was bloody freezing.  I attempted a few casts with the bread and float, missed a couple of half arsed bites and packed up again.

I very nearly headed straight home (thoughts of a nice warm cuppa were very appealing).  I had given it a go...  But then another Yoda quote came to mind.

'Do or do not, there is no try'.  

So I decided to try a different lake and one which I haven't actually been on before.  As luck would have it, the wind wasn't quite so brutal here.  There was only one other angler which was good as it is only a little lake but very picturesque.

I plopped in a bi of squished bread and few Coshida cat biscuits.  These sink very slowly and are the best Carp attractant I've ever used.  But I wasn't sure that even these would work their magic in the cold.

A nice view.  Wasn't sure anything would be moving.  

Deadlier than a light sabre

I waited patiently as Yoda once said 'Control, you must learn control'.  The float was motionless for sometime but as another fisherman casually asked how I was doing to shot under and I missed...

Nevertheless it was a start.  Moments later the blob of sinking bread was back in.

Small.  But size matters not

There was a definite disturbance in the force as the weather went from cold and windy to warm sunshine.  Then to snow...

Colder than Hoth on a winters day

The warm moments saw Carp rise and snaffle up the cat biscuits.  Wasting no time a slipped on a nice floating piece of Warburtons.  It wasnt long before another Carp was bagged.

I ended up netting 4 or 5 little ones plus the slightly tubbier one above.  Although I was enjoying catching my Carp hoodie wasn't really up to the task of shielding me from the snow, sleet and rain.  

I was about to finish up when a big pair of smackers slurped up the bread and cat biscuits.

A lovely pale Common/(Force) Ghost Carp

The force was certainly strong in this one.  I dont think he knew he was hooked for some time.  But as the net drew near he absolutely went for it and I was worried that I would lose him.

Fortunately Yoda helped me out one final time.

'Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose'. 

Im certainly glad I didn't lose him though!

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Get into the Groove

So the River season is done. My lure rod is packed away it's time to break out the floats and bite alarms. However getting into the groove is difficult. These rods now feel so heavy and cumbersome after using a lure rod for 3 or 4 months. Even the reels feel like dirty great battle tanks compared with the tiny, slick little reel I use when lure fishing. But my first faltering steps back into alarms and floats had to be made. 

First stop my local fishery. Viaduct at Somerton. It looked like I had arrived at a Madonna concert. There were people everywhere. I took a look at Match Lake which is great for getting back into the Groove. But that was a bit full so I opted for Lodge Lake which was slightly nearer.

I got my float rod all ready and hung some maggots on the end. The bite alarm rod had a method feeder all wrapped up with Sonubaits worm and some fake corn hair rigged. Now all I needed was a Prayer (I'll take you there). Sadly nobody was listening and after 2 hours I had a few tiny Roach and an even smaller Perch.

With some sighs I decided to pack up all the gear (I'm a proper Material Girl...) and trudge over to Match Lake.  The Pole guys were catching quite merrily but it took me a while to find any kind of action.

I fancied the spot near the little tree/bush

Absolutely nothing happened on the bite alarms but after a feeding some maggots very sparingly the float began to bob before sinking positively.

A had a brief spell of action with a few fish finding their way onto the bank.  Nothing spectacular but I was happy with anything.

Then something really interesting happened.  A deep rumble which was enough to give the ground a bit of a shake.  It sounded like a distant explosion.  Uncertain if I should start praying (Oh Father) I looked around a bit along with everyone else.  A quick check on Twitter revealed that it might have been a meteor.  Interesting!

After a while it appeared that the world had not come to an end so the fishing could resume.  Time was ticking on and people were starting to pack up.  A sis often the case as the afternoon began to end the fish appeared to move in closer and the tell tale signs of Carp sifting through the silt was evident.

I plopped on a big worm and kept casting near to the little tree as it looked so Perchy.  I don't want to preach (definitely not in a pappa type way) but I was rewarded.

Finally a decent fish

After the excitement t of a half decent Perch I cast into exactly the same spot.  The float went again and a jagged fight ensued.  I was so pleased when a Tench surfaced.  Love em.!

I tried to get a photo with him but I couldn't do an 'Express Yourself' moment.  Too slimy so a net shot had to do.

A very miserable Tench

The Carp were feeding nearby and inevitably I nabbed a few foul hookers, loosing two in quick order. But eventually one clung on.  

I had to thank my 'Lucky Stars'.  Finally a few fish at the end of the day.  Hard going but Ive started to 'Get Into The Groove'

Saturday, 6 March 2021

I'll Be Back

The Terminator. Surely one of the greatest Sci fi movies of all time. One of its most memorable features is the implacable cyborg played by Arnie in his prime.  Utterly focused on the mission. Unencumbered by human emotion. The cyborg is ruthless and efficient. This is the complete antithesis of me and my fishing exploits. My emotions are normally all over the place. One moment I can be filled with excitement when i feel the pluck on the rod only to be plunged into despair as the Pike decides to let go. Sadly I am neither efficient nor a well muscled individual... 

Anyway let's get on with it. The River season is close to an end. To all intents and purposes I have done fairly well on the Pike front over the last few months. I've played a good numbers game (although some are undoubtedly re captures) and have caught a few doubles which I am really happy with (those emotions are coming in already). 

Today was likely to be my final flourish for a while. Filled with anticipation (another human weakness) I headed out to the Somerset Levels. To my 'normal' spot. A fairly non descript drain which doesn't look particularly good for anything (looks can be deceiving though. Who remembers Robert Patrick in Terminator 2?). 

I settled on an Inspired Angling Swimbait. My main reason for this was the drain was low and quite brown. There is also a fair bit of debris on the bottom. The little lure is light and only has one hook so hopefully I would getting to snagged up. 

I went up the drain without any action and then got half way back down when a large Pike emerged from under the bank and lazily gave chase to my little wobbly lure. However she saw me and viered away. 

I cursed (human emotion again) and cast out again and again but she was gone. 

Some Daffodils to brighten the day and numb the pain of a Pike escaping

As is often the case with Pike (in these parts at least) it wasn't long before I got another hit. He was only on for a moment before shedding the lure. I inhaled sharply and shook my head. Probably mumbling and muttering. 

A good couple of hours has passed and I had nothing to show for my efforts. I have to confess I was busily thinking about life when I hooked into what felt like a good fish. It held its ground upstream before pinging off. 

I was miserable and dejected. I decided to go and sulk in the car and eat some lunch. I foolishly checked a few social media channels. Inevitably I saw a few Pike. Some complete with smiling captors. I hate it when that happens... 

I decided it was time to go back ('I'll be back' in fact) 

The weather was warming up a bit and the wind had dropped. 

I focused on casting close to the near Bank and trawling the little lure back. After a few casts I had a savage knock. 


I was much happier now and cast with abandon. It wasn't long before I snagged a second. Slightly bigger as well! Only just hooked. It actually fell out in the net. 

If I was a Terminator (or Carp fisherman) I wouldnt be smiling.

The phone went. Skynet herself made contact and I had a new set of instructions (GoTo: Home). 

I couldn't resist a few more casts on the way back and was rewarded with a final little Pike. 

I was so glad I decided to return to my spot after having a rough time of it first time round. My decision in the car payed off. Like Arnie I did indeed go back.