15 June 2010 (Tuesday) - Gone Fishing

Regular readers may recall an entry from 27 May when I mentioned that a syndicate was being formed to obtain fishing rights on a nearby farmer’s lake. I’ve joined (as member #3) and today I got up early and planned to spend the day fishing there. In retrospect I should have got the bait yesterday because I was substantially delayed by waiting for the fishing tackle shop to open, but I was on the lakeside and fishing by 9.15am, and was landing the tenth fish within forty-five minutes.

I’d planned to spend the whole day fishing. I lasted two and a half hours. The weather was against me – whilst it was a lovely sunny day, the wind was strong. Excessively so. It was difficult to decide whether my float was bobbing about because of the action of a fish on the line, or because of the constant tsunamis which were racking the water. Also, when catching a fish the idea is that one raises one’s rod tip, and the fish on the end of the line swings into your hand. On several occasions I had smaller fish blowing like kites in the wind, with the line being blown horizontally at right angles to the vertical rod tip.

And I was uncomfortable. I was sitting on the bank of the pond, and this made my bum hurt something chronic (!) Also on a couple of occasions I found my line snagged in submerged dead trees.

In all I caught four different sorts of fish – roach, rudd, perch and crucian carp. In total, I don’t know how many I had; I lost count after the thirtieth fish. It was probably nearly (but not quite) forty fish in total; most of which could only really be described as tiddlers. I had one roach of a respectable size which justified today’s purchase of a landing net, and there were two that got away that were probably quite big. But despite catching fish at an average rate of one every four minutes, before midday arrived I’d decided to treat the session as a learning experience and as a practice run for future fishing trips.

Before I go fishing again I need to have a word with the club’s management and see if we can’t organise a working party to clear the pond up. I understand there are a dozen or so of us in the syndicate. There are only a few places where one can fish without a serious chance of getting a rod stuck in a bush. I can’t see how more than three people could fish the pond at the same time. Also it might be an idea to try to dredge out some of the submarine timber and see how much we can prune back the bulrushes. All I need is to find a free weekend day to do this on; which is easier said than done.

And I also need to sort my tackle out (oo-er!). As a child I used to fish, and I would change the line on my reels every year. I think the line I have on my reels hasn’t been changed in fifteen years, if not longer. And I need a holdall. Currently I have two fishing rods, four rod rests and a landing net all tied together with two lengths of elastic. There used to be three bits of elastic, but I’ve lost one sometime over the last year or so. I also need some sort of seat. We used to have a seat box which doubled as a stool and a box in which to lug tackle around in. I shall ask “My Boy TM ” what happened to it.

Talking of My Boy TM ”, I expect he will be jealous of my progress today. He is currently on the fourth day of a fishing holiday in France. In two and a half hours I had over thirty fish. From reports received, in four days, he’s had two fish. Mind you, they are both carp: the smallest weighing in at 41lb, the larger over 50lb. When I was a lad the British record carp was only 44lb…

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