4 January 2017 (Wednesday) - A Day's Fishing

The alarm woke me this morning; that was a result. I got up and chased the puppy into the garden where she did what was expected of her. She then charged upstairs to terrorise "er indoors TM" and "Furry Face TM" whilst I watched another episode of Dad’s Army.

I’d loaded my fishing gear into my car last night, and there hadn’t been any frost overnight so I was able to make a quick getaway this morning. I picked up "My Boy TM" shortly before 7am, and we drove round to Rocky’s cafĂ© for brekkie. Suitably stuffed we then set off to Shirkoak for a day’s angling. Bearing in mind the debacle last time we tried to fish there (no one was there to open up) "My Boy TM" had phoned them last night to prompt them to open the gates. We arrived about forty minutes after the official gate-opening time and only had to wait ten minutes to get in.

We got parked up and soon found a spot which was out of the wind and we set up our tackle. My plan was to do some quiver-tipping (it’s a fishing thing) and have my new fishing rod (what I got from Christmas) on the hunt for the occasional something big. Things turned out to be the complete opposite. The quiver-tip did hardly anything all day; the new rod was all action… eventually.

We started off with a minor disaster; we both set up our first rods and cast out. There was a crunch as our lead weights went through the ice, and then our end tackle was stuck fast. The ice wasn’t that thick, just thick enough to hold the fishing kit and not let us reel it back in.
It was at this point that "My Boy TM" had a stroke of genius. Using his catapult he fired maggots and bait pellets and bits of his sandwich in the general direction of the ice. This attracted hungry ducks which followed where the food was being fired. And these ducks were heavy enough to break the ice. Carefully directed by "My Boy TM"’s catapult, the ducks acted as icebreakers so we could get our gear back.
We then looked about the lake and cast out into an area where the lake *wasn’t* frozen. Mind you we did have a lot of false-alarm-bites from icebergs drifting into our lines.

We got fishing and I was soon getting bites. I had several carp of about four pounds in weight. But after an hour or so the rain started. To be fair the rain was pretty much as forecast, and we’d gone expecting the rain. But it still takes a certain mind-set to sit in the rain in January. And the wind changed direction to blow the ice back in our direction. But it was warming up slightly and the rain had cleared by mid-day. In fact by early afternoon there was a blue sky. It really was four seasons in one day; it was a shame that I ended up effectively camped out in a swamp.
But what do you expect when you go fishing in the first week of January?

There was a minor mishap at 3pm. I cast out my line and put the rod on the rest. As I put the rod down I saw the line streaming off of the reel. A fish right away? That had already happened three time today. But this wasn’t a fish. As I’d cast out I’d managed to put the line right over a duck which was immediately tangled by the line. I reeled him in right away; the duck wasn’t hooked at all; just tangled. We soon got him free, and we were amazed at just how tame the duck seemed to be. He didn’t struggle at all, so we took a few photos of him. In fact I took several photos whilst we were out today.

By 3.30pm out was getting rather cold so we came home. For all that it was the middle of winter we’d had a good day’s fishing; I’d had about twenty carp all big enough to need a landing net; the largest of which being a shade under six pounds in weight. Serious carp anglers wouldn’t be impressed, but having spent a lifetime tiddler-bashing anything over half a pound in weight is big for me.
For some odd reason "My Boy TM" hadn’t been anywhere near so successful. It was odd; we’d both been doing pretty much the same thing all day. I had been lucky, he had not.

Once home I took "Furry Face TM" for a walk. Just him; not the puppy. Me and my dog had a good walk; far better than yesterday’s shambles when the puppy caused chaos.
Mind you "Furry Shark TM" didn’t miss out. "er indoors TM" took her for a walk. To the vet’s – she was up for injections.

Once "er indoors TM" returned we had a rather good bit of dinner. I think I might have an early night – I’m on the early shift tomorrow…

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