23 June 2010 (Wednesday) - A Bit Fishy

I have calculated that if everyone at work is going to be able to use up all of their annual leave, then we need to have at least two people on holiday every single working day. (Actually 2.5 people). Seeing how we only had one bod on leave today, I managed to persuade management that it would be in everyone’s best interest if I took the afternoon off to go fishing.

Last week I mentioned about the pond to which a group of us have secured the fishing rights. Following on from my trial run of last Tuesday, I went back this afternoon for another go. The holdall and bag I bought on Monday worked fine, and I had a pleasant few hours fishing. As I set up I could see two huge carp patrolling the water in front of me, and so I baited up with a maggot and gently plopped the maggot in front of one of the carp. The carp took it, and I had quite a battle before the fish finally got away. Two other large (ish) fish also got away during the course of the afternoon, but I caught two fish which were large enough to need the net to land them. And again I lost count of how many fish I caught – probably getting on for fifty, I expect.

My new stool was a tad uncomfortable after a while, but since my rollerblading accident, sitting still for any length of time hurts anyway. I gave up shortly after 5pm – my posterior was rather painful. There are lessons learned for next time. I need a shaper penknife – my current one is a tad blunt. And I need to do something with my reels. They’ve had it. I can either dismantle them and give them a good overhaul. Or I can save time by just buying new ones now, because I doubt anything would survive my giving it a good overhaul.

And I need something to weigh my larger fish. Now that is going to be a problem. When I was a lad there were four standard angling spring balances that weighed up to 4lb, 7lb, 14 lb and 28lb. Because in those days fish were smaller. They really were. Back in the day, a carp weighing six pounds was something to write home about. Nowadays anything less than ten pounds is considered a tiddler (by most – not me!!) and consequently fishing scales have changed accordingly. Leaving aside the fact that they seem to have gone metric, they all seem to be geared up for weighing fish which would be as big as I am. No one seems to cater to the tiddler-basher any more. My largest fish ever (see blog entry for April 11) weighed less than ten pounds, and in all my life I’ve only ever caught five fish which weighed over four pounds (three of those under my son’s supervision!). What I would consider to be a large fish, everyone else would chuck back with contempt. I can’t find a 4lb spring balance anywhere.

And we need a clearing-up gang to give the pond a once-over. I understand there are plans afoot to do this soon. If any of my loyal readers fancy getting jiggy with an axe or a chain saw either on dry land, or from a boat, do let me know.

This evening I came home to find a minor disaster with my own pond. One of the medium sized Koi had jumped out of the pond, and when we found it, it was dead as a dead thing. I’ve seen them jumping in the past – they jump to catch flies. One of my colleagues keeps Koi and she tells me she finds fish on her lawn which have jumped out of her pond on a daily basis. Fortunately her father is at home and is always running to the garden to put the fish back into the water. We don’t have someone on constant pond-sitting duty.

It’s been suggested we put a net over the pond as a precaution. My concern is that if it’s a light net, then the fish jump with such force that they would tangle themselves in the netting. And if it’s a thicker mesh they would hurt themselves when they crash into it. I so hope this is a one-off problem…

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