Thursday, 24 May 2012

May 2012 Part 1

The Forgotten Lakes

I have fished a lot of matches this month. They can wait for the time being because I have something far more exciting to tell you. It all started on April 4th (Lake Hunting). A quest to find two old Lakes that were rarely talked about, hard to get to and held in rather low regard. Ernie calls them The Switchback. Derek knows them as Neals Pits. The banks of both are heavily overgrown and unkempt and after many visits I have yet to see another soul there. The forgotten Lakes.

Wednesday 16th May

It had been dry for a couple of days. This was my chance. I decided to try and drive down to the Lakes. The two entrances to the the track were heavily rutted. I was in no mood to be deterred. As a regular to my diary you'll know I had been walking over the fields to these Lakes for weeks. I forced the van over the grassy verge until I could see the track. It was rough. I stayed on the grass, following the track, criss-crossing it to avoid the worst ruts. After about a quarter of a mile it evened out and I drove around a ridge and descended the steep hillside towards the Lakes. They looked different from this side, bigger somehow and prettier.

Now it was fairly late, around 6pm and I decided to have a go in the bottom Lake. Tony had been telling me how it used to be the better of the two with some big Crucian Carp present. This would be my first port of call and I set up close to the bottom of the hill. I fished for an hour on the feeder and pole with nothing to show for my efforts. My confidence was low and a move to the top Lake was in order. I settled down and cupped in a bit of bait and fished around 5m out. I caught a few small Perch and Rudd but it was slow going. It was fairly warm though and I was just happy to be at the waterside. All of a sudden a big splash startled me and I looked to my left. A large fish had just jumped and was returning to the depths. There was a brief pause then it came clear of the water again, thrashing its tail wildly. Holy cow! It was a Carp. A big one.

A new Lake has recently been dug at a nearby fishery complex. They have stocked it was some impressive looking carp. One forty, two thirties, loads of twenties. I was thinking of having a few goes there. I'm not really a Carp angler but I fancied upping my biggest fish (17lb 12oz in a match). This new place seemed ideal but the sight of the forgotten lake fish focused my attention. I'd rather catch a twenty from an old, overgrown, forgotten lake than a thirty from a hole in the ground. It was twenty pounds, easily. I packed away my gear, despondent at my meagre catch but buoyed by the sighting of the massive Carp.

17th May- 21 May

What the hell is happening?

The sight of that Carp had inspired me. I could catch something from these mysterious Lakes and have something impressive to show you all at the same time. I bought some boilies from the tackle shop and, as ever, bought a few bits and bobs that I didn't really need. The boilies were a fiver. I returned to my van twenty eight pounds poorer! Anyway I got home and split the boilies up into bags of around thirty baits each. I was hatching a plan to snare the massive Carp. Every morning for four days I went down to the Lakes and put a small bag of boilies in along with a small tin of corn. I put all the bait in roughly were I had seen the fish jump out. The common consensus is that high nutritional value baits will be more successful in the long run when pre-baiting. The theory is that the Carp have some inner sense of what is good for them. You and I are the most advanced animals on the planet. With no education we'd eat chips everyday or chocolate. Its just utter nonsense. Then again so are horoscopes but they get taken as verbatim by millions everyday.

On the fifth day (Monday) I heard from Tony that the Tuesday night match at Partney had been cancelled due to some fish deaths. Tony was the only one that I knew had reliably caught anything from the Forgotten Lakes. He had been keen to join me on my on-going adventure at the pits but we could never find a time to go together. With the match cancelled Tuesday would be ideal. I went down to the Lakes, baiting the top Lake with the usual boilies and corn. I also went down to the other Lake to a spot where Tony had mentioned. I balled in a modest amount of dampened pellets and corn. Upon returning to the van I could see fish were already topping over the feed. Excellent.
I phoned Ernie, "Me and Tony are going down the switchback tomorrow Ern if you fancy joining us". "I might do, I might bring Jack when he's finished school." He replied.

Tuesday 22nd May

I went down in the morning, baiting up both Lakes again. When I returned just after 4pm I was brimming with confidence. Setting up a simple rig on my heavy feeder rod I wandered round to the pre-baited spot on the top Lake. I chose the least knackered of my baitrunners. They were still suffering from the effects of the Floridian surf despite my best efforts at flushing and re-greasing them. At least the clutch works I thought as I cast to the hot spot. An hour passed. Nothing. Not even a twitch. I popped my head up to look over the bank just as Ernie's car appeared, trundling down the hill. "Hi Guys" I greeted. "Hello Mr Taylor," replied Ernie. Jack looked happy to be there (one of his favourite places apparently) and we set about moving his Granddad's gear into position for him. I stopped with Ernie for a short time while he raked his swim out. He was going to be fishing mussels for Tench. Jack would be trying to catch anything and everything. Having these two here fishing wildly different methods be a great help in cracking this place I thought as I wandered off.

Packing my stuff away I moved onto the bottom Lake in preparation for Tony's arrival. I settled on the further of the two swims I had pre-baited and cast out a feeder and set up my pole. I started getting indications on the tip straight away. Roach and Rudd were the culprits. Vicious bites too. These fish were hungry! Ignoring the tip for a bit I cupped in some bait on the pole line. It seemed Tony wasn't coming. Jack came round for a chat as his swim was slow going. We chatted and Jack told me about some big Perch in the top Lake. Jack sauntered off back to his peg and about a minute later Tony appeared.

The pole line was solid straight away. Tony came and sat with me as I tried to juggle the two methods. "Bloody Hell!" exclaimed Tony. "Did you see that?" He asked. I certainly had seen it. A massive Crucian Carp had popped its head up right in front of us. "I've had two over four pounds out of here," said Tony. "Plus some massive Perch, pain in the arse they were, biting you off all the time." He added. It was too much to take in. Then Ernie appeared in the distance. "He's never going to walk all the way round here is he?" Said Tony as we watched him walk gingerly around the Lake. With my two methods, two spectators and a head full of specimens I crumbled. Tangles, missed bites, wayward casts the lot. Don't get me wrong though, It was wonderful to have some company after so many solo visits.

Ernie left, shortly followed by Tony who couldn't fish due to work. "I expect to see a picture of a massive Crucian in your Diary, a British record in here you know," was Tony's parting shot. I threw my tip rod up the bank and concentrated on the pole line. Despite my best efforts at buggering it up it was still solid. Decent Roach and Rudd were caught every put in. An hour passed and I was building a big weight. Jack came round again, his swim having died. "Here you go Jack, you have a go". I left Jack with my gear while I went to get my Jacket from the van and see Ernie for a bit. Apart from a rogue Eel he was struggling.

I returned to my peg an Jack was buzzing. he had seen a big Crucian too. His enthusiasm was palpable. He told me of his plans for the lake and how he was going to catch the elusive Crucians. It was fantastic to see him like this. Just like I was when I was his age, probably like you were too. The Lake held some mystery for both of us...............but one of its secrets was about to be revealed.

Jack went back to help his Grandad pack up. I flopped my rig in and it settled nicely. The float rocketed under as if a Rudd had nabbed the bait. I waited for it to shoot back up. It didn't. I lifted the pole tip up and to my surprise the elastic shot out. Blimey, what the hell is this? I saw Jack in the distance and shouted him over. He arrived just as I was netting a Crucian of about two pounds. He was ecstatic. "Wow," Jack exclaimed. Wow indeed. I'd finally caught something to show you I thought. Jack returned to loading the car as I fished on. It wasn't long before I was shouting him over again. "Oh my god!" I said as a massive Crucian surfaced in front of me. I netted it and grabbed the net to lift it clear of the water. It was difficult not to swear with Jack there. It was massive.

Ernie saw it. "Looks like a real one too," he said. Crucians are notorious for hybridising. The British record is 4lb 9oz. Mine was 4lb 10oz. I took a lateral line count and some ray counts before returning her to the depths of this fantastic Lake. Upon returning home it was clear from a bit of research that it was indeed a hybrid. Shame but still a great catch. I was elated.

4lb 10oz

Thursday 24th May

An early morning session. I'll let the pictures tell the tale,

A misty dawn

A decent Roach

The sun appears

The smallest is 2lb 10oz

5lb 4oz, 4lb 15oz, 4lb 2oz!

Oh, don't forget the stone of Roach and Rudd too.


We are all friends here, no secrets. A few people didn't want me to write this blog but I trust you. You know the journey I have been on with these Lakes. I'm sure you wouldn't want to hang on my coat tails. It is so much more satisfying finding your own challenges and adventures. So if I go down there any time soon and the banks are strewn with rubbish and every peg taken then we have a problem. Jack and I will never forgive you. This truly is a magical place. Now for that big Carp......and those Perch.

Till next time

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Looking Back Part 3

Willesley Lake August 25th 2011

I've been struggling a bit recently and its bloody raining again so let me take you back to a balmy summer day last year. Its a warm tale of fish and friendship so make yourself a coffee or something stronger and sit back and relax.

It was a chance purchase. I don't normally buy fishing magazines but somehow Improve your Coarse Fishing found its way into my shopping basket. I returned home and had a quick flick through and saw an article that started an improbable journey.

Steve is a bit older than me. He'll admit to a couple of years but its probably nearer five. Anyway neither of our Dads were much into fishing so in the beginning we were always grateful of any advice or mentoring we could get. Luckily for us a local bloke took us under his wing. Steve first and then me. Every week we would go somewhere together and serve our fishing apprenticeship. With all the paedophile paranoia around now this sounds a bit dodgy but I can assure you it wasn't. It was all about the fishing. Our mentor is no longer with us and his funeral was one of the saddest days of my life and probably Steve's too.

Steve and I didn't know each other until our early twenties. It wasn't until we met that we found out how much we had in common. Our fishing teacher stopped going with us suddenly years apart with the same excuse- "You are getting too competitive". I think what he meant was he had taught us to a pretty good standard and he needed a new challenge. I didn't mind Steve being competitive. That was the least annoying habit he had. I was once playing a big Carp at a local reservoir with Steve looking on. "Bloody hell.......that's shoulders," Steve cried as he caught sight of the biggest fish in the lake on the end of my line. 'Shoulders' was a Carp nearing thirty pounds. Ten seconds later the hook pulled. He still reminds me of this episode now, twenty years on.

Improve Your Coarse Fishing had a four page spread on a Lake I was familiar with- Willesley lake in Leicestershire. I had fished it a few times and Steve and I nearly ended up there in a strop after getting refused a night permit for Nanpanton Reservoir. A hundred year old Lake it nestles in a heavily wooded area of the county. On one side it is bordered by a scout camp. They must have had some national Jamboree there one night as hundreds of kids sang into the small hours round a massive camp fire. They certainly made more noise than my bite alarms. Anyway, according to the magazine Willesley was fishing its head off. Big bream catches were being taken by the handful of non-carpers that had been fishing there.


I read the article again and again. The bloke was catching on the method feeder, something I was becoming very proficient at. I fired a text off to Steve and he too bought the magazine. Now we live a hundred miles apart and Steve has only been fishing a handful of times in the last ten years. Like some of my other friends he has most of his time taken up with his children. Something in the article stirred the inner angler in him though. I knew it would. We arranged a day convenient to us both and I drove the 110 miles to the Lake while Steve had a far shorter Journey. As is always the case it was in a different place to the one in my memory and I only found the entrance to the Lake by a sheer fluke.

Steve was already waiting as I entered the heavily rutted car park. We said our hello's and wandered down to have a look at the Lake. It was bigger than I remembered and we considered where our best chance would be. Apart from the odd Bivvy we were the only ones there so we had about a hundred or so spots to choose between. From the pictures in the magazine we worked out roughly where the chap had been fishing and carried our gear a fair old distance round to the scout camp side. As luck would have it we came across a very large wooden platform jutting out a short way from the bank. We could both fish off that in comfort I thought as we plonked our gear down.

A quick look at Steve's gear revealed that not only had he not been fishing regularly for about fifteen years but also that he hadn't bought any gear in that time either. Luckily I had enough for both of us. He had been to a place called Go Outdoors though. "Are these any good?" Steve thrust a large bag of 15mm halibut pellets under my nose. "Er..........not really," I replied as I dampened a couple of pints of micro pellets mixed with a little groundbait. Keepnets were put in and rod rests and chairs set up as we made ourselves comfortable for the day. The sun came out and shone brightly as I explained to Steve the importance of clipping up and counting reel turns. This proved invaluable as about twenty minutes in he had the biggest tangle I had ever seen.

It took me a while to get going and I swapped over to a normal feeder after getting some iffy bites while Steve stayed on the method. A Cormorant was sunning itself on the Island. It was big bird and had its wings fully extended as it dried them off in the warm summer breeze. He he eaten all the bream I wondered before eventually my tip arched round. Ker.......lunk. My tip rod had a healthy bend in it as I slowly brought in the first Bream of the day. Steve soon joined in on the action and despite jousting with a nearby tree a few times he started catching fairly regularly.

The first couple of hours passed in a blur. Our swims got stronger and stronger. I was even getting the odd fish before the feeder had time to settle. "Blimey, you two are untidy!" said the Lady as she appeared behind us. We had a look round and in the rush to get fishing our stuff was strewn all over the place. This coupled with pellets and groundbait everywhere made our platform look like a child's playpen. We paid the woman for our day tickets and had a quick tidy up while we chatted away, distracting her as best we could.

As the session went on I was catching a little more often than Steve and he was soon on the defensive. "You've mixed my groundbait so it wont stick," he said, searching for an excuse. Truth is he was out of practise. Bit like my match fishing against dedicated match anglers. I find myself off the pace. Anyway it was just a bit of friendly banter as we both caught more than either of us expected. We fished on until late afternoon and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. At the end we had over sixty pounds of Bream between us.

Sitting by a wooded Lake in the sunshine with an old friend is really one of life's great pleasures. I'll leave you with the pictures and if you've got an old mate you used to go fishing with or play golf or whatever, pick up the phone. Memorable days in your life nearly always take a bit of effort.

Till next time.

Monday, 14 May 2012

April 2012 Part 2

Thursday April 19th

Twin Lakes, West Ashby, Lincs 

"It'll  be too wet again for the switchback but we'll go wherever you fancy" said Ernie a couple of days prior to our latest outing. Not only had I promised you a proper trip to the switchback (Neals pits) but I was also champing at the bit to get there. Ernie was right though, it had rained nearly everyday for weeks and although we could have driven down to the switchback we never would have got back up the steep, slippery hill. "How about the smaller lake at West Ashby?" I suggested. Ernie agreed and we arranged to meet at noon again.

It was bang on twelve o'clock when I slithered into the carpark. A quick scan around for Ernie's car revealed he was already by the side of the smaller lake. As I got closer I could see he was already set up, umbrella and all. I really wanted to be round the other side but Ernie can't walk very far and this spot was ideal for him. I opted to fish in the peg next to him as it meant we could fish either side of a small island. It was a drab day but the lake looked quite inviting with trees lining most of the banks. Now details on this lake were a bit patchy to say the least. The chap that stopped for a chat on my last visit to the big lake sounded quite positive - "a lot of Bream but nobody really fishes it."

With Bream in mind I decided to ball some groundbait in about twenty yards out next to the Island. I could hear Ernie having a giggle to himself as I cannon balled a load in. "Bloody hell Mr Taylor". With all these pole cups, pva bags and fan dangled things people aren't used to seeing a good old fashioned bombing session. Anyway I eagerly set up my tip rod with a small groundbait feeder on a short link with a long hook length. Ernie was fishing the pole. Concentrating on his side of the Island he fishing at about nine metres.

My first bite didn't take long. Ten minutes at most and the tip started showing signs of fish. Unfortunately they turned out to be small Roach. Three Roach in three casts and then nothing. Ernie snared a Bream after about half an hour but only a small one of about a pound. An hour passed and neither of us had a bite. I was wondering what to do when Gary the bailiff turned up. "This lake is OK but you tend to get a few then nothing" Gary said, describing exactly what we were experiencing. "Lot of Pike you see, that's the problem." added Gary. Certainly made a bit of sense. Just as all our hopes were slowly ebbing away Ernies' float dipped and then disappeared below the surface film. His elastic shot out and another, slightly bigger Bream was netted. My quiver tip remained motionless.

"Here he is!". Gary pointed towards the car park entrance. A large silver Range Rover was bearing down on us at pace. He hit the edge of the field and snaked alarmingly towards the three of us. It was Sim, the owner. Now it isn't the sort of Range Rover you see on Emmerdale, it's a bling machine like the ones you get in Rap videos. "Yo guys, how you doing?". A quick, surreal chat with Sim ensued before he was off again, flooring his truck in the thick mud. He nearly lost it, the big shiny alloys with rubber band tyres totally unsuitable for the terrain. "He's a nutter" said Gary. Ernie and I nodded in agreement as Gary left shaking his head.

Another biteless hour followed and I decided to have a wander over to the big lake. The nearest point was only about a hundred yards away and it was an area described to me as 'Tench corner' on a previous visit by Gary. Hmmmm. I went back to my gear and wetted about a pint of pellets. I returned to Tench corner and threw the lot in along with some maggots right next to a massive overhanging willow tree. I returned to pack down some gear and put anything I didn't need into the van. Ernie decided to stay put as he he had some bigger Bream in his peg, one came up right next to his float as I watched (probably to tell him he had too much sticking out!).

Tench Corner

Within the first few minutes it was obvious that I had made the right move as I caught a precession of quality Roach on the pole next to the tree. I even had one at range on the tip and corn. Half an hour passed and Ernie came over for a chat. We chatted for a bit and Ernie decided to call it a day. He turned to walk the short distance back to his gear when my elastic shot out alarmingly. I quickly added a couple of sections as I held on for dear life. "Must be a Carp Ern?" I declared as the unseen beast made its bid for freedom. "Nah, its a Tench, male". After a nervous couple of minutes he turned out to be half right. A female Tench of around four pounds was netted. "Knew you'd do alright in the end Mr Taylor" Ernie declared as he he wandered back to his car. The Tench sealed it for me. I was happy and decided to call it a day too.

Tuesday April 24th

Partney Brick Pit, Lincs

I was quite looking forward to the first evening match of the year. Run by Spilsby Angling Club, Partney Pit had been stocked with a lot of Carp over the winter. It has a fairly decent decent stock of Bream, Tench and Roach too. Partney can be a difficult place to fish though. The stocks seem to change year on year. One year I could catch three and four pound Bream regularly. I haven't seen them for a few years now, presumed dead. The same thing happened with the Rudd. Nothing seems to grow very big in there apart from the odd reclusive Pike (I caught one at 23lb a couple of winters ago).

The last to arrive, I found the gateway had been partially blocked by someone. I winced as I aimed my battered van through the gap. Phew, just made it through. Right, draw time. Anywhere will do I thought as I had done zero research or practise. I hadn't even transferred my kit over to my seat box. You'll notice I am making excuses already. I had a look around at draw time and despite my best efforts Ernie had failed to turn up. Some fall out with the committee had seen him stop at home. Shame I thought as I dipped into the draw bag and pulled out peg seven. Not usually too bad.

I set up with a good deal of enthusiasm. A method feeder and short pole were assembled and I mixed a bit of groundbait before the all-in. Six pm came and I cast around twenty yards out with the feeder and clipped up. I had three casts in the next fifteen minutes, all to no avail. I decided to have a look on my short line to see if my hemp feed had attracted anything. A couple of Rudd later and that was it. It died. I struggled on for a while, searching for a bite while the bloke opposite me caught with annoying regularity. I was beginning to get bored when my fellow angler on the next peg had a visitor.

They chatted for a while and I learnt all about taking cats to the vets and that his pole was worth £1650 and various other titbit's. "You caught much then?" the visitor asked my opponent. "A couple of skimmers but thingy over there is bagging," he replied talking about the bloke opposite us. "His first fish was about five pounds" he added as I discarded my pole and threw the feeder out in desperation. "I knew that peg would win" said my fellow competitor. This really struck me. I was pegged near to him on a match last year albeit a different venue and he said much the same thing. It instantaneously killed my remaining enthusiasm. It also made me feel a bit sad. Fishing for me is all about the unknown. A mysterious underwater world that, as anglers, we get the occasional glimpse of. As soon as you bring any degree of certainty into it my interest wanes.

Old matey opposite continued to bag up while my mate next door went for a walk. Fed up of looking at my motionless quiver tip I decided to pack up. Typically after emptying my keep net and packed away my landing net the tip went round and a small carp of around a pound was unhooked in the margins. It was a bit manky. Hope they aren't all like this I thought as it swam off into the depths. A worse thought was that maybe I had fished it wrong and peg seven would win the following week.

I packed all my stuff into the van and went to see Tony for a bit. He was on peg one right in the top corner of the pond. As usual he was plundering the margins. Turns out he had caught a couple of decent carp in the last ten minutes. His float sailed under again and a decent Tench was quickly subdued. This restored my faith in the place a little. Tony hadn't had them in his swim for long enough to win though. He reluctantly called time just as his peg was starting to produce. I strolled back to van wandering whether to return the following week.

Partney Pike

Thursday April 26th

Neals Pits, Old Bollingbrook, Lincs

I hadn't been fishing with Rob for ages. Some people have busy lives. He wont mind me telling you he has three children, various pets and a very high maintenance wife. Rob also does a lot of charity work so opportunities to go fishing are thin on the ground.

Despite Robs' busy philanthropic lifestyle he suggested to me that with his wife in a good mood he may be able to venture out later in the week. We both settled on Thursday evening as I could finish work early and Rob could come over. "Where you taking me?" enquired Rob. "We'll go to the Lakes just up the road, we can take my van cause I'm not really bothered if anyone damages it, in fact I probably wouldn't even notice!" I replied. I knew this would please Rob. He has a very well known TV firm plastered all over his van and whenever he takes that all people do is talk to him and ask him questions all day. Leave the man alone- he's fishing. Not that we would be seeing anyone but |Rob wasn't to know that. "Oh and travel light-we'll be walking for a bit" I added.

Sure enough Thursday arrived and the rain was still falling in fits and starts. Would it ever be dry enough to drive down to these sodding lakes. It had tipped it down shortly before Rob arrived at 5.30. The sky still looked threatening though as various dark looming clouds passed above. Rob gave King Kong's nipple a quick tweak to gain access to his gear and started transferring various items to my van. "Have you got a lighter," Rob asked. "No, I don't smoke," I replied. Rob looked surprised, startled even. "Really? How long have you been given up?" he asked. I looked at my watch meaningfully "Nearly four days," I said proudly. "Oh.....right, you're a non smoker then," said Rob with a thinly veiled dollop of sarcasm. As it turns out I did find a lighter under my seat along with £4.20 in loose change!

With the van loaded up we travelled the short distance to the field entrance. I parked under the usual tree and once again its branches scraped the roof as they moved around in the wind. "Not taking your chair?" Asked Rob as we we unloaded. ", I'll sit on the bank," I replied. I was sure I told him it was going to be a bit of a trek. Still he was in the army I thought so he should be used to wandering over fields laden with equipment.

We set off through the first gate and up and over the first field. Now I had been here the night before with Mrs P and the dogs. I told her I thought I had seen a fox in the distance but couldn't be sure. This time it was more obvious. It was a big one too, perhaps the biggest fox I have ever seen. Incredibly shy though. It caught sight of me and scarpered, its big bushy ginger tail disappearing over the hill. I turned to Rob, expecting to see a look of wonderment on his face. Alas he was too busy having a rather animated argument with his posh chair strap to notice. Some eighteen rated mumbling was going on. "Not far now" I encouraged. Rob gave me a look that spoke only two words. The first was thank.

A glimpse of the bottom Lake lifted both our spirits and we were soon standing next to the water. Rob chose a secluded spot on the top Lake while I would try a spot I had been pre-baiting on the bottom Pond. Having only a float rod I set up a small waggler and plumbed up. It was surprising deep. With the depth and the increasing wind I changed to a bigger float and set it up as a slider . After the first twenty biteless minutes it was obvious I had brought the wrong gear again! A tip rod would have been ideal. The wind was creating such a ripple it was towing my float about all over the place. I laid on for a while to no avail and my confidence was virtually nil.

Putting my bits and bobs back into my tackle bag I wandered off to find Rob. I emerged through the dense bankside undergrowth and onto the path around the top lake. It was like a different world. An oasis of calm compared to where I had been. The Lake was flat calm, no ripple at all and just the gentle swaying of age old willow trees hinting at the surrounding wind. The world raves about High Definition 3D TVs. Your own eyes see in higher definition with a depth of field greater than any TV in the world. Sometimes you just need to stop and appreciate it.

Rob hadn't caught anything on his float fished corn offering so I decided to move around the Lake to another spot. I quickly caught a couple of micro perch on worm before the heavens opened. I scampered round to Rob and took shelter under his brolly. I sat there for a while before clocking how big Robs' swim actually was. "Mind if I have a cast," I asked cheekily. "Be my guest," replied Rob generously. Wonder if he'll let me sit in his chair for a bit too I thought as I cast as far to the left as I could.

So, there we were, sat under a brolly in the middle of nowhere during a flash spring storm. We chatted for a while while the rain bounced off the brolly and dripped off the surrounding leaves and branches. The rain eventually stopped and for a brief moment the sun came came out. Now it wasn't brokeback mountain or anything but it really was pleasant to be there. I was thoroughly enjoying it. Then it got better. Rob's float moved, then dipped before finally disappearing under the surface film. He struck.................nothing. "That could have been a massive Tench or one of the elusive giant Carp that are in here,"  I said, ramping up the tension. Trouble is I made myself a bit nervous as I too missed a bite. We re-cast full of anticipation. This was proper fishing. There was something down there and it was giving us the run around.

Ruddy Hell

In match fishing the fish are everything. The cake and the icing. In pleasure fishing the fish are just the icing. It turns out the sweetcorn robbers were small Rudd. It didn't matter though and we fished on until we couldn't see our floats. The fading light had beaten us.

Rob fought tooth and nail with his chair strap all the way back to the van. A distance of a mile and a half in his head (probably not even a mile in reality). If four days of no cigarettes made me a non smoker then a mile and a half walk makes him a rambler.


I saw Rambler Rob yesterday- "You know when you made me walk two miles to that pond?"He asked. "Yes" I said. "Well a bloke in the tackle shop asked me whether I had been fishing recently and I said yes. Trouble is when he asked where I had been I had to say I didn't really know!"


Till next time