Here are some stories of mine l did for a facebook page. Not my usual stuff and please be warned there is some swearing.
Early nineties. River Wreake, Hoby, Leicestershire.
I have known Mark ever since I can remember. While not a serious angler Guff (our mentor) and I tempted him into a night session after big roach on the Wreake. To get to Hoby bridge you have to go over an unmanned level crossing. We thought it was unmanned because we never saw any trains using the line. We negotiated the crossing and selected our pegs.
Guff was above the bridge, me below and Mark right under it, perched on a patch of gravel. Mark had to stoop to go under the low, heavy, steel bridge. When he finally settled and sat on his Efgeeko seat box he had a few inches of headroom. We all set up and had little action until the light started to fade. A few small Roach were taken by Mark as Guff and I struggled for a bite. I was jealous, he was obviously in the best spot. It soon got fully dark.One of those inky black, still Autumn nights. We were under strict instructions from Guff not to make a sound. So as well as being pitch black we all sat in total silence. I wont lie- it was very spooky.
About an hour into darkness I started to feel slight vibrations in the ground. Faint to start with but they got increasingly strong. Before I knew it I was nearly shaken out of my seat by the longest, loudest, heavily laden goods train I had ever seen (or to be more precise-heard). It seemed to take an age to pass over. Now I was thirty yards from the bridge and it freaked me out. "Jesus fucking Christ," came a cry from under the bridge. It was Mark. "What the fucking hell, Jesus Christ," he added. I could hear him crawling about on the gravel. He was temporarily deaf for about fifteen minutes. That was just about enough time for me and Guff to stop laughing our heads off. He could keep his peg, we still had all our senses.
Nanpantan Reservoir, Leicestershire, early nineties.
I didn't fish for carp much, still don't. I always preferred fishing for the bream in the Lake as I was nearly guaranteed to catch. They were like peas in a pod all between a pound and a quarter and maybe if you were really lucky you'd get one of two mighty pounds. The only time I would have a go for the carp was when they showed on the top. Get a sunny day with a slight ripple and you could find them basking just under the surface. Sometimes they would be close in, other times you needed a full bubble float to reach them. I'd told Mark about these easy-to-catch Carp and his eyes lit up. He was having some of that..............
The next warm, breezy day and we were up there in a flash. We wandered round and found them not to far out in a quiet corner away from the other anglers. They were big fish. I couldn't be sure but by my reckoning Shoulders, the Football and the Mini Football were all there along with some high single-figure fish. Still big fish for us so any of them would have been welcome. It was a race to set up. I had a barely filled bubble float while Mark put on a telegraph-pole sized waggler. An hour passed with not a single take off the top, either hook baits or freebies. We swapped the chum mixers for bread with still no luck. Help soon came to hand in the form of Guff. He whispered some tips to Mark and he reeled in quick to let Guff alter his set up. He then cast out confidently with a bit of slow sinking bread fished three feet deep in fourteen feet of water. Sure enough his waggler righted itself and disappeared from view. A mighty strike followed and he reeled in......................a five pound Bream!
A few weeks later Mark did actually catch a Carp and it was the fighter. Everyone that hooked it wished they hadn't about twenty minutes in. The fighter wasn't massive although it was just into double figures. Mark took an hour and half to land it. It was hot day and Mark had his top off. Guff tormented him about his hairy back for the whole fight. He had gathered quite a crowd by the end though and he calmly took the plaudits from the dog walkers and the like for being such an obvious angling expert!
Early nineties, Leicestershire, River Soar, Little Meadow.
Back in the eighties I held the record for Soar Barbel. A rubbish claim to fame but wait till you hear the weight- 8lb 8oz! Anyway I caught it from the gully peg in the little meadow. I had a few days spare a few years later so I went back to re-acquaint myself with the mighty beast. I rang my mate Steve and we went down one summers evening with our dogs. Mine was a young labrador called Floyd and his was a massive Doberman called Gemma.
Now you used to be able to fish the gully from the peg at the top of the run and it was easy because you could get right down to the waters edge. A massive bush put paid to that on this occasion so I elected to fish from the top of the bank a few yards down. It was a shear drop of about ten feet to the river. I cast out my rig and thought nothing more of it as Steve and the dogs wandered further downstream. After about an hour they came back up after having no luck. They brought me some luck though as my rod was nearly dragged in by an unseen leviathan. It soon became apparent that my old alloy landing net handle wasn't long enough to reach down to net the fish. Not that the beast was even remotely ready as it was fighting doggedly. I laid flat on the bank and tried reaching the water with my net. No joy. "Hold my feet Steve, I'll inch over the edge, I don't want to lose this one- it's a monster!"
He was only too happy to help and sure enough he held my feet and I had half my body over the bank, rod in one hand, net in the other. As I did this my tracksuit bottoms rode down and exposed my bum cheeks. It was too much for my young, uncastrated Lab to take and he started humping my leg. It wasn't dry humping either- he was dribbling slobber on my bare cheeks. Steve started laughing and his grip loosened. My commando manoeuvre had also exposed a large lump of luncheon meat in my pocket and Gemma began attacking my other leg in an attempt to free it. It was too much for Steve and he let go to roll about the field trying to stop his sides from splitting. So there I was, sliding down a bank getting humped by one dog and attacked by another while playing possibly the best fish of my life. Steve did eventually gather himself enough to shoo the dogs away and re-grab my feet. A few minutes later I netted a fine Barbel of .................seven pounds.
Till next time....................