From the water’s edge

May 2014 - Bagging up

I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me using the adjacent form. Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking.

It was with some trepidation that we met Terry on the bridge this morning. Would he show us up again? Would he provide the entertainment in more prosaic ways such as catching plastic bags full of unmentionable substances as he did so effectively once before? The answer was yes to both, but by a less clearly defined margin this time.

In truth, today was just another over-boated, hard-working, morning of average results, but in reality, it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip. The banter, the company, the fishing, the weather and the surroundings combining to produce a feeling of great satisfaction, far beyond the sum of its parts.

I was in experimental mood today. It had struck me that if we were to resort to dibbling for blank-savers, as seemed likely given the number of boats now operating, then I should look again at the way I go about it. One of the limitations that always leaves me wondering is the need to be fishing directly beneath the rod tip to work the lure effectively. Would it work as well further out? Only two ways to find out that I could think of, a longer rod (and one day I swear I will try this with a pole/whip), or the drop-shot.

The rationale of using a pole for lure fishing, stems partly from the obvious requirement of a longer rod, but mostly from the reputed success of local match anglers trying to reduce the zander population by freelining small deads under the trees along the far bank using their pole tackle. I like the idea, but I’m not sure I could be bothered to lug a pole about for long. It would also mean steering well clear of some of our best spots due to overhead wires.

The drop-shot on the other hand has the clue in the title. It’s not called the drop-10gram-special-weight method is it? I want to keep the rig as light as possible when dibbling given that the majority of target fish are under a pound and predominantly perch at that. A smaller hook, a swan shot and some 4lbs mono went in the bag for today’s venture and despite the fact that I don’t see this as a suitable method for searching new water, I found myself tying it on straight away.

It is a fact of life for me that I am not generally a patient person when I should be, but I can be a very patient one indeed when I shouldn’t. I cast a small plastic worm on the new rig across towards some reeds and started the slowest retrieve that I could. I was surprised how well the lead held it back and that it was still heavy enough to work the lure against, but I wasn’t surprised that before it had even reached my bank at the end of the first cast, I had convinced myself that I should be using something else altogether.

All the same, I risked a second and halfway back a firm knock brought me back out of my mental lure box and a rather belated strike had caught me my first fish, a small zander. A bit of a result there, especially as a couple of casts later I had a perch and followed that up with a couple more tentative hits. Once again though, early promise waned rapidly. Takes became less definite, eventually drying up altogether and halfway through the morning, I was back under the rod tip lifting and dropping 1” yellow kopytos with better results.

Terry caught a plastic bag.

Not small and sh***y, but a true specimen known throughout the land among the cognoscenti at least, as a donkey-pooh bag. Which reminds me of a story. My better half, doing her community bit one day and fed up with the village dog-pooh bins all being un-emptied and spilling across the pavements rang the council.

“I’d like to talk to somebody about doggy pooh bins” she demanded.

“OK, please hold the line.”

Five minutes, ten minutes of highly-irritating, synthetic music later the woman comes back on the phone.

“I’m sorry madam, there’s nobody here called Dougie Poobins.”

I mean what can you say to that.

We pressed on. Pete lost a good brea... sorry zander which was a blow, but we all tweaked out a fish here and a fish there. No monsters, but the total crept up. Previously productive spots did not seem so generous today, while some of the less productive ones came up with a few fish and our total rallied.

Terry caught another plastic bag of the donkey variety and I managed to catch him unhooking this one, recording it for posterity, and as a perfect ego deflater for when the stories of ‘my big zander’ become too much too bear. That’s a bit unfair really, he never mentioned it once but he will one day and I shall be ready with the pictures when he does.

The scene closes around the pub table. Three glasses sit there, half-empty, condensation frosting the sides. Outside the sun is beating down, inside the temperature is comfortable but rising. “Pity I lost that good zander.”, “Bream”. “It wasn’t a bream.” “Was”. “wasn’t”

Foggy rages on “it was a zander”. Compo winds him up. Cleggy is lost in daydreams of big zander he has caught. The curtain comes down. Roll on next Wednesday, there is so much I want to try.

artificial lite

journal 2014.





journal 2014.

journal 2013.