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January 2016 - Battered, not beaten

There aren’t many things that make me want to pack up. Rain is ok on the whole, I can cope with that. Frost, snow, ice, sun, boats, swans and dog shit, I can work around. But the wind. I hate the wind when I am fishing. No need to tell you what it was like today then.

Imagine if you will, trying to fish the pole in a wind tunnel, in the rush hour, while Mike Tyson is pushing you around. Well it was worse than that. The wind thrashed us relentlessly and just when we thought it couldn’t be worse it absolutely persisted down. Every time we thought about packing up, the rain stopped and we were tempted to stay.

I’m glad we did, because we caught some nice fish. Every one value-enhanced by the difficulty of their catching. The weather was so utterly foul that I could not fish the pole in any sort of comfort or with the requisite delicacy and concentration anywhere outside of two or three small areas. In the lea of the odd tree or bend I could find some respite, where the weather was merely challenging and it was here that I caught.

One spot was only fishable because the topography channelled the wind to hit with equal force from left and right. Right on the cusp of the bend there was calm water and a slowly circulating raft of debris. A good sign and one that has pointed me at a few fish before now. Even so the wind was still uncomfortably strong, but with the unexpected benefit that I couldn’t have fallen over if I’d wanted to.

I lost my first fish. It took a 3” curly tail but disdainfully threw it back at me seconds before Pete had his first. He was cleverer than me and he soon had a really nice perch of a pound and a half on the bank. He followed that with a small zander, and the morning carried on for a while in the same vein. Catch one struggle for another. I switched to a long line and began sweeping a 2” kopyto. That worked. I had a couple more including one of around a pound and a quarter before I hit something that sat still for a few moments before dobbing resolutely around under the tip before I could net it.

A really nice zander which I decided to weigh as a sighter, 3-10 and not so shabby. Pete had another pound and a half fish and the weather got worse. Coats were leaking, glasses became blindfolds and tempers became frayed. It really was crap, and then I stopped to fish the eye of the storm.

First put in, I lost a half pounder, then I caught it or one very like it. The next was over the pound and my last didn’t move when I struck. I like that, goodness, I do like it when I lift into a fish and the tip stays down and the elastic comes out. Is there anything more inspiring than that olive golden, stripey flash rolling over at the surface the first time you see it? Nerves are stretched, nets are readied, prayers are said and it is slid to safety asap. Soft but firm. Not quite what I had hoped when I first saw it, does any fish inspire exaggeration as much as a good perch, but 2-8 for all that and the best excuse going to pack up while you are winning.

That was a pretty good mornings fishing by our standards but as good fishing always does, we left wondering what we could have caught if only.....

If only the wind had let us fish in comfort. If only it had let us fish at all on most of the stretch. If we hadn’t been demoralised by wet elbows and steamed up glasses. What if it had been calmer, just a bit.

They were hitting baits up off bottom for the first time in ages and that is always a sign of a potential catch to end all catches.

We finished with five perch between 1-4 and 2-8, a 3-10 zander, a 3-4 lbs p**e and a handful of littl’uns from a morning when we fished effectively for about an hour and a half. If only.

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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. If this form will not work for you, please e-mail me at editor@ericweight.co.uk
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