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January 2016 - Falses tart

I must admit I’m not a vegetable lover although many have suggested that my father must have been to have ended up with one as a son, so carrots to me are just dayglo dandelion roots that taste like just the sort of thing a rabbit might eat. Despite never eating them, even I could see, in the pitch black, that this was going to be tough. The moonlight reflecting off the pre-dawn canal was the colour of something that a rabbit has eaten twice and finally dispensed with. I could see that in the dark alright. Today we would be fishing in turd soup.

Talk about being a disorganised mess. I still hadn’t thought to pop a torch in my pocket, so tackling up was like a Christmas panto. Last week, I unwound all of the line from my winder before looping it onto the stonfo. It took about twenty minutes and a hundred attempts before I managed it and by then my four metre line was draped resolutely through the hawthorn hedge I had so cleverly propped the pole against. By the time I had it untangled, I could have had an extra thirty minutes in bed giving Rhianna a trot round the block.

I wasn’t going to make that mistake again. Today, I decided to hook the loop on before unwinding the line. It still took about twenty minutes with no torch but at least I didn’t have the line sewn into the countryside. Obviously that was too easy because every turn of the winder saw the braid hook itself into the lure clip. What a frigging nightmare. I got the line in the clip over and over again without trying but do you think I could hook the lure onto it. No chance. Yet again I arrived in the dark and began fishing in broad daylight. I never did catch Rhianna by the way, should have stuck with Debby Harry - at least she’s my age. When Pete isn’t ready in the morning I know he is having a job pinning down Gracie Fields and she has been dead for years. He still can’t catch her though so that makes me feel a bit better.

Oh and I was right about the water - it was an absolutely ghastly river of cold tea. Anyway we were fishing, slowly and steadily through all the favourite spots. The ones we could get at anyway. Most people go to firework displays on new year’s eve. Canal boaters nip down the cut just to move their boats so that they are in the way ready for when we get there. They have another trick up their sleeves as well to get the year off to a flyer, but that wouldn’t start until eight o clock. Most people are too pissed to get up at eight o clock on new year’s day so they can make the fishing even harder but not the boaters around here..

It wasn’t going at all well and the first blank of 2016 was looking to make an early appearance, when after an hour and a half, I picked my limetreuse quad tail grub carefully off the bottom, out of the silt and the tip stayed down. Takes can seem strange to the uninitiated when fishing the pole. Many a time it is a good few seconds before the realisation sets in that there is a fish on the end. It feels like a snag, but nowadays I just keep the tension on and watch, it is surprising how often the tip starts to bounce after a moment or two and that elastic slowly makes an appearance. So it was today, and after a short tussle that glorious blank-saver slid over the rim of the net. A nice perch over the pound but not by much I’d say, but with a nasty wound on its side. It looked mechanical to me rather than biological. Maybe a tin, a bottle or a propeller, but not teeth or bill damage I think. It seemed well otherwise and shot off strongly when I slipped it back in the side of Pete’s swim.

My amateurish attempt to keep him off the score sheet failed within fifteen minutes when he had a much better fish on the same bait. 1-14 this one and a lovely fish on a bitterly cold January morn. I have said many times that the golden rule is first find your fish and then don’t move until you have caught them all. Well, we spent another hour discovering that either the theory is crap or there were only two there.

As the morning wore on, the wind got colder (ever noticed how the coldest winds are the gentlest - there’s an analogy there too somewhere) so we froze while the parade of cheery boaters chugged past, mug in hand, reeking of bacon sarnies and wishing us one happy new year after another. I’ve no idea what is so special to boaters about new year’s day but this was the busiest morning I can remember for months with one every ten minutes from about nine o clock onwards. We really had the morning written off by now. We both had the blank out of the way and would happily have left for the pub if it had been open, but it wasn’t so we pressed on.

Then completely out of the blue I lifted into another perch which fought really hard before I had it safely netted. So far 2016 seems to require us to work very hard for anything at all, and when it comes along it is something nice but not quite Carling. This one weighed 31.8 ounces. Thank you digital - that would have been two pound on my old rusty samsons. I know that for certain because that was where they had seized up. Another hour’s fruitless effort and donk, there was the first zander and last fish of the morning, about two and a half and very nicely thank you.

Pete busted off in the margins, so we left.

 

We entered the pub to a chorus loud cheers from the landlady.

“Congratulations!! Our first customers of the year”, she chirrupped.

“Ah a free pint then?”

Sadly not, although she did give Pete change for a tenner when he had given her a score. Possibly not as pissed as she seemed then. I don’t think he could have caught her anyway.

I wish that I had known when I was young that I would be sixty odd before I was first at anything, I might not have bothered.

2016 is underway in tardy fashion then, so here’s to another year of fantastic lure fishing for you all.

Happy new year.

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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