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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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Hard water

 

I don’t usually bother putting posts on here about all the fishing I do on commercials. There is nothing elitist about that, it is simply due to the fact that I am not much good at it, I’m still working my way into understanding them and learning how best to enjoy them.

A good few years ago now I was shown just how many big silver fish there were to catch in one of the bigger local venues. The regulars, operating on a bigger and more is better system were so obsessed with catching another hundred pounds of carp that most of them were ignoring the huge population of one pound plus roach that had built up over the years on the back of excessive feeding. If they noticed them at all, it was most often as a nuisance fish. Well in my book, given a choice between any number of 5 lbs carp and a single one and a half pound roach, the former are the nuisance fish.

However there is more to my madness even than the chance of an unexpected big fish or two. I just like the mechanics of pole fishing. I like the simplicity of a stick with the line tied to the end, even if there is a bit of elastic in between. I like the subtlety of using floats that take a couple of dust shot and I don’t care if all the fish I catch are small. I like them for what they are and I like them because nobody else does. I like being the numpty in the corner fishing bread punch for 4 oz silvers when the cognascenti are pumping pellets and feeding six tins of corn.

A little bag of bait and a quiet corner and I am happy, and on this particular water, the lack of big silvers so far is more than compensated for by the fact that on non-match days, it is mine. I share the fishing with a pair of kingfishers, and that, nine times out of ten is it. The match anglers that bother to practice here all seem to head for the open water where the biggest weights tend to come from. The canal section is seldom fished. It suits me.

Mind you, it was all a bit different today. It was freezing bloody cold, the canal section was frozen, the lake was flooded and all the platforms were floating about underneath the ice. The owner is going to be busy for a bit putting it all right. I nearly went straight home, but you know what this time of year is like. I just needed to get outdoors, get some fresh, cold air in my lungs and watch a float for a bit. The more open water was ice free and so I had no choice but to fish there. Fortunately I had dipped my hand in for a pint of maggots a couple of days back, just to see if they would be more effective and with the water being as coloured as it was, I at least had a bait that would offer scent rather than visibility.

When bites have been hard to come by I have always been worried that my liquidised crumb would just be building up on the bottom, diluting the attractiveness of my little punched disc. In clear water I worry that small fish will not spend time over a white background where they are vulnerable to predators. Maggots crawl into the lake bed, so a constant trickle of feed does not build up on the bottom, but in it, where the scent can leak out, but the only visible feed is the last dozen I threw in and my hookbait. When the going is hard, I don’t want a bed of bait choking them off, I want a constant stream of tempting morsels working for me as they fall enticingly in front of passing fish. If they really want to eat a lot, they will always nose out the ones that have wriggled into the silt and dig them up.

I started on a 1.3 lbs bottom and an 18 hook and quickly caught a pretty but unwanted carp of 3-12. I hadn’t expected anything at all, so it was nice  to have my string pulled even if it wasn’t by a handsome, silver roach. Fearing more of the same, I upped the hooklength to 2lbs! It hardly mattered really, the next fish took ten minutes to land, an eight pound mirror hooked in the pectoral. Interesting enough but the most satisfying aspect was actually getting it in. The tackle may be light but it was strong and well balanced enough to do the job. A confidence booster at least.

I’d like to report a string of bites for the rest of the day, but I finished with four fish from seven bites in six hours adding two nice silvers. One roach and one rudd of four ounces apiece. Small fish, but plenty good enough to remind me of the pleasure of catching those sort of fish in a steady stream all day. Spring is coming, it will pick up and when it does I’ll know a bit more and intend to make the most of it.

artificial lite