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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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Hybrid vigour.

 

The glory of fishing in autumn is in the weather. Already in mid-October, I have to start in the dark to get a fair crack of the whip before the boats drive the fish to cover and, the clocks haven't even gone back as yet.

Four thirty am and, despite the clear, crystal blue night it is not cold. In fact I am very comfortable watching a motionless float in the spotlight of my head-torch. It's too motionless actually. There is not a breath of wind, not a flicker, but my complaint is the lack of bites. Twenty minutes in, and there should be signs of life.

It's ten more long minutes before the pillar box red tip looms up and falls over at a drunken angle. A gentle strike is met by the firm resistance of a fish that doesn't want to give up, a sure sign that despite appearances, this is not a small bream but a substantial hybrid. Into the net and onto the scales, two pounds thirteen. Not too shabby that.

Unusually that was not just my first bite but my last as well from this swim. The bottom is uneven and snaggy which leads me to believe that this may not be a preferred feeding area. A move seems like a good idea, so a move is made, just fifty yards along the towpath to a swim with no bushes in front of me.

With arrival of dawn, comes a big drop in temperature. Mist rises ever more heavily and swirls around in the beam of my head torch. First in thin shifting veils like a prima ballerina sliding across the stage then an impenetrable blanket that hides the far bank and the float. Its like putting my head inside a monochrome kaleidoscope, disorientating and fascinating in equal measure.

 

It's bitterly cold now in a way that only the faintest of breezes can make it. I'm sure I've cast it too short, so I raise the rod and slowly draw the line in with my left hand. With care, may be able to swing it back out with the same bait still attached. As I do so the line wanders off to the side as though there is a stick on the line.

I've seen this many times when lure fishing. There is no weight or resistance on the end but there is a fish there and it's always a zander and despite having bread on the hook, today is no different. My first ever on bait at a mind-bending 4 oz.

The air is filled with diamonds as the mist ebbs and flows around me but there is enough light to see the float's silhouette at last. At least until I can't. I strike and once more there is a red-finned bream racing around on the end. An even bigger hybrid this time which firmly nudges past the three pound marker. A three pound hybrid is a very good fish and makes a lovely brace for the morning.

 

 

If I catch nothing else, its a good result but as the sun gets up dragging the temperature with it, the urge to go home for breakfast wanes. I miss one more bite before my float is surrounded by floating debris, stirred up by the current caused when a boat around the corner sets off through the bridge.

I put up,with it for a while but its a real pain and I begin stuffing gear back in my bag and throwing surplus bait to the ducks, when the float flashes under for the last time this morning. At first it looks like a small roach, but the low autumn sun is blazing back off bleeding fins and dazzling silver scales, way to brilliant even for that. It's a rudd of around half a pound and that, like a bright shiny medal marks the end of this campaign, for another few days at any rate.

artificial lite