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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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Ain’t that the truth.

 

I’ve always been wary of misleading the readers of this journal, but it isn’t always easy to put across the truth. If nothing happens, there is no story. If there is no story, who will read it? Nobody will read it is the answer. The fact remains however that the newcomer and sometimes even the old hand are doomed to be disappointed if they believe that what they read or watch is the whole truth.

I’m not accusing anybody of lying here, it is what we don’t write about, or film that skews the viewers perception of reality. The fact is there is nothing I or anyone else can do about it. I have had six consecutive blanks on bait, two on commercials, two on canals and two on a reservoir. Not only did nothing of any note happen at all, but every one of them was frankly boring and tedious.

It is not as though I am talking about the pursuit of some single monster fish, using a super selective bait in sparsely populated waters. I have been using maggots and punch on tiny hooks, but still couldn’t buy a bite. This a run of failure that I cannot remember having endured since childhood, but the fact remains. For two or three weeks now I have caught the square root of bugger all.

I blame the conditions. First it snowed then it froze, then it thawed and washed a zillion tons of fine silt into every single water around here, then it flooded everywhere with meltwater and then it froze again. Every where has looked bad even before putting a bait in the water. I’m fed up with it to be honest.

Today was barely any better but I did catch a fish at last, doing nothing I haven’t been doing before. I fished the canal again. Some of the colour has dropped out, and the the water has begun to regain that green tinge that always smells of fish to me. Mind you for the first hour and a half I was mentally chalking up blank number seven. I lost interest and counted the ducks, tried to spot the bullfinches calling in the far hedge and watched the rabbits creeping through the briar on the far bank. When I glanced back at the float, hitherto unmoved, it was standing tall and proud out of the water. Lift bite number one had been and gone. I recast, and missed lift bite number two. Back out again and nothing happened. I changed the bait and tried again. The float dipped, I struck, and the rod hooped over. So that’s what it used to feel like.

It wasn’t huge, but might have been a good roach. Twisting and turning beneath the surface in the still murky water, it looked awfully hybridy. Even in the net, I thought it probably was and almost put it straight back prepared to note down a pound or so. It was pale and the fins dull, but the scales were coarse and the back had some small suggestion of a blueish sheen. I decided to weigh it (1-4) and photograph it with a view to establishing a proper identification at home.

Roach - anal fin - 9-12 rays

Bream hybrid - anal fin - 15-20 rays.

According to Fishing Ireland, that was a roach and my second biggest yet from this canal. Something of a result in fact, the pale colour a common reaction to living in cloudy, milky water. I’ve seen perch almost yellow in water this colour with no stripes at all, so I should have been expecting it really.

So, ain’t that the truth? People flicking through this journal will see the fish and ignore the blanks and wonder why others are more successful all the time perhaps not realising how often they/we aren’t. And just how accurate is that means of identifying a roach? How many hybrids have I put back that might have been big roach and more to the point is a 95% roach, still a roach? What happens when a first cross is crossed back to a roach, and so are it’s offspring? At what stage do they end up with ray count of less than 12 again? Are there really any 100% roach left?

Maybe the truth is whatever one wants it to be, in which case Donald Trump probably is a stable genius and the moon is made of cheese.

artificial lite