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From the water’s edge

April 2015 - Of this and that

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

I hardly know where to start at the moment. Last week we had fun. Limited results it’s true, but it was most enjoyable all the same. This week, it was an unmitigated struggle from start to finish. And yet, and yet we had half a dozen fish. Tiddlers all, but surely the real sign that you are getting to grips with a style of fishing is when you catch regardless. That’s the spin I am putting on it anyway. It wasn’t exactly cold when we arrived at 7am and it just got hotter and brighter and more difficult as the morning progressed. As usual when it is hard and the water has some colour, dibbling saved us again. So many people have contacted me to say the same. That on the kind of day that has always proved fruitless before, they managed a few playing the garden gnome card down the side. It is a technique that warrants increased effort and refinement but surely not in the way I have just been watching on youtube.

We have a new venture to work on next week, of which more later, but in an effort to try and make more sense of dropshotting, I turned to the internet and spent some time watching some of the many available videos of the method. Results it has to be said, seemed to be impressive, but then you wouldn’t film and post a video of a bad day would you? Only the good ones are ever going to go online aren’t they? Or the instructional ones. These are interesting for two reasons. Firstly you can pick your tutor and secondly, being filmed for business reasons, return visits are less likely. So instead of going fishing a dozen times and then posting the best day’s fishing, the makers go out, film the story and that is it. Results in these tend to be much more realistic and a better representation of what happens most of the time. Results in fact tend to be less good than I would expect fishing properly.

I spoke of refining the technique of dibbling but I can’t see us following the example of one expert who clearly demonstrated how to make a simple method more complicated. Don’t cast the DS rig, fish it under the rod tip he suggested. Jiggle the lure up and down and catch fish, he demonstrated. But I have to ask why you need a complicated rig to do that. He was fishing in exactly the same way that Pete does, but using a special rod, a special reel, a special hold, a special weight, a special hook and an identical lure bought from a special company. He was adjusting the weight to fish different depths under the rod tip in the margins of a canal. Words fail me. He could have just put the same lure on a 1 gm jighead and saved a world of f*****g about.

 

Next week will be interesting. As many already have with some success, we are going to fish a commercial. I have long wished to find one that would let us lure fish, and now we have. More and more are opening up for dropshotting. Most won’t allow cast and retrieve jig fishing but are happy to allow dropshotting and for that we must be glad. I’ve no idea what planet these people are on. Too many foul hookings on lures I was told by one manager who had never allowed it to find out. The irony of that conversation was that the angler I was photographing at the time, had got one bream in the net which he had foulhooked on a feeder rig!

As with everything in life now, the reasoning is entirely financial. Dropshotting is a commercial success, therefore it is acceptable. It is the same on the trout reservoirs. In the past I have been threatened with expulsion and abused by fishery staff over the size of my lures (which I may add they measured and found to be legal), had my flask examined for livebaits. I have paid £60 for a day’s fishing and been hassled because they didn’t want lure fishing there because it would ‘spoil the trout fishing’. And what do I find now? That acceptable lure sizes are falling and on the point of being abandoned by most of the big waters because predator fishing is commercially acceptable and more popular than trout fishing. It makes more money than it used to, so all those petty restrictions that plagued us before suddenly appear not to be necessary after all. Let’s be honest, they never were. Nobody actually thinks about what they are saying , they just check the bank balance and adjust their beliefs accordingly. Hands up all those who believe that we would still have a close season on the rivers if there was as much money in abandoning it as there was with commercial stillwaters - thought not.

 

Rant over and whatever the hypocrisy, there is an upside, Commercials are growing some very big perch. They have no pike, and perch along with some chub are the top predators thriving on an oversupply of small pellet-fed, protein-rich, kit kat sized, baitfish and if I have have to swallow my pride and fish the dropshot I will. If nothing else, I am sure to learn something that will help me on the cut. My mate, tells me that very bright fluo 1” baits (kopytos of all things) have worked well for him in the past producing big perch, crucians and pasties. For the first time in a long time I am looking forward to fishing in the mud. My optimism will probably last until I have gone ten minutes without a bite.

 

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