From the water’s edge

Artificial

 Lite

April 2013 - Wild is the wind

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.

Of all the weather conditions that we encounter over the course of a season it is wind that gives me the most pain. Internally, gavascon is a quick and reliable remedy; externally, I have to rely on the fish to help me out. I can’t concentrate worth a damn when gales are buffeting me about. I can’t see the line, the line catches the wind and whips my little light lures across the surface and lifts them up, out of the zone no matter how long you give them to sink.

There is a quick and easy solution too that - more lead. Many will wonder what I am moaning about when I say that I had to go up to 6gm jigheads today. In the grand scheme of things, that is hardly heavy and at one time I used little else. Looking back now I realise that I have scaled down and that has brought me more advantages than I had realised at the time. Canals aren’t deep or wide with good reason. Just imagine how much more earth would have needed shifting and how many navvies would have died of over-work if every one of the canal networks thousands of miles had been a foot wider or a foot deeper. Every cubic foot of unnecessary capacity was cash down the drain as far as the developers were concerned. Throw in decades of silt and debris and you arrive at the present situation where locks and bridges aside, a grown man could in theory walk across most of our canals without getting his moobs wet.

Generally speaking, over the course of a season I catch more fish the slower I fish. Lighter jigheads allow me - no force me - to fish slower if I want to keep the bait down in the water. Doubling their weight to 6 grams doubles the speed of my retrieve and then I only catch those fish that are really up for it. That has its advantages in that takes are firmer and more obvious and then they are more likely to stick. Personally I believe that it reduces the number of takes and worse still, I don’t enjoy it so much.

Today it was blowing a hoolie. We were fishing away today at one of Colin’s stretches. It was one we have fished at and caught at before, but have never located what I would call a hot spot. A fish or two here and there and that was it as a rule. With today’s wind, that was never going to change, so I was very surprised to get a hit first chuck. I barely reacted because I had already convinced myself that it was going to be a struggle and the tell-tale ‘shad round the bend of the hook’ was all I managed to get from a quite strong pull. It was only a 1” kopyto and I reckoned it was probably a perch. I went through the tiny-lure box trying to get another pull with no success, so I moved beyond the bridge and made a much longer cast back up to the gates where the first hit had come from. I figured that the fish might have followed successive casts right up to my feet and that I might now be lifting the lure out just as it arrived at the fish. To get the extra distance, I had to go up to a 2” bait but sure enough  the tip pulled over just as the lure arrived where I had been standing. It was a rather black but nonetheless welcome perch of around a pound and a quarter, I’d say.

And that - rather unexcitingly was the recipe for the morning. Lots of fruitless casting and mis-casting into trees and nowhere near the margins or my targeted spots led to just two more pulls. Both came to three inch baits. The zander which was a heavy but lean fish of around 3 lbs was like both of the pound plus perch that I had; very black.

In my trout fishing days a rainbow that colour would have been classified as an out of condition male in spawning garb. I’ve never felt that the same was true of coarse fish, but who knows.

Today was a downbeat day. I had three, Pete had one and Colin lost two. I shouldn’t moan - it wasn’t a blank and I had three nice fish, but I didn’t enjoy the fishing a bit. I saw enough to want to fish there in more comfortable conditions and we undoubtedly will, but it isn’t a day that I shall remember with any fondness unlike the food in the pub afterwards - that was excellent. Mind you I was up all night with the wind.

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