Artificial

 Lite

November 2013 - You little wonder

 

From the water’s edge

 

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.

Today dawned cold and sharp. The first proper frost of the year and all talk on our way to the water was of small catches and few takes. Pete had one first chuck, so did I and then he had another and so did I. I reckon everything we know about lure fishing could go on the back of a stamp with room to spare, but we’re not complaining.

My last post about dibbling was well received and drew more than its fair share of e-mails, without exception they all mentioned how well the technique has worked for their authors. Two more advantages of the method became apparent today. The first is that you can actually do this with any old pair of gloves on. So now I shall be in garden gnome mode as soon as the wind and the frost bite my fingers. I’d like to say that fish won’t chase a bait in cold conditions anyway but that would be wrong. Fifty per cent of our fish today came to pretty normal retrieves.

We both started with 2” baits and when takes died away as they did rather too quickly, I went smaller, Pete went larger. Missed bites led me to resort very quickly to the tiny 1” yellow kopytos that work so well, and Pete was tempted to step up when a four pound plus zander rolled over the landing net and shed his 2” yellow version. It has to be said that I probably chose best. Pete had just one take and caught a 4 ounce perch on a 4” daiwa shad. So pretty soon we were both tiddler bashing for all we were worth.

What fun we had. The water was clear and casting the small shads brought lots of interest. When a badly handled boat tore up the bottom and turned everything to soup, takes  stopped, so we came inside and dibbled the score up and up.

There is no finer season to be out in the countryside than autumn. Fresh, bracing air, brilliant sunshine and the hedgerows on fire in a blaze of red and yellow leaves. The red, yellow and white tubes of wage slaves whining past at high speed merely added to our smug enjoyment of the day.

We worked our way up the hill, stumbling upon pockets of fish which we then plundered with a variety of tiny baits and colours. We had good confident takes, subtle takes, takes that we could barely distinguish and takes on the drop. Far from being sullen and uncooperative as we had expected, they were chasing and harrying our lures with some gusto.

Several times, after casting and retrieving for a spell, I would start working the margin and even when takes had dried up in the open water, the fish would turn up under the rod tip. It’s hard to say whether they were there all along, They probably were but equally I can’t help feeling that their numbers had been swollen with fish that had followed our lures in from out in the middle. Either way, the score was ticking along nicely.

I mentioned two more good reasons for resorting to the dibble. Here’s the second. All those red and yellow leaves seem to end up drifting around the swim in great impenetrable rafts. Even when they are lightly scattered, they catch the line and steer the lures off course for fun. Actually you can dibble through the debris with ease. In fact those rafts offer the fish below some security from aerial predation and frequently have shoals of fish tucked underneath. Test them all and add a few more fish to your tally. It worked for us today. I like the fact that when lure fishing, it is nearly always possible to turn a problem into an opportunity. Looking for those solutions is what keeps me going back.

 

When I was a kid, I read an article in an angling magazine about fishing in the autumn. Beyond mentioning that his float had eventually slid under and a chub (weight unspecified) had been caught, the author had simply described his enjoyment of the seasonal weather and the surroundings. It has remained there in my mind for some forty or more years now and every time, I see those rafts of leaves and red berries drifting aimlessly in circles around my swim, I can see the picture of a bright red float nudging the dead leaves aside that accompanied his article. I would be a happy man if I could write anything so memorable. It is a strangely comforting thought that I get the same pleasure from seeing those yellow leaves and red berries as a man that presumably died many years ago. Some things change, I am writing this on a machine he might scarcely have been able to envisage; some things don’t. The leaves still go yellow, the berries red and the fish still bite.

We finished just shy of fifty fish this morning, all but one of them (a tiny Z) were perch. From 1 oz to just above a pound. Both of us agreed that for all that is wrong with the world, light-lure fishing is giving us the most enjoyable fishing we have ever had.

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