Well I have finally found time to tidy up the last couple of weeks and bring my blog up to date at last.
Firstly the closing of the river season saw me out trying for a late Barbel . The unseasonably mild weather presented me with a couple of opportunities both of which saw me blank but witness and photograph some very nice fish ( a common theme in my angling at present!!).
A final outing on the 13th March came up trumps though . I had decided to go down to the river and opt for a very mobile approach .Baiting several swims and moving back and forth every thirty minutes paid off and I finally got the bite I was looking for . Two sharp plucks resulted in the rod hooping around and a powerful fish literally tore off down stream hell bent on getting to a fallen tree. Such was the power exerted by the fish that at one point I clamped down hard on my reel and begged for forgiveness.In all honesty I expected the 10lb line to part company with the fish but it turned and I gradually pumped it upstream.
On the scales the fish weighed just 5lb 10oz's but was a very welcome end to the season and a lovely fresh looking young fish . A good sign for the river these days.
Well that was that for the rivers and to be honest I spent the next few days in a bit of a limbo . I kept crossing the many lovely looking stretches of water around the country and looking longingly at what I couldn't touch .I felt like a penny less tramp at a beer festiva!!
Some what reluctantly I packed down the barbel rods and transferred some bits and pieces of end tackle across to my carp bag. I found some inspiration in reading that the pool was waking up in the very strange weather that were and still are experiencing . Some lovely looking Carp had been caught and so at least I had a distraction from losing a limb!!
As well as the news of the fish coming out of the pool I was also informed that the club had now secured a long term lease and that plans were afoot to improve the facilities and pegs . I headed down to the pool on what turned out to be the coldest day of the month so far, and in typical Bazal style got well and truly beaten up by the pool . A short warning to me, a shot across the bows that she was still the gaffer and still as moody and cold as she could be at times....I may change my blog name to Blanking Bazal it has a nice ring to it, NOT!!
One of the newly developed pegs on the pool . The hard work of Mr Booth and Barry (the fly).
Always the bridesmaid.........
As I have mentioned previously, of late my time angling had seemed to be being spent behind the lense of some one else's camera and not my own rods . This trend was due to continue as will become evident later in great fashion . Add to the fact that in my last three Barbel sessions I had photographed three double figure barbel for other anglers....
The weekend of the 24th saw myself and Dan (The Lure of Angling - or is that The Lurid of Angling ) heading out in search of commercial perch. Several of the chaps were heading down to Hanningfield in Essex in search of a monster 4 or 5lber but both Dan and I were at the wrong end on the finances scale due to forthcoming holidays etc.
A venue was suggested by Dan and I went along with what was said and we formulated an all conquering plan. This would of course work and would empty the fishery of all of its largest stripey's. We pulled in to the fishery car park and could barely see a thing as a thick blanket of mist draped across everything we cast our eye upon . It was at this point that the bearded one realised that he had come without his landing net .SHIT!!!! Was this an omen, a start to "one of those days". You know the ones, this follows that and slowly but surely the day reduces you to tears . Even to the point when you question going to the toilet as there is a chance you could break your chap as well!!!!!.
I decided to nip it in the bud there and then and made the positive decision to drive back to Dan's and assist in the recovery of the meshed instrument . Once we had this a swift return was made to the pool and calm and order were restored in good fashion.
I opted to fish a 15ft float rod with a pole float just down the inside of the marginal shelf. The float and rod offered me control and sensitivity and also minimal resistance to the fussy sergeants. I bait dropped some chopped worm and prawns and fed red maggot over the top, hookbait was half a lobworm. The morning was misty, and light levels remained low despite the silhouette of the sun remaining prominent behind the the dank grey sky.
After a few small skimmers the float was away and a decent fish was on and jagging around under the flexing carbon . A good perch surfaced angrily tossing its head form side to side . It was certainly 2lbs and a new pb for me, well it was. With the minimum of effort it flicked once more sending my float followed by my hook skywards ......Damn !! I was gutted but hearing what the pool was capable of and hooking a good perch so early on I felt that this was the start of a good day and another chance may come my way.
As I was swinging in the first Gudgeon I have caught for a good while, I heard Dan shout from the next peg. I looked around to see him walking to the side of his peg and placing his landing net some what gingerly in to the pool. "Is it a good un" I shouted across to him expectantly . The reply I got was one of gibberish to be honest, and as I walked towards him I could see that all of his rosey glow had now departed his whiskery visage. "Is it a big perch mate ? ". Again the reply was mumbled and blunt . Dan was now fumbling around his coat for what turned out to be rolling tobacco and cigarette papers in the hope that he may some how construct a fag of some sort and calm his shredded nerves.
He gestured me towards the deep pan of the net and removing his foot from the net handle lifted it from the cocoa coloured water . What I saw next was possibly one of the most awesome sights of my angling career . There lying motionless in the mesh was easily the biggest Perch I have ever seen and may ever see . Time went in too slow motion as we went through the motions of photographing and weighing the beast of a fish . We looked at it and touched it and then rested it and then looked at it and touched it some more. I then stepped aside and left Dan to have a private last moment with the fish before slowly watching it slide away ......Absolutely fantastic Dan and I enjoyed every second of it ... Thanks
A 4lb Perch !!!
The rest of the day just could not top that and I only managed to perch of 1lb and 1.8lb . We headed off to the pub at last light and enjoyed a nice pint and cigar whilst gazing at photos of the cracking perch and swapping stories of a missed spent youth.
The following day was my 34th birthday and was a lovely end to a great weekend in all . As some may or may not know I collect ( or hoard ) angling books, literature and badges .....basically anything to do with fish or fishing . And this year I received some lovely stuff from the sixties as well as some lovely stamps........
I particularly liked the stamps as they were stamped with a very relevant post mark and one that brought back memories of a great days Grayling fishing with friends....
Now for Spring and tench, Bream and perhaps Crucian Carp .
Thanks for listening