I met various assorted nutters on the bank at times when those wearing different heads were tucked-up indoors but it cemented my love of the English countryside in all it's seasonal glory.
This time I've been away because I've found something more beautiful than a mild autumn day, and quite simply fishing itself disappeared this summer. Does strange things to you it does. At one point I actually couldn't work my rods. I'd stand in my garage staring at them but not be able to work out what the hell I was meant to do with them. My malaise was the source of amusement to my fishing friends.
When I did try to get out I'd find myself sitting on my chair staring at the sunset and grinning inanely, rods still in bag. The funniest point came when I arranged to meet Danny and Andy on the river to try for a barbel. I didn't even set up. As Andy was balling in a barbely feast to mid-river I taunted every ball hitting the water with, "That's a Bream!". To give him the opportunity for revenge I stood feet apart and arms outstretched and bet he couldn't hit me. It took just one thirty yard underarm lob from him and I was on tiptoes whilst the groundbait ball brushed the crotch of my trousers at top speed. That would have set me back a couple of years.
But enough of that.
With an afternoon free today I finally made it out perch fishing at a local commercial. I used two float rods, 'one on prawn, one on worm', and loose fed prawns and more sparingly red maggot. Bloody hell it was cold but I'd come dressed for it. A Northerly wind persisted all afternoon which ate away at body warmth.
Bites were few and far between but every one was a perch, perhaps due to the cold snap. I ended up with five perch with two over two pounds. A very pleasant way to spend an afternoon and return to species I'm still very fond of.
Here are the two pounders, they weighed two pound six and two pound nine.
A perch fishing trip a week ago found me attached to a seventeen pound ten ounce common which took a prawn.
|17lb 10oz common.|
Our gentle annual trip down to the River Itchen transmogrified into a proper bender meaning sore heads all round on a day which deserved to be purer. Not a brain cell between us.
|Hazy. Very hazy.|
|We got very, very drunk which is neither big nor clever.|
|I caught an absolute shed load of these.|
And finally by way of reminder (to me as much as any casual reader), we're having a bit of a competition this year to see who can catch the five largest fish from a selection of species.
I've greatly enjoyed reading about some fantastic captures and outings by others in recent months and perhaps now can hope to nudge my own score up before the finish line of 31st December.
Here are our scores: