A good night out to many people means a pub crawl, ending up at a club and drinking so much that the next morning you can’t remember what you got up to. They wake up with the worst hangover ever and declare, ‘That was a good night out’. Well, it’s each to their own and all that, but for me, a good night out is nothing at all like the series of events described above.
I don’t drink alcohol anyway, don’t visit pubs or clubs, and because I am always in control I know exactly what I did the night before. For me, the epitome of a good night out is when I have been fishing from dusk till dawn. And if I have something to show for it in terms of a decent fish or two, then that’s the icing on the cake.
For this week’s session I once more visited the gravel pit that is home from home at the moment. Again I was planning to do an overnighter, and big bream were my target species. We have had a prolonged dry spell recently but that definitely came to an end as the heavens opened big time. It was as if they were making up for all the lack of action recently on the rainfall front.
Fortunately though I had just set up the shelter when the first drops appeared. So I was able to sit it out, and whilst it was just a short shower, it was pretty intense. And when it passed the most vivid rainbow appeared in the sky. It stretched across the horizon in one unbroken band of colour. And above it was a second rainbow, not quite as clear but nevertheless still visible.
I had arrived quite late, but with the days continually pushing back the nights, even at 7.15 pm I was comfortable as far as time was concerned. And within the hour I had my first fish of the session – a tench pushing 7lb, which gave an excellent fight. But with 10lb line and no snags, the odds were always firmly in my favour. As I was returning the fish I had a run on the other rod, resulting in another tench, this one was not quite 6lb, so a smaller fish.
A couple of fish in the first hour on a hard venue is a good start. But rather than stay there, a further hour into the session and I continued the roll. A screaming run on the right rod and I immediately wondered if I had connected with a carp. It wasn’t though, but it was another tench. In fact it was a new personal best, weighing in at 8-8-8. I was well pleased, even if I am on a bream campaign.
I had to wait till just after midnight for the next action, this time it was a bream and a very good one at that. Unfortunately though it came off as I was bringing it in. But a couple of hours into the new day I did get my first bream of the session, just a baby at 7lb. More action an hour later, but no fish to show for it. And the same an hour on, but again, no fish. It was certainly a busy night.
As dawn made its way onto the scene the action continued, with a small bream (just under 7lb) followed by a small tench (5lb+) putting in an appearance. As already stated, the venue is not easy. After all it isn’t a hole-in-the-ground commercial fishery stocked to the maximum – and probably beyond – with hungry fish desperate to get to the bait before their competitors.
Rather, it is a natural gravel pit, where the fish density is not that great, and the angler is competing against an abundance of natural food that the fish feed on. I have nothing against commercial fisheries, far from it actually, as I believe they have a role to play. But they are not for me. I prefer the challenge of the windswept gravel pit where I have been averaging 1 fish per night, but when you do catch, then there’s every chance it could be a personal best.
So for a venue that doesn’t yield its fish very easily, to catch six on this current overnighter was certainly a result. As far as I am concerned, that’s what you call a very good night out. And apart from being tired the next day, I could remember everything from the night before.
(Originally published May 2007)