Honesty and realism
Left to right: little grebes on the canal, my only fish of the week, snowed in on the Severn
Due to the weather I wasn’t intending to do any perch fishing until the conditions improved, but when Steve Collett asked me if I fancied visiting a lake where some big fish had come out recently, how could I resist. So on a very cold morning we met up on the car park and eyed up the pegs where we were due to spend the rest of the day. Unfortunately there was a mix-up and the spots that we thought were kept for us (Steve’s the Director at Harris Sportsmail and so through contacts had arranged for us to have reservations) were occupied by other anglers. But no worries, we set up camp a little further along the bank.
It was a struggle, with Steve catching half a dozen small perch; and although I blanked on our chosen species, I did manage a pike on float-fished worm. Steve’s choice of tackle on one rod was interesting, as you will see from the video. Although he has vast quantities of modern and up-to-the-minute gear in the shop in Norfolk, he has gone back to using ‘old’ tackle from time to time. His perch float certainly rolled back the years for me as well. We had a very enjoyable time together and regardless of what we caught, a great day was had by both of us.
Deciding to continue with perch and try and catch one for the article, my next session was on a canal. With just a couple of free hours to go before dark I opted for a spinning approach. I love this type of fishing for perch, but it has been so long since I have done any that my rod was covered in dust! Fishing with a Mepps Aglia size 3 silver spoon I don’t know how many casts I made, but not one tempted a fish. The canal itself looked idea for spinning, but as we know, fish have their own minds and sometimes we can do what we like, they still won’t play ball.
My third and final session was a two-night session on the Severn where the gist of my angling was to fish for perch during the day and zander at night. I didn’t get off to a very good start though as a serious error or judgement saw my car well and truly rooted in the field. It’s a long story how I got out but I tweet my life’s happenings and so my foolishness went on for the world to see. Anyway I also link my twitter to my facebook and one of my friends on there, Chris Fox, is also a member of the syndicate I’m in and so gathered I was stuck there. As I say, long story but the next morning I got pulled out of my rut and was able to put the car on solid ground. Thanks not only to Chris but also Debby, Bruce and Kevin. Real teamwork this!
No perch and I also blanked on night one for the zander. Then the weather took a turn and the snow started to fall heavily. I can live with that though, even the fact that I was soaking wet. But the rising river meant I couldn’t present a bait properly, so with that going to get worse I finished just as darkness set in on night two. I’m not too impressed with my Trakker bivvy either. I bought it for the long cold winters on the lower Severn and even though I have returned it once for repair, it’s starting to leak again. I’m more than happy with the other aspects of it, but at a retail price of £400 you’d think it would perform better when it’s up against the worst of the weather wouldn’t you?
It was a long walk back to the car with my gear, and even more so when considering that I had to do the journey three times. But with everything loaded, I was looking forward to getting back home to dry out and get warm. However even that was on hold for several hours more as the roads were solid with traffic. It appears that the area around Worcester was one of the worst hit as far as the snowfall was concerned. But eventually I made it!
Three perch sessions and just a small pike to show for them. You may well wonder what’s the point in writing an article and producing a video? There are two reasons, first of all it’s about honesty. I write a weekly piece and whether my experiences be good, bad or indifferent, that’s what gets published. Secondly it’s to do with being realistic. I don’t want to give the impression that every time I go fishing I catch a 10lb barbel, 2lb roach, 20lb pike or whatever – because I don’t. Specimen angling is a hard slog sometimes, with lots of effort and disappointment along the way. The successes are great, but they are backed up with lots of toil and endeavour where the results aren’t as forthcoming. Honesty and realism are the key words.
Video number 8 on list
(Originally published February 2010)