Left to right: with Des Taylor… cinnabar moth caterpillar… a canal chub… the carp on session three… with Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown
Right at the end of session three
As you will notice from the accompanying video this week, it doesn’t start at the water’s edge as is usually the case, but rather in a fishing tackle shop. Well, Des Taylor’s SBS Baits warehouse in Kidderminster to be more precise. I wanted to add a little variety to the proceedings and as I had to travel to SBS to collect some stuff, it was a case of killing two birds with one stone. My wife Debby came and she did the honours as we filmed four short clips that will be featuring in pieces over the coming weeks. The first one was about M2 boilies and that linked in with this article which is based on canal carp fishing.
Loading my gear in the car I packed an item that has never accompanied me before – a spade. Nothing to do with digging for bait, but rather taking away a few feet of bank behind the swim, so that I could get my bedchair in. With the ground being soft and sandy, that was done in no time at all and I was then focusing on the actual fishing. My approach was quite simple, fishing M2 boilie (of course) over pellets that I had scattered by hand. And with the hook bait being enclosed in a PVA bag of pellets and freebie boilies, the trap was well and truly set.
I was very confident as I put the rods in the bank sticks and settled back well into dusk. Even though the venue is a challenge – and I rise to that – it’s no good going out fishing if you have already conceded defeat before even leaving home. Be realistic yes, but negative no. Not that a positive attitude in itself will put anything on the bank, but it does help us to fish better, which of course will. I’m forever setting myself up in the videos I produce by saying how confident I feel. But every time I go fishing I am, so what’s the point in saying otherwise?
However on this occasion I blanked! I had a load of chub plucks during the night and a closer examination of one of the boilies looked like a small eel had been chewing away. I thoroughly enjoyed myself though, and isn’t that what angling is all about? Although I preferred to stay the night, for my second visit of the week I was forced into a session up to the early hours, as I needed to be up bright and early the next day. But I’d sooner fish for three hours at the most productive time than not at all.
It was a much cooler night than the first trip but the drop in air temperature didn’t bother the fish. Unfortunately for me though read that as chub rather than carp. They were certainly active, lots of two-second runs, but just the one to show for it. It was a screaming run and only when I had it on for a few seconds did I realise it was not a small carp. At least I wasn’t a blanker I told myself as I enjoyed the warming-up walk back to the car. I also know what a tough stretch it is, you aren’t exactly going to have a carp on the end of the line every ten minutes. Maybe one every ten hours and you’re doing well.
But still fired up and positive I was back for another session, this time an overnighter. Third time lucky? (as they say). Well yes I was, although as the heading of the article indicates I left it till very late to avoid a carp blank. In fact it was 4.00am with the hours ticking away to the end of the week’s fishing as a screaming run saw me lift into a pristine condition common carp. It was a brilliant feeling to slip the net under it and as I explain in the accompanying video, it’s not about ending up with a netful of fish but rather the circumstances surrounding the capture of the individual catches. And with the key word being ‘challenge’ it was with a most definite sense of accomplishment that I released this particular one back to its watery home.
On the nature front I saw two separate sightings of badgers on the drive home. One was quite close to where I live and so it was great to see that as the two previous ones have sadly been roadkills. And not having seen one for some time I was beginning to wonder if the colony had been wiped out. Another nature report was captured on film as you can see in the images at the top of the page. I saw several cinnabar moth caterpillars feeding on common ragwort plants alongside the canal. Once common but not so these days, reliable reports indicate a decline of 83% in the last thirty-five years. So I was more than happy to see them.
And finally, what about the photograph of me with Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown. In the week that my Wolves season ticket arrived I found myself posing for a shot with the WBA legend. I run a charity football league and Tony was our special guest who presented the trophies for us. I even found myself the recipient of three awards, proof that you can keep going as long as you keep fit and look after yourself. I must say Tony was a genuine man and I liked him very much. There are a couple of clips on YouTube of interviews I did with him, you can check those out on my YouTube site. I also added thirty-eight photographs of the evening on my personal facebook page, so if you’re on the social networking site then if you’re my ‘friend’ you can see those there. I’m still not softened towards WBA though! Sorry Bomber!
Video number 35 on list
(Originally published July 2010)