has been very cold on the weather front so far this year. However it was the fact that I had running water to fall back on that kept me going, when the still waters were often covered in a sheet of ice the river continued to roll. But now that the river option has been snatched, courtesy of the close season, I am just hoping that we see a turn around very soon. I am itching to get started on a gravel pit bream campaign, but in the meantime I am continuing my quest for roach. I don’t want to give the impression that I am complaining though – it’s not much of a hardship is it really?
Although it was a cold day, it wasn’t cold enough to form a crust of ice on the canal, so that’s where I headed. Armed with a float rod instead of my usual quiver tip outfit, I was actually looking forward to a change of style. I don’t do much float fishing, but when I do I thoroughly enjoy it. There’s something about sitting there for hours watching a tiny piece of bright orange sticking out of the water that only anglers will understand.
Before I even started to fish and was getting everything together, two boats went past. Now actually, I don’t mind the odd boat or two. In fact they even have their uses, particularly when the canal is clear and the sun is out. But two in quick succession like that – well even good visitors can outstay their welcome sometimes. Still, I needn’t have worried, as that was the last I saw of boats for the day. And it’s not that I resent them being on the canal. Far from it, they have as much right to be there as I do. Once we hit Easter I work around them, as any canal fishing I do will invariably be at night.
The water temperature was again rock bottom at just 5C. This above all is the reason why I have delayed my bream fishing. The air temperature doesn’t bother me one bit. I’m more than happy to pitch up all night with frost and ice everywhere. I’ve done it before and I’ll no doubt do it again. But I’d like it to be a couple of degrees higher before embarking on a prolonged bream session. On the gravel pit I intend to fish you don’t get many bites when everything is perfect, without making it even more difficult for yourself.
But in spite of the weather, the canal session went well. I had a steady stream of fish, mostly gudgeon as I expected, but also a few perch and a small roach/bream hybrid. In addition I did manage a handful of my quarry species, the roach, but nothing to even bother getting the scales out for. Still, with the dismal weather, just to catch something was a blessing that I was very thankful for.
With the weather improving by the end of the week, come Friday I was raring to go. The car was loaded and I was all set to return to the canal, when an unexpected problem with the car itself meant that instead of going fishing the car spent the day in the garage instead. Sometimes these things happen, it’s part of life. But hopefully though the next time I set off on a fishing trip it will be for bream and not roach. There’s only one way to find out though. See you next week! And although it’s cold at the moment, the weather forecast says it’s getting better, so I’m quite positive.
(Originally published March 2006)