I started the week off bright and early on Monday morning, as I returned once more to the local canal in search of pike. After four straight blanks, you could say that I am a sucker for punishment. On the other hand, it could be interpreted as a challenge. I definitely see it as the latter. But with a combination of limited time (I had to be back home just after noon to start work) and the rivers still being out of bounds for pike, then it was a case of the canal or nothing.
Well, as far as fish were concerned, it was a case of nothing as blank number five was clocked up. No trembles on the float even, or any evidence of pike attacking silver fish, although I know they are in there. I could argue though that as I was only there for just over three hours, I didn’t really give the session time to get off the ground. But I do feel that would still be more of an excuse than a reason.
I did see a chiffchaff though whilst there, so that was good. As summer visitors, the vast majority of the birds depart in autumn, but a few remain here plus a number of birds arrive from the continent. So whilst not exactly rare, nevertheless it is still a good bird to spot, and particularly if you do so yourself without any leads. I’ve had a decent birding start to the year, certainly more prolific than my angling if I am honest, with snow bunting and great northern diver topping the list, which is not bad for Staffordshire.
But with fishing rather than birding on my mind, I once more returned to the canal towards the end of the week. If you live in Britain, you won’t need me to tell you how bad the winds were this week. And although I was fishing as they started to hit the country, rather than when they were here in force, nevertheless it was very difficult fishing in the conditions.
I started off with my usual deadbait approach, but also set up a float rod to catch some roach or perch for live bait. However, it was like fishing the sea, so choppy was the surface of the canal. Therefore I even blanked on that front too! And with the wind growing stronger, it ended up as a very short session indeed. Six blanks on the trot, it is a real struggle at the moment. But one thing is for sure, I will always tell it as it is.
I was hoping to get another trip in before the deadline time to write this article, but it wasn’t to be. A whole day was written off due to the weather, then my youngest daughter had a fracture and so hospital took priority there, and even the Wolves game was changed to 1.00 pm so I couldn’t fit a last minute Saturday morning session in either.
The weather forecast for the week ahead is for a change from the current mild spell to something colder. And with the word ‘snow’ being mentioned, then you don’t get colder than that. Hopefully though, the rivers will be back to normal level and so I can do some fishing on some flowing water for a change. With just a couple of months left on the rivers before the season ends, for those of us who enjoy fishing them, we need to make the most of the time.
(Originally published January 2007)