Telling it as it is (pike article and video, entry 237)

I viewed the week ahead with great optimism. After all, the weather was incredibly mild for the time of the year, and to top it all I had previously caught a decent pike which was a great confidence booster. With two predator sessions planned on a gravel pit, if I were a gambling man, I definitely would have put money on a fish or two putting in an appearance. Well, all I can say is that it is a good job I don’t take chances as I would have been penniless.

 One thing I always do as an angler is to tell it as it is, hence the title of this week’s article. Sinful, fallen, human nature being what it is, there will always be those who lie or exaggerate their catches, and of course those who motivated by jealousy will put down the genuine achievements of others. Not that I get involved in any of that though, as a lone angler I keep myself well and truly out of the sort of nastiness and infighting that sadly runs through angling like a cancerous thread.

 If you don’t believe me, visit any angling forum long enough and you will see what I mean. Wait for a thread to appear congratulating someone on a good fish and you can guarantee that sooner rather than later, a post will appear that very quickly sees the whole tone of the conversation turn extremely nasty indeed. Whilst I do see positives in angling forums, I also see the downside as well, and it’s for those reasons that I personally don’t visit them, although I have done in the past. Not that I have any personal issues though – far from it – just that it’s not for me.

 But one thing you will find is that whilst a good fish will induce a reaction, blank after blank will not even cause a ripple of emotion. Hence I am treading very safe ground at the moment! Both days on the gravel pit – which took in first light right through till dusk – produced absolutely nothing. The only tremble on the float or noise from the bite alarm was as a result of the wind not a fish. However I do correct myself there, as I did have a screaming run from a cormorant that picked up the dead perch as it lay on the bottom of the pit. This has happened to me three times now in the last week or so.

 The place where I fished was very much alive with bird life and I had regular reed buntings, pied wagtails and house sparrows feeding in the vicinity of where I was set up. In addition, birds such as lapwing, lesser black-backed gull and cormorant regularly appeared in flight, with the latter often dropping on the pit to feed. If you follow my angling exploits regularly you will be more than aware that I have a keen interest in the wider nature package that fishing exposes me to, particularly bird life.

 January is often a tough month, so on that front I shouldn’t be disappointed. However, this year it has been very mild overall and I ought to have done better really. I do like to analyse my angling, particularly so when things haven’t worked out the way that I thought they should have. However, the last thing I do is to beat myself up over it. After all, we are talking about a hobby. Even though I am passionate about my fishing, it’s not life and death and if ever it gets to the stage where I start to get down because I didn’t catch what I thought I should then it really is time to re-evaluate. Fortunately I am not there yet! And so as we head into February, I am hoping to move up a gear or two and get amongst the fish again!


  Check out this week’s video clip by clicking here.

(Originally published January 2008)

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