Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A Special Fish

I haven't fished for a while. I've enjoyed spending a bit of free time with my family.
 Today was different though. It was my day off and when I awoke from slumber, one thought dominated. I just knew that a special fish needed to be my quarry today. I knew where it lived, I just had to have a try.
 The weather was grim, great rolling clouds of dark grey, rain, thunder forecast, I waited. Occupying myself with the tackle set up near the doorway, I gazed at the blurred view at the trickling window. Waiting for a break, just enough to walk to where I needed to be. I waited until late afternoon.
 Setting off over the river footbridge and through the sodden water meadow, I was soon on the towpath of the Grand Union Canal, it's a journey I take most days on my way to work. As I navigated safe passage across the cattle grid it occurred to me that I couldn't remember the last time I angled 'the cut'.
 Walking past floating homes and holiday boats full of strange dialects and anglers with tales of woe, I trudged towards a quieter stretch.
 On arrival I was pleased that only one other angler was near, a father with a couple of kids. They hadn't caught much...I set up anyway.

Having attached a 'Canal Grey' and size 22 hook I carefully plumbed the swim, set the float at the required depth, attached a couple of pinkies and cast out...I received a bite immediately.
 As the clouds rolled by a small hybrid came to hand, next cast another and so on for around seven casts. The father fishing further along gave me that look.
 I was joined by a rather friendly Moorhen, which took a liking to my bait and stayed to watch me catch some rather nice perch.

You can see that by this time the other angler had hastily departed lest he be shown up in front of his kids by the man with the wooden rod.
 Bites came fast and furious as I drew in a shoal of bream and even the sun poked it's head from behind the clouds.
A narrow boat chugged by, I left the float in as I was only fishing close and had a bite just as it came by, resulting in a quality perch.
 A short while later the water started to move, I guessed the narrowboat had reached the lock. I was glad of the old Speedia, it allowed me to trot the canal....this is when it happened.
 The float shot under and I struck to solid resistance and a spirited battle. Without much delay though, the fish was beaten. Here he is then, a most special capture.......... first gudgeon of the season. I love them so much.
 With mission accomplished and joy in my heart, I immediately packed up and headed off home.


  1. A rare beast in these parts now, as a kid the river and cut was thick with them, one or two "gonks" often saved a blank, today they seem to have all but vanished.

    Someone was telling me the other day that gudgegogs are non native, never heard that before and wonder if he had got confused with the topmouth variety

  2. Brilliant! :)

    There's some clonking gudgeon, fish a chuck, in my bit of river. While testing the water to see what "pike food" lives in my river I pulled some right fish out.

  3. That's the way to do it!

    Restored Lucky Strike, Speedia, Cane handled net, Efgeeco bait box and to put the cherry on top...

    ...the Oxo tin!

    What has happened to gudgeon? Why are they now so scarce in many places where they were once plentiful? Could illegal stocking with zander and barbel be a contributor?

    BTW your rod isn't made of wood! It's made of grass...


    Keep 'em coming, please.

    Regular Rod

    1. Indeed RR, schoolboy error, grass it is. Who'd have thought all these years later that we'd once again be getting rod blanks from China :-)
      I would imagine that the signal crayfish has had a big impact on the loveable gudgeon, it being a bottom dweller.

    2. By the way, I'm really enjoying my fishing with the Lucky Strike. It has already repayed the time and effort I invested in bringing it back to life, a true joy.

  4. Nice post Gurn, fished in the margins of the Trent yesterday with my son. We had perch, perch, perch, not a gudgeon to be seen, it would have been very different 30 years ago.

  5. When I used to catch 50+ gudgeon a day instead of the intended roach, I cursed them, now I kind of miss them. Maybe a National gudgeon match on Mr Bosworth's river? :-)

  6. Well Done Gurn the Gudgeon are a great fish and do give a good scrap, We have recently restocked the waters we have with almost half a ton of Gudgeon, We have a lot of problems with Herrons cormorants other water birds mink, Ive seen cormorants that full of fish they just cant get there sorry butts of the water, OH and not forgetting there are a few Eastern Europeans that enjoy a good Gudgeon pye, I think you had a great day my friend, Very well done,

    1. Nice to see you drop by Paddy. I had a fine day mate.

  7. Wow what a lovely read, old school fishing at the top level love it

  8. Thanks for you kind comment Glen, and welcome sir.