Monday, 26 November 2012

Does It Count?

Having been a carp angler through the 80's and onwards I was never averse to a bit of stroke pulling. Most of us have stretched the rules a bit. I remember fishing in the close season under the infamous 'Any method trout fishing' rule at Farlows in esteemed company with boilies and hair-rigs. Most of us have also fished a 'snide' rod from time to time. I remember one particular lake where most of us fished with three rods during the two rod rule era. We took it in turns to fish the swim near the car park. If the authorities showed up the plan was that the the fellow in this swim shouted "NRA" at the top of his voice, swiftly followed by the sound of optonics as the rest of the lake reeled in the third rod. Best that one got nicked instead of the lot of us!
 Then there comes the subject of poaching, or 'guesting' as it's dressed up as these days. Some tales have become legendary, take for example the escapades on 'The 'mere', a 'no fishing' SSSI site containing the ill-fated Black Mirror.
 The reason I have just started to ponder such things is a conversation I had recently regarding the capture of a massive chub. The fish caught after dark and 'out of bounds'. It had me thinking. I actually stated in jest that the fish was "worth double points", almost glorifying the illegality. It's stealth guerrilla angling and is almost a cult now to some. My question is this though. With a sporting ethic in mind, do these catches count at all?

Friday, 23 November 2012

A Little Dabble

I had the chance to have a little dabble on my beloved Ouzel this week. It gave me the opportunity to test out my Allcocks Nimrod. At 8.5ft and originally produced as a salmon/pike spinning rod. It has the characteristics I require for a decent little chub rod. Those characteristics being :- Short enough to avoid overhanging branches, a nice short handle for those tight swims, a test curve strong enough to stop old Mr. Chevin getting in to that snag.....and relatively inexpensive.
 Upon arrival myself and mate Malc were greeted by a white egret. They're not too common in these parts so it was a nice start to the day.
 We walked the entire beat to find that we were the only anglers present. Conditions seemed favourable, confidence was high.
 Making our way downstream we noticed one swim contained a new raft of debris, we'd both previously caught there and new it would be a banker. There is however an unsaid etiquette amongst some anglers which found us both avoiding it, choosing instead to fish above an below it. Imagine our dismay then, when after a short while, another angler arrived, and with a mile of bank to choose from sat directly between us and proceeded to launch a bucketful of everything into the river.
 I upped sticks immediately and headed upstream. As I passed, the chapped bellowed, "There's some tackle in another swim up there, but fish where you like." I hotfooted away head down.
 I did find what I'd call a comfortable swim to set up in. I opted now for the 'bait and wait' method, not wanting to bump into Mr. Stealth again.
 Within five minutes Malc was in my swim with tales of the fellow following him around so he'd opted on the same plan as me.
 I baited a while, no cast, a few turmeric maggots (our original plan was to trot the Gt. Ouse for roach, but the Ouzel had greater appeal) and also some mashed bread.

I fished for a good few hours, baiting frequently in an attempt to lure a chub upstream from the snags below, I know they live there. Hookbaits of breadflake, maggots and even a cherry from today's Morrisons Genoa cake couldn't persuade one.

IP cake rating ****

Malc on the other hand had skipped about above and below my position and wangled a couple of chub, two and four pound respectively. He's a better river angler than I'll ever be, with experience I could only dream of, I'm sure he'll share a few secrets with me along the way.
 Time rolled on, I gazed down at my Grandfather's old silver pocket watch. I only ever use it when I'm fishing, strange really, I don't think he cast a bait in his life, bless him.

Darkness comes all too quickly now, so we called it a day.
 I was genuinely surprised to have drawn a blank. It wasn't until the day after that I found out there had been a match the day before and my 'comfortable' swim had been pegged. Never mind, I'll be back out soon trying to get a bend in the Nimrod. Maybe a Perch trip is on the cards.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Something Fishy At The British Museum

I had a little trip to the British Museum this week. It's nice to get a bit of a culture fix now and again. I was quite amazed to find so many artifacts related to fish or fishing. I suppose I shouldn't have been really. It's been an activity humans have enjoyed since we've walked the earth.
Detail of above

Monday, 19 November 2012

Catch Up

It's been a while, I've finally recovered from the rather damp Redmire jolly and it's about time I was back on parade.
I'm happy to say that I have nearly completed Christmas shopping, the very thought of fighting the crowds nearer the time fills me with dread so I make a habit of completing the deed early, thus enabling me to sit back and watch the slackers with a smug knowing grin.
 I've been given a couple of interesting photos to share with you all.
 The first is evidence of just how harsh the velcro-like pads in the jaws of the Wels Catfish can be to flesh, even on humans. This picture is the aftermath of a friends capture of a 50lb'er.


This week I also saw a photo of a sizeable carp with pad damage on both sides. It's quite amazing really, the size of fish these giants will consider as food.
 On the subject of carp, take a look at the following picture (apologies for the quality). This fish was taken fairly recently from the famous Willow Lake at Billing Aquadrome. Could it be one of the old Leney's? It's weight was over 30lb and although doesn't have the good looks of the Redmire stock, it does look similar to the Leney's of Savay. What do you reckon?

 Another item that has recently come my way is a Kingfisher Guild certificate, apparently awarded (before my time) by the Angling Times to juniors for noteable catches. Does anyone else have one framed up in the toilet or suchlike ?

What about my fishing then? Well I have been out a bit. The trip was supposed to be a venture in pursuit of fine roach on the Grand Union canal. I have this hunch you see about a stretch of the canal and it's likelihood to give up a decent roach or two.
 My Dad was invited along, it's nice to catch up and chat fishing. It has to be said that although we have many similarities we do differ in one area. When I fish I like the quiet solidarity and shy away from the crowds. Not Dad, he invited two of his mates and my Mum along, bless him.
 Unfortunately, we were unable to fish the intended area,beaten by two minutes by a Preston Innovations laden trio, blimey I thought that carpers carried some kit!

Having finally found a spot for three anglers (one mate stayed in bed, Mum arrived later) we set about tackling up. I had brought along my Lucky Strike, Speedia combo with roach in mind but with warm weather and an unlikely could only mean one species....bream.
 They loved my float fished punched bread....

Fishing was hard. It seems to be the order of the last couple of weeks from what I hear in the shop. It was nice to be out though and I wasn't unsociable all day. I did share my cake, McVities Carrot with sultanas, not bad. I think it was all gone by the time Mum turned up though.

IP Cake Rating ****