Monday, 14 January 2013

Chasing a Hunch.

"I could never tell where inspiration begins and impulse
leaves off. I suppose the answer is in the outcome. If
your hunch proves a good one, you were inspired; if
it proves bad, you are guilty of yielding to 
thoughtless impulse." 

I have a hunch. Ever since I joined the syndicate I've had a niggling suspicion that the lake may hold some big roach. It has all the ingredients. It's well established, it has predators (I believe that the predation thins out the stock and the remainder grow bigger), course fish other than carp and catfish are generally neglected, and the lake is linked to a river.
 It was already snowing when I arrived. What a difference in the old lake now all the leaves are gone, along with the warmth of summer.

I like to fish for big roach in these conditions. Experience has told me that on many lakes, the bigger fish will be the only ones feeding. The window of opportunity is small and the odds are stacked against you, especially if you don't actually know what you're fishing for. These tactics have yielded some cracking fish for me. However, bites are few and far between. Sometimes you are waiting for just one bite a day.
 Tactics today were standard running maggot feeder to size 16 Drennan red maggot hook, bait was double red maggot. I've seen and used the helicopter-type roach rigs that seem the vogue at present, but I used them with caution. I am still not sure they are 100% safe. Can a roach really pull a float stop off of a line every time?, I don't know but I'd hate to think I'd left a specimen tethered, so running rigs today for me.

The sky looked full of the white stuff and much of it was coming my way.
 For the first hour I searched around with the feeder, sometimes it is better to try to find a fish or two rather than hope they'll visit one spot. If I get bites doing this, it's only then that I clip up and concentrate on a spot.
 No bites were forthcoming, so after this first hour I concentrated on a deeper area, casting every ten minutes or so.

With the snow settling all around me and indeed upon me. I reached for the flask.
 Sitting drinking my tea and eating a nice Morrison's Fruit Cake, I was exposed to the Kingfishers yells of frustration as he went from branch to branch trying to find a fish  "I know exactly how you feel mate." I thought. He'd dived as many times as I'd reached for the now snow covered landing
 I thought back to summer when my friend Simon Tofield (he of "Simon's Cat" fame) had accompanied me on a trip. He'd marvelled at the constant 'Fisher activity on this lake and swore that he'd lured them with his bright blue shirt.

The visit inspired him to produce this image....
The hours passed, I was beginning to feel the cold. I'd seen no sign of a fish at all. I did have a little recce around but even the resident pair of mink gave up and went up the inlet to the river. Where were the fish?

The tip stayed static and having run out of tea and with darkness creeping in I decided to call it a day.
 What did I learn then? Well not too much about this lake's roach population, if it exists. I did learn that the weed had all died back nicely so presentation is good. I've just got to find the fish. I'm not going to give up on this hunch and will be back when the weather is constant, maybe at the other end of the lake, maybe with some bread. I'll try all the permutations, until I either catch or believe they're just not there.

IP rating ****


  1. Did the cake tell a tale? :)

    Fair play to you for the pioneering, I've got a potential roach water stored away for a rainy day and the thought holds alot of appeal, it all depends on what else sits above it on the wish list I suppose

    1. Haha Nutty as?..You may be right bud. The day was certainly fruitless. At least I had one of my 'five-a-day'.

  2. If you cracked it first time it would be a hollow victory, keep at it mucker, they'll come - eventually.

    1. I'll definitely be back mate. If it stays fluid. It's usually the first lake around here to freeze.

  3. A fish caught on a hunch is the best fish of all.

    Top stuff Gurn