Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Spluttering Along

 A lack of posts in 2021 means that little has changed for me. Family life remains eventful, chaotic, infuriating, rewarding, challenging, frustrating, exhausting and a whole load of other things - some of which I wouldn't dare print! 

All of this means that fishing continues to be on the back burner, but never far from my mind. Starved of time on the bankside, I've still been entertained by blogs and some WhatsApp chit chat / catches that keep me yearning for the next fishing fix. I might not be wetting a line all that often, but I'm certainly spending plenty of time thinking about fishing!

So what happened in the last half of 2021? For starters there were only 19 sessions for me in the whole year, almost all of which were around 3.5 hours or less. I wouldn't have reached 80 hours in total for the year. So, from where I left off on here in June, it's 14 sessions for about 50 hours to cover off. Statistically I must have spent more time in the toilet! 

The perennial quest for a 5lb chub continues. This so far 3 decade long adventure is not exactly something I've pursued with any real vigour. I've kind of figured that it would just happen through a law of averages. Perhaps after 30+ years of trying the accidental approach, it's time to realise that I might need to hatch a plan of a more cunning variety, if I want to get the monkey off my back.

The best managed in 2021 was 4lb 9oz from the small but captivating River Blythe. I acquired a ticket in the previous season and I've still barely scratched the surface of the water available to me. I'm sure I could easily get obsessed with this venue if I had some real time to spare, but I'll settle for a patient approach and take a bold punt that I expect it will finally deliver the elusive 5lb target for me in 2022.  That's bolloxed it for sure!




Time on the Warks Avon was limited to 5 short sessions. Three of those were early season in the middle of the day, just seeking out bites from a few silver fish to while away the time. One short session targeting chub or barbel yielded my only (tiny) whisker of the year. A December predator session on a chilly day proved a little more fruitful with a scraper PB zander of 6lb 1oz. 





Just one visit to the syndicate's pool. Good to see the new stock flourishing and beginning to show up in catches. Hopefully they'll continue to prosper and provide some good sport in years to come. Some excellent work has been done to this previously neglected venue and a huge thanks goes out to all those who have grafted hard to make it happen.


My old adversary, the Anker, has taken a complete back seat. A river that frustrates more than it delights in my experience, but that's all part of the challenge. There's no doubting it holds some fine specimens for those prepared to put the time in. Unfortunately it's the longest journey for me, so with time at a premium, it just hasn't figured. I'm sure I'll be back there in future (the bream will be calling me!) and I've renewed my ticket just in case.




So what's in store for 2022? 

I'm armed with the same number of tickets as usual, so despite me not putting in many appearances in 2021, it's not down to the lack of options! I'm patiently serving my time on a waiting list for a stillwater which I doubt will come to fruition for the 2022 renewal. Therefore it's looking like very little change for me, but given that I have access to waters that I've barely fished all yet, I probably need to start discovering and using more of what I already have. 

There's some new water on my river syndicate that's actually old water to me, having last fished it around 7 years ago. I'm looking forward to giving that a go again and it's encouraging to see it's already thrown up a chub over 4lb. 

The main target for the year is to just get out more again and to stay fit and healthy. Oh, and I'll be hitting the 50 milestone too (I've already put in a request for a new rod to commemorate it!). 

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

February to June 15th

With Covid movement restrictions in place, the end of the river season drifted into a non event for me. 

The closed season didn't see much activity either. I attended more Covid vaccinations than I had fishing outings! Just a single trip to a local club water for a few hours. 

A cheeky robin looks on

With lots going on at home and work to distract me, the closed season seemed to drift by with relative ease this year. In the past I'd often spent hours on end preparing tackle and bait, willing the days to roll on by. This time, I'd done literally nothing by June 15th, other than to return all rods and reels into some semblance of organised storage and to purchase the usual range of tickets.

A well earned week off work beckoned to mark the new river season...

Sunday, 31 January 2021

January

 Some pretty simple monthly statistics to kick the year off:

Fish - 0, Bites - 0, Sessions - 0.

The first time in over a decade that I haven't managed a January outing. 

Lockdown 3 has naturally limited the options, but the frequent moody and foul weather has done a fair job of narrowing them further. Throw in some family baggage and the month quickly became a write off.

You know things are bad when you've had more trips to the local Covid test centre than you've had fishing trips! My daughter recently clocked up her 4th visit - all negative outcomes so far thankfully.

Her nursery was a casualty for a week though when a staff member tested positive. A week of juggling home working and providing childcare is something I don't need much more of! 

We end the month with rivers over their banks again and temperatures dipping. I'll probably extend my barren spell for a couple more weeks and hopefully have the odd day off work when conditions improve.

Our local pond



Thursday, 31 December 2020

To The Future

Another year comes to an end. Covid-19 dominated most of 2020 and looks set to do the same as we move into the new year and well beyond. 

Hopefully we'll avoid another full lockdown that prevents any angling, but it's getting dangerously close again. I just hope we can get a workable strategy that sees a return to "normal" life in the first half of 2021. Right now things look dangerously out of control, despite the optimism of multiple vaccines.

While I've been lucky to have avoided any serious Covid issues amongst my extended family, it's completely derailed the support networks that my household revolves around.

When you can't just rock up at a friend's or family member's house to let them see / entertain your young offspring, it adds extra pressure within your own environment. As a result, I've done far less fishing in 2020 than in any of the previous 30 years. Quite simply, maintaining a functional household has had to be the priority. 

Normal life!

Doom and gloom aside, I look forward to some good fishing in 2021. A new river ticket which might finally see me crack that elusive 5lb chub! Hopefully another bloggers' challenge - Covid permitting. Maybe follow up on a tip off of some good perch in a stillwater I joined during lockdown 1? Perhaps investigate the recent additions at the syndicate pool?  And of course there's still my other staple venues to fall back on. 

I might be challenged for time, but I'll have plenty of variety to go at when I do get out! I'll try to share things more regularly on here over the year ahead. 

Good luck to everyone in 2021. Tight lines, but most importantly, good health to all your family and stay safe. 

Friday, 25 December 2020

December

A couple of short pre-xmas sessions. A blank on a stillwater and a lone barbel on a ever swelling Avon. 


Further serious quantities of rain have seen the upper Avon (Rugby) hitting record levels. Misery for festive river anglers. Unlikely to improve much with a big storm arriving later on Boxing Day. 

One more session planned this year. Might have to be a stillwater, but I'll take anything I can get. It's been that sort of year.

November

November, no fishing for me again.
 


October

Some fishing respite around half-term thankfully. A bit of a mixed bag across a few sessions. Nice to see a zander again - it's been a while.