Sunday, 27 February 2022

Close but no Cigar

I'm determined to document all fishing this year, so here's the first catch up covering 3 sessions.

Session 1 - approx 4 hours - River Blythe

A midweek afternoon session that was a 50th birthday treat. I'm not big on birthdays in all honesty and I try to let them slip under the radar whenever possible.

I was booked in to take my uncle to a routine hospital appointment in the morning and work seemed reluctant for me to ply my trade from home in the afternoon. Simple solution - don't do any work at all and go fishing instead! 

I opted for the Blythe for maximum bank time, I wanted to try a section I hadn't fished yet, but I could see a couple of anglers already in the distance, so I gave up on that idea. I like my peace and space!

Plan B saw me head slightly upstream where there was no-one around. That led to cunning plan C. I'd prebait an easily accessible swim, head off further upstream for a couple of hours and then return for a late smash and grab raid.

Furtger upstream offered optimum tranquillity. Just me, a river and a lovely January day (too bright though!). 

5 swims tried. Not a sniff. I nodded off at one point, as is customary for me these days. Time to revisit plan B....

A quick hike back to the car and a couple of minutes up the road - only to find someone plundering my spot! It's always the risk we take, but at least he was blanking! 

And it would remain that way for me. I tried a couple of other swims and actually got into my baited swim briefly at the end. A barren, biteless start to the year.

Session 2 - 1.25 hours - River Leam

This was a very late call on a Sunday afternoon. I siezed the chance to escape the madness of being around the house. Grabbing some pike gear and a few deadbaits, I headed off to the Leam to reacquaint myself with pastures old.

Great to be out, but 75 biteless minutes slipped by quickly and with no time to nod off either. I got what I expected!

Session 3 - approx 2.25 hours - River Blythe 

Another late call for this one. I got a little carried away entertaining my 2 year old in the garden. I was mulling over whether to go for an Avon barbel earlier in the day, but that ship sailed while I was unearthing potatoes long past their best before date.

So, it had to be the Blythe again. I wasn't overly confident though. Bright conditions again and I expected a few others on show, given that it was Saturday, the season end is looming and we'd previously had 3 blustery weekends that would have kept many anglers quiet.

Thankfully I called it wrong. Not a soul around, so I took up the easy option peg. It's a long glide and I'd prime 3 areas with liquidised bread, wait for the sun to drop and then swoop.

Over an hour in and I started to slip into one of my comatosed states, such was the excitement of another potential blank. 

The resident swan family drifted down to me and I decided to play it cool. Nothing to see here. But then one of the young whippersnappers rumbled my banker prebaited area and proceeded to hoover up - ably assisted by 3 siblings and both parents.

I admitted defeat and wandered off to a fresh area. Barely settled into position and my feathered friends thought I was going to provide another meal ticket. A loud expletive was dished out. Utterly wasted, but satisfying nonetheless! 

Brain engaged, I literally lay low out of sight and just let them drift on. There was after all nothing for them to feed on this time. And within a couple of minutes all was clear.

I decided to target a nearside overhanging tree. I'd keep well back from the swim and would be fishing almost below the rod tip.

I wasn't expecting much to be honest and I was just checking out the football scores when the tip steadily pulled down.

Initially it had the madness of a trout, but it dived into nearside cover and revealed itself to be a decent chub. I managed to coax it out though and slipped it into the net. Finally a fish! 

I knew it was a pb shaker and dared to think it might squeak through the 5lb barrier. It was a light meal short though at 4lb 15oz. I'll settle for the pb though and the 5lb challenge can linger on a little longer.

I hung on for a short while as dusk approached, but nothing else doing. Thanks swans for putting me on to that swim! It's all part of the planning!