Diary of a Countryman
For all its shortcomings, I wouldn’t live anywhere but here in the UK. It’s magic!
THIS weather’s up and down like a yo-yo! One day the air pressure is sky-high and then the next day it’s fallen like a stone.
The temperature is typical of November as well, with winter trying to break through while autumn does its best to hang on for a few days more.
With shorter days and a chill in the air, be in no doubt there is still some good fishing to be had.
I’m often asked about my secret to success at this time of year. It’s simple – just get out there! If you wait for the perfect day you’ll only get out a few times a year!
Wrap up warm, take a flask of hot coffee and a few sandwiches and go for it…
I wrote last week about fishing with Harry Hales and how it was a pleasure landing a carp for him. Well, today it was Harry’s turn to land a carp for me!
I was fishing Monument 2 with maggots and an inline feeder and had three takes which resulted in a lost fish, a small stockie and a 21lb 12oz mirror carp.
The air pressure had dropped and the sun was shining. Yesterday we wore thermals, and yet today it was T-shirt weather, or at least it was for young Harry!
It was fun as I played the fish telling Harry how the ‘old ’uns’ can still cut it better than the ‘young guns’ although it did cut deep when Harry asked where my Zimmer frame was!
I also caught a few roach up to a pound. Some anglers don’t like recasting time and time again because a roach has picked up the bait, but the fact is that I still had three takes from carp, and that’s three more than most of the anglers who were fishing boilies.
I know fishery owner Rob Hales is netting the water for the roach soon, but I doubt he will get them all and I can see the water becoming another record-holder.
The roach in there are stunners, and they’re getting big and fat on carp baits. With only a few in there I can see it producing a monster in the not too distant future.
Spent the last few hours on the river with jigs and small shads after perch and had four up to just short of 2lb, fish that had never seen a hook before.
As I left the river at nightfall I looked back and thought to myself ‘how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful country!’ I know England has had its fair share of bad press lately but when you look down the river at this time of day with only the sound of water passing over the shallows, the ‘hooo-hoo’ from a tawny owl and no-one but you around, it’s still one hell of a country to live in.
After dinner I tied a few rigs for a carp trip later in the week. I am really enjoying my carping again. Having spent the whole summer on the river it makes a welcome change to sit by a stillwater. That’s just one of the joys of being a true all-rounder – you never get bored!
Went to check out an eel water. I won’t be fishing it this winter,
but I met the owner of the lake to see if he would allow me to night fish it and he said: “Yes, come up whenever you like!”
The water has produced a few eels but they have always been big ones, so come the summer I will be trying once again to try and beat my personal best. Catching a big eel is not hard – the problem is finding a water that holds one to catch! Looks like I have found another eel water, and you’ll be the first to know when I catch one.
Drop shotted a local stillwater just into dark for a few perch. None weighed more than 2lb but it was nice getting a few takes again on this method. I was using quite large rubbers – for perch – but they are a greedy fish and will devour a lure meant for pike so I have no problems using them. In fact on most waters a large lure tends to sort out the bigger fish. Large
livebaits can cause you problems with aborted takes, but I don’t find this to be a problem with lures.
When it got dark, the temperature soon dropped to freezing and it hurt my hands retrieving the lure. In the car my fingers tingled as the heater warmed them up on the way home. When I got to my house there was a brace of pheasants and a large jar of pickled onions placed next to the front door.
I phoned my mate who I knew had left them for me and thanked him, and he asked: “Where’s my trout Dessie boy?” I laughed and said I’d drop him one off before Christmas.
A big rubber lure for a big perch!