Diary of a Countryman
AMIXED week for me, with plenty of highs and a few lows – but that’s life for everyone, isn’t it? Here’s how it went…
Drop shotting from my boat with Eddie Taylor from Southport. He took to it like a duck to water. Using lures and walking the worm, he caught 15 perch to nearly 2lb.
Sure, he missed a lot of takes in the morning when he held a drop shot rod for the first time, but that’s the same for everyone.
Drop shotting looks a simple method to master, but to do it properly you have to get the basics right, in the right order. Eddie has been an angler for many years, and we enjoyed telling one another our tales from the bank.
A delivery of freezer baits from Bait Box, which I soon had stored neatly in my large bait freezer.
I have a freezer for carp and coarse fish and another for sea and predator fishing. It’s important to be organised, especially when you fish so many different methods which all need separate baits.
Sometimes I may decide to go fishing the evening before, after the tackle shops have shut, so I have to be able to put my hands on the bait I want straight away.
A really nice day’s drop shotting from my boat with a dozen perch, a small jack pike and even a very small bream caught walking the worm.
To be honest, I spent loads of time just boating up and down the river, looking at the echo-sounder and discovering the contours of the river.
There are so many moored boats and landing stages in this area that it will take all season to fish these marks, let alone those out in the main flow.
Although I have never caught a 4lb perch from the Severn I have come close at 3lb 13oz and I’ve had more than a hundred ‘threes’, but I feel confident that a big fish is on the cards at any time.
Gear prep for a guide day Monday and then down south on Tuesday on a carp lake, followed by Wednesday on the River Test at Timsbury Fishery and another guide day Thursday. Life is in the fast lane at the moment!
Took brothers Chaz and Tom Reeves carp fishing, and they had a ball. Both caught personal bests, both had a laugh and both learned enough to go away and catch a few big ones by themselves.
Chaz and Tom are good mates as well as brothers, and that showed on the bank. I always have a good day out with these guys. Back in the house, I loaded the car for tomorrow in readiness for an early start at 5am.
Picked up my mate Ray Cutler at 4.50am for the long drive down to Sussex and a meet with Cliff Brown. Cliff is a fly angler who also does a bit of coarse fishing. He has a pool that contains some old English carp, and he’d ‘hired’ me like a gunslinger to go down and show him how to catch them.
We arrived at the pool at 8.15am
after crawling along the M25 for an hour. How people travel on there every day I just do not know!
All that was forgotten as soon as I set eyes on the pool. It looked like Redmire – surrounded by trees, with weeping willows on the opposite bank, and to top it all Cliff had hot bacon and egg sarnies ready for us on arrival – top bloke!
I set up with Cliff in one swim while Ray set up further along the bank, and within five minutes we had a take on my rods from a mirror of about 12lb. Well, I have
caught bigger carp but I have never caught a better looking carp.
These fish had been in this old lake for many years and were what we call ‘old English’ carp. I enjoy catching modern ‘lumps’, but there’s something special about the old ones. Between us we caught seven carp and pulled out of another. All the fish were exactly the same – in pristine condition.
Cliff was a delightful host – it was one of those days that fishing really is all about. We left at 4.15pm for the journey to Romsey in Hampshire that should have taken two hours but because of a crash on the M27 we didn’t arrive until 8.30pm. To say I was knackered would be an understatement!
Anyway, we went straight to the local Indian and after a nice meal and a couple of beers we knew all would be fine. Wrong! Ray and I ate the same meal, and it tasted great, but in the night both of us had the ‘trots’. Lovely…
In the morning we both felt awful. No wonder, after all those hours on the road, a day’s fishing and then being up half the night.
We did start on the Test just after 8am but after half-a-dozen grayling and a few trout each we decided to get home early, ensuring there were plenty of toilets on the way.
We explained to fishery owner Andy what had happened and said we would see him some time over the winter. Perhaps we won’t have an Indian next time!
Pike baits in the freezer. Bring it on!
GREYLAG GOOSE A FAMILIAR sight at this time, a big bird with an orange bill and a noisy honking call.
Brothers Chaz (here) and Tom Reeves enjoyed a great day’s carping.
LADYBIRD SOME of these little creatures are already in my house, ready to spend the winter inside.