Yes, spring is in the air, everywhere I look around, but winter doesn’t seem to want to let go just yet. I took some days off over Easter, my birthday fell on the eve of Good Friday, so, beings as I try and catch myself a birthday present on my birthday I ventured to my favourite venue, hopefully for ‘a special one’. I caught but failed to catch on my actual birthday. Some of you may want to take note that April 6th is usually a day that the carp really can be stubborn. In all the years I have tried to catch a birthday carp, I only remember twice having a ‘special catch’. One of those was last year which I put down to my father watching over and ‘having a word’ for me. He had passed away just two days before.
October 2022 moved into November and my first weekend of the month I only had the one night to fish as work party duties were calling. I attend a lot of work parties because I’m a member of quite a few waters, some of which it is compulsory to do them, others it is voluntary, but I try and do them whenever possible. Sadly, as always though, it is usually the same old faces and rarely those who do the most moaning about what should or should not be done ever turn up to do their bit.
Anyway, that single night was kind to me with a couple of carp slipping up to my methods which I start tweaking a little more as the water cools and the visibility becomes clearer, but more of which later.
I have said so often before how much I absolutely love this time of the year, my favourite season by a country mile. The cooling weather for me makes me feel much more comfortable. It suits my grabbed moments of outdoor life between my mostly indoor working life. The fresh feel and smell of the often-damp early morning air, the biting insects are almost none-existent, and my pre-work walks more comfortable with an extra layer on that can be removed if required. As for the fishing, well, so long as I can get on them, I know I can really catch them.
A question I am asked every year is what bait will I be using this winter?
Although still rather mild out there, I thought I would tap these words out to hopefully get you thinking as well as potentially saving a few more from asking.
Again, it is with very mixed feelings I tap these words out. April saw me with so many different mixed emotions. I had intense sadness, but also lots of pick me ups as well.
Storm Barra is kicking off as I sit in my oak clad retreat, tapping these words out whilst reflecting upon my angling leading into this winter. The wind is roaring through the weeping willow that surrounds my hideaway, it is now mostly stripped of leaves, a few succulent ones still hold in there, but the wind is now able to funnel through so much easier than a few weeks back. Storm Arwen removed most of them and what a storm that was. I was out in it under my umbrella for the two days it battered the U.K. I enjoy the forces of nature, it helps to point home just how ferocious mother nature can be and the respect we need to give it. I chose my pitch carefully for Storm Arwen; knowing it was coming I made sure I was out of reach of any potential widow makers. For those of you not familiar with that phrase, it is a name given to trees that are likely to blow down – thus making another widow if some poor soul is unfortunate enough to have a large tree come down on them. Trees are a tad heavy!
I had a close call in the early to mid-80’s when one came down at the side of me one winter night. Since then, I have tried to be extra careful. As it happens, I had a large branch crash down just behind me during Storm Arwen. Had I set up taking advantage of the extra shelter from the mini copse, then it would have hit me. Instead, I had weighed the situation up and set up in the open but as close to the copse of trees for a little protection from the gusts as I dared. It turned out to be one of my better decisions.
As always, I have started off rambling on about things other than I had meant to start off with. Last month’s blog was a catch up of a few months where I had been very much out of action health wise. I ended it at the beginning of October, so that is where this one is going to continue from.
Although I have written blogs and done some magazine work these past few months, I was reminded that I hadn’t looked back through my diary since May. So, I guess time for a catch up and the reason why I have let it slip.
Back in the 90's I found a way of catching some difficult carp which were pre-occupied on fish spawn. To this day I have continued to turn back to it at this time of the year simply because it still works and works well.
I am often asked what baits I would use on a venue I had not been to for a long while, or a new venue I know little about. What would be my starting point in terms of bait and presentation?
Now then, what a journey these past few weeks have been in my life. Emotions leaving me feeling as low as I have ever felt in my life, but fortunately periods of total joy too. I have always been a big believer in Karma and Karma appears to have stepped in a couple of times along the way including a new PB U.K. common.