|Now, where's that polar bear?|
Time to write a few words about fishing instead of doing it. Well, I’m not going out in this Arctic blast am I, even if my ‘Catching the Impossible’ mate Martin Bowler is out there – carping – he’s mad you know …
|Chilly garden at Chillbrook Croft|
ANGLING ADVENTURES – 2012 – part 1
The dictionary says an adventure is ‘a risky undertaking, the ending of which is uncertain’.
My angling certainly fits that definition and I’m very grateful for that. Who wants to go fishing when you know what you are going to catch? The mystery of the unknown is everything.
|Brightening a winters day|
In mid January I headed off with a group of friends for our annual pilgrimage to catch India’s sacred fish, the golden mahseer. We should be there now and given our present snow covered landscape, I wish we were.
|Catching the bait|
|Thomas - our chief guide|
|Murrell - good to eat - no wonder he's smiling|
|Rama with 'small' silver mahseer|
|A perfect dawn|
|Thirty pounds of violent beauty|
I’m also upset because I’m missing my angling highlight of the year. I love India and its’ people, let alone the wildlife and fishing on the Cauvery. I’ll write another post on the fishing and wildlife in a while but suffice to say it is wonderful, with all of us catching plenty of mahseer – some big ones too. I caught exactly 150 mahseer in the ten days with several of about 30lbs. but the most remarkable achievement was by Gerry Higham who caught one of 50lbs – on barbel tackle! I hope I’m proved wrong on my gloomy predictions for those wonderful fish and their guides that we’ll be back there next year with them for the ultimate holiday.
|Fifty Pounds to Gerry - what a fight!|
|Some of the few survivors|
|Nearly 2lbs - over ten years old and nearly dead|
Mid. Feb. saw us on the Avon again but this time with a BBC News crew. The Angling Trust’s Martin Salter, Trevor Harrop of Avon Roach Project fame and myself had been invited to explain why there was a need to change the law to allow us to protect our fisheries more effectively from cormorant attacks. I supplied them with appropriate film clips and we made the national news with a well balanced story – certainly a result.
|Presenting the truth to the Minister - Richard Benyon|
We hope for a concession on cormorant licencing from the Minister in February but since the petition hand over I’ve been trying to winkle out some big roach from the dwindling stocks and it’s not easy. However, I did say I like it difficult didn’t I.
|Sorry about the pic. - a one arm self take - nice roach tho'|
|a bronze beauty|
|March 14th low water|
|June 16th and plenty of water|
|Where's those roach?|
On 3rdApril, Trevor and I were invited to a meeting of the ‘great and the good’ in London to discuss progress on the government’s cormorant review and the impending drought orders, ironic because as we left the building it started raining and hasn’t stopped since!
I never used to fish in the closed season but I so seldom have time to fish now that I have abandoned my principals and escape to the waterside whenever I can. A couple of local lakes gifted me lots of roach to 1/14 and on warmer days several carp to 18lbs. Life is too short to sit behind bolt rigs for a week to catch a mud sucker but I find stalking carp really exciting, with all mine being caught within a foot of the bank – magic.
Our computer guru Chris Wild joined us at Beeches Brook for a cast or two and stalked several feisty carp and Trevor and Budgy, the co- founder of the Avon Roach Project bagged up on roach, watched by Robin, the bailiff and the New Forest’s champion talker.
|Trevor, Budgie and Robin|
|Swaying with delight|
|I do love roach|
I fished Sway for roach a couple of times just before the proper season opened and managed to winkle out eight two pounders on the pole with a best of 2/6. I caught lots of others too, along with tench, the best a manic male of 6/8 on the pole - stretched elastic and taught nerves.
|Careful with that old bit of wood Chris|
|Nice one Mr.Yates|
|A perfect summer fish|
|Two happy boys|
June 16th dawned cold, wet and windy and I’m too old and wise to fish in horrible weather now ; after all, fishing is only a bit of fun. Trev. and I didn’t start until the 19th … and what a start. After boldly shattering the tranquility with a rake we caught 34 crucians between us, with 31 over 2lbs, all from a delightful little lake near Shaftesbury. My best was 2/12 and Trev’s 2/14. Mr Yates and Chris joined us and also had some biggies. The cake was good too.