Sunday, 20 May 2012

Adventures In Fishing (pt 1)

I did threaten to blog about my fishing trips once in a while. I make no apologies for it - everyone needs a hobby! And while you may see some lovely sights during a walk in the country, you'll see a whole lot more sitting still on the water's edge for hours on end.

You may see a kingfisher once in a while on your walk, but we saw them numerous times every fishing session during the summer - electric blue flashes of colour shooting past, sometimes in pairs. Although it hasn't happened to me yet, I've seen photographs by other anglers of kingfishers perching on their fishing rods!

Otters, once a real rarity in the UK are increasing in numbers. Yes, very cute, but as an apex predator they're becoming a real problem on some rivers, and have famously decimated the barbel population on the Bristol Avon.

But it's currently the closed season on the rivers, and we can't fish them until June 16th. Fair enough, give the fish a break and let them have their breeding season in peace.  Commercial fisheries, on the other hand, can opt in to their own close season, so the obsessed angler can fish 365 days a year if he so chooses.

I had considered reviewing various fisheries on this blog, but that might be a little unfair on those that don't live up to expectations. So they'll get mentioned but not reviewed. No doubt the better angler can have success on a challenging water that would defeat me anyway. I just need to be a better fisherman!

Yesterday my mate Andy and I visited Windmill Fisheries in Bristol for the 2nd weekend running. Having blanked the weekend before, we went with a new strategy. However, our luck wasn't much better. Windmill is only 2 years old and hopefully will improve as it matures. But for now it's just too hard a water for the pleasure angler. Andy did catch something, but as you can see, he won't be bragging about it too much! :)

Andy's perfect little mirror carp
By late morning we had had enough and decided to up sticks and drive to a more scenic (and indeed prolific) venue in Somerset. Landsend Fishery. We never fail to have a fantastic day when we come here, and really get our money's worth. However, chances are we won't return too often as they have banned floating bread, and that is my preferred carp method.

Very little in life sends the heart racing as much as seeing dark shadows moving up under your floating piece of white bread, the water churning up and suddenly a very loud slurping noise as the carp attempts to suck in your bait!

I did manage a new personal best yesterday along with perhaps as many as 20 other decent fish, and although Landsend has even bigger fish lurking in its depths, the rules there are a problem (for me at least) and so I'll be trying to persuade Andy to drive somewhere new for our next adventure - he'll do almost anything for a pint of Thatchers!

New PB carp

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