Friday, October 16, 2009


It never cease to amaze me how easy it is to upset people on the internet. Delicate flowers get in a tizzy now and then over what I consider to be throwaway lines. Nowt so queer as folk! Spilt milk and all that. So if you ever take offence at something I say here or elsewhere I'll let Joe E. Brown's closing words make my excuses...

If you don't know the film click here

With work going almost exactly to plan I went fishing, even though I didn't make my escape until it was nearly dark. Seeing three vehicles in the car park I expected the bend to be packed out so I'd have an ideal opportunity to give that swim I keep meaning to try a bash as it's always been free. As I approached it I saw the dim green glow of two isotopes and a red head torch in the swim. Blooming typical!

The day had been warm and with the cloud cover it was staying that way. No fleece was required under the bunny suit and no woolly hat. For some reason I can't stand wearing a baseball cap after dark, it seems to restrict my vision, so my thinning hair was exposed to the night. As it turned out the swim I fished last time out was free, but had been fished during the day. It wasn't where I wanted to fish but I was still confident as conditions were perfect - which was why I'd set out in the gloaming.

Carrying as small pellet bucket a long way can cut into your hand if it has a thin wire handle. Larger buckets usually come fitted with grips, but the smaller ones do not. If yours doesn't then the answer is simple. Pop one end of the wire out (you might need a lever of some sort), slide a length of hosepipe over it, then pop the wire back in.

Deluxe bucket modification

Just after I'd set up there were some peculiar warbling, throaty trilling noises from the wood, which then progressed behind me and upstream fading away into the distance. Definitely a bird of some sort, but what I have not a clue. Most peculiar.

The first bite was a long time coming. I'd just wound in the upstream boilie rod to find a foulhooked eel attached (how long it had been there is anyone's guess) when the pellet rod was away. The fish felt ponderous. It got slightly upstream of me, and at the point I reached to slacken the drag a notch it fell off. Checking the hook point I found it was turned over ever so slightly. A touch with the file and out went a fresh pellet followed by a new boilie. Twenty minutes later the boilie was away and a seven pounder landed. The lost fish had felt a bit bigger. There was bound to be more action to come.

The sky stayed cloudy, the wind minimal, the air toasty. It was ideal but the barbel thought otherwise. After those two bites in short order it went quiet again. A small chub took a pellet, another eel hooked itself behind its head and failed to make its presence known. I was glad I'd left the luncheon meat behind or the eels would certainly have been on it. Around eleven a light mist rose up across the fields and the air began to cool slightly. By midnight I was on my way to the car. Baffled, but not despondent. Text book conditions don't always provide textbook results.