Sunday, August 23, 2015

Losing my marbles

Having a freezer stocked with suitable eel baits makes it easier to decide what to fish for. The difficulty is picking a good night for it. The first session was a last minute effort fishing until midnight. Runs came quickly, and frequently, but if the bootlace that dropped off on the way in was anything to go by that was all that was playing. It was mildly entertaining, but the clear sky saw the air temperature drop sharply. I wasn't that disappointed to pack up.

I almost got the gear ready for an overnighter during the week. Getting as far as loading the barrow and pod into the car. But a rain shower put me off. I love being by the waterside at night when it's warm and dry, but not so much in the rain. All the more surprising that Saturday night saw me scanning the weather forecast and making sure I was in a swim before the heavy rain and thunder was due to arrive at eight.

If I hadn't had a walk around before getting the gear out of the car I'd have managed to get set up in the dry. As it was the darkening sky ensured that I broke my golden rule and set the bivvy up first. Just as well I did because before I had the rods put together the rain arrived, right on cue. And it sure did arrive. The thunder was rolling past slowly on the light breeze. Although it was obviously just a passing storm I really did question my sanity! I took cover and put on my waterproof jacket so I could get two deadbaits out as soon as the rain eased.

The car's thermometer had read 18.5 as I got to the lake. With just a t-shirt under the jacket I was sweating. The cloud cover would keep the temperature up and if the forecast was correct there'd be showers until threeish then it would stay dry and the morning would be hot and sunny.

The baits hadn't been out ten minutes when I missed a run. Bootlaces again? Probably. But encouraging. As darkness fell, early because of the cloud cover and because the nights are lengthening, the action increased. It was the usual story of dropped takes and missed runs, but during breaks in the rain I netted three eels. One only just more than a bootlace, one not quite a two pounder and the third scraping over that weight.It was a good job I had stocked up on baits because I was getting through them at quite a rate.

When I'd put the bivvy up the wind had been in the north west, when it swung to the south west it was still not blowing the rain inside as it remained light. When it swung to the east and picked up in strength enough to make waves lap noisily on the bank the rain was driving through the bivvy door. I had to drop it half way down to keep myself dry. I thought about repositioning the bivvy during a break in the rain, but knowing my luck that would have caused the wind to change direction again. Again the forecast proved right and the rain eventually blew over completely. It was still very warm. I only put the bunny suit on around three so I could lie on top of the bedchair cover ready for action. But by then I was knackered. every time I dozed off I'd get a run. When the alarms fell silent I suspected the baits had both been pinched, I left them alone and shut my eyes to try and get some sleep.

Daylight is creeping slowly now, around five the sky lightens. That was time for me to bring the  (baitless) eel rigs in and put out three tench/bream/carp baits. More for something to do instead of pack up and go home. As the need for a headtorch passed I spotted some fish bubbling and chucked one rig over to them. Again more in hope than expectation. The bunny suit was soon removed. By eight thirty the sweatshirt had come off too. It was one of the hottest mornings I've woken up to this summer by water.

A short wander found a group of fish bubbling merrily in a small area in the margins. I wound all the rods in and took the plastic corn baited one and a landing net to have a try for them. My success rate at this sort of fishing is nil. But it would pass an hour. What the fish were I have no idea. I think a couple of tench slapped their tails in the vicinity. Some of the bubbles looked tenchy too. I'll never know because I didn't get a take. I did get a close view of a buzzard and a kestrel. Both on the hunt. A late chiffchaff was chiffing and chaffing, eventually revealing itself in a willow. By the time the hour had stretched by fifty percent it was going to be a sweaty walk back to the car.So it proved. Not surprising as the thermometer was now reading 21.5.

If it hadn't been such a wet night, and I hadn't got so knackered, I'm sure I'd have fished a bit better, had more runs and probably landed a few more eels. I'd have done more recasting and rebaited when the baits had got mangled instead of chucking them back out again. At least I caught though. Which makes a change!

If there are enough baits in the freezer I'll get another eel session or two in over the next couple of weeks. What'll come after that is anybody's guess, because I have no ideas what to do between eel-time and pike-time in November beyond trying for roach if it's not too weedy.