It's not so long ago that I couldn't think of anything better to do with my time than go fishing. These days I tend to go fishing when I've nothing better to do. Jim Gibbinson called fishing a 'glorious waste of time', and it is. But as you get older, and knees and things don't work like they used to there's a sense of that time running out, and a desire not to waste it. So when I do go fishing I want it to be enjoyable, and productive.
Yesterday a delivery arrived and a collection was made in good time to give me a free afternoon as there was varnish drying and no blanks to work on in the delivery. My options were to risk the knee schlepping round the muddy pike pit, and then clambering up and down the banks as I move swims; take a chance on a carp lake that resulted in eighteen blank rods over teh weekend; or hit the railway pond for a couple of hours. That last option looked best on the grounds of a nice easy bank to make a short walk on, and the best chance of a fish.
I was going to travel light, two of my new rods, two sets of sticks, a landing net, chair and rucksack. Dead easy to get sorted. Except it took me twenty minutes to track down the banksticks. Eventually I found them hiding deep inside in my overnight rod sling. Bait was more easily found in the bait cupboard. One of the advantages of this sort of fishing is that the bait is easy to store. And it lasts a long time. I would have got the roach rods out, but that would have meant almost an hour wasted getting to and from the tackle shop. At least with c*rp you can go any time, just like barbel. Even the feed stores well if you rely on pellets.
Spring is certainly starting to make an effort now. My pond is alive with frogs, and almost a quarter full of spawn. Daffodils are in bloom and alder and hazel catkins are in evidence. When the sun shone and the great tits chinked it felt great to be out. Although the air temperature was in double figures the wind had a lot of east in it. Even so I opted to fish into it, choosing a corner swim where I could fish to the reed edge and take shelter behind some trees and reeds.
Another reason for me forsaking the pike was that I don't get itchy feet when fishing stillwaters for other species. I'm content to sit in my chair and wait for the fish to find me. I don't know why. I even found myself ruing the fact I hadn't taken something to read.
After three quarters of an hour the left hand bobbin jiggled a bit. Something must have been moving over teh handful of freebies I'd scattered around the hookbait. Ten minutes later it did a bit more than jiggle and by the time I grabbed the rod it was hooped round and a carp was crashing about in the reeds.
Most of the old geezers (they're older than me so they must be geezers) lose the carp that take them in the reeds. Why? Because six pound line is fishing too heavy. Fifteen pound mono and my tarty new rod saw the fish in open water in no time, and although it plodded around a bit, like a dog on a long lead it it couldn't get anywhere.
Thankfully it was a little common. If all carp looked like this one I'd probably have spent a lot more time fishing for the blighters over the years. I still can't understand what anyone finds appealing about fat bellied mirrors or leathers. No matter how big they are. If I had my way there'd be a nationwide cull on the horrors.
One lesson learned from thsi session, although re-learned is more accurrate, is that rod bands and I don't get on. How people manage to be mobile strapping their rods, net and sticks together is unfathomable to me. A lightweight rod sling is much more convenient. I feel a purchase coming on, and the sorting out of a small bag of essential gear to enable me to make more of these hit'n'run sessions. Some on waters with bigger fish. And not just carp either.