Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Fun in the Fog

Woe is me, I'm down with the flu. What's worse is that I'm ill at a time when I've got a fortnight's break from work so all my fishing plans have gone out of the window.

Last time out was at Blithfield for the second of our four visits this season. It was a bitterly cold weekend and to be honest I didn't much fancy the thought of casting all day in freezing weather. casting with braid and a multiplier tends to throw up a lot of spray which, naturally enough, covers your fingers making them very cold very quickly. In the event it wasn't as bad as I had feared. It was cold right enough but the absence of any wind meant that there was no wind chill factor and we were able to keep on casting.

It was completely obvious where the fish were going to be, we knew it and so did everybody else so it was going to be a scramble to get to the hot area first. Joe and I loaded the boat up carefully so as to get maximum speed - most of the weight being up at the bow end and we waited expectantly for the "off". When it came, we were away from the landing stage before you could say "jerkbait" and found ourselves ahead of the pack by a good way. All except for one boat that is. A certain Mr Fickling somehow had permission to launch a little further along the bank, stealing a hundred yards or so on the rest of us and he and his boat partner were ahead of us. We gained on them fairly quickly (because of the way we had loaded up) but in the end it didn't matter. It seemed they were the only boat not headed for the hot area.

It was foggy, very foggy and I know how easy it is to get lost in the fog in a boat. The only way to keep your bearings is to keep the bank within view but if I had kept the bank within view I would have to go the long way round and risk losing our hard won advantage. I hatched a plot. I realised that other boats were keeping the bank within view so I decided to rely on them and keep them in view instead. It worked a treat and we made the swim well ahead of the other boats.

We found our spot and anchored up as quickly and as quietly as we could, absolutely certain that we were going to catch - and we did! I clipped on a slider and Joe his trusty Burt which he's done so well on at Blith and after just five casts Joe was into a fish. "Only a jack" he said. "Doesn't look like a jack to me." I told him and I quickly set the net up. We soon had her aboard and sure enough it was yet another Blithfield twenty to Joe - that's five in just seven days fishing! 22lbs exactly.

We should have packed up and gone home there and then for it proved to be a very tough weekend. We scratched around after that for a handful of pike up to 13lbs or so and we each had a rainbow trout, Joe's was on a Shad Rap and mine, at 6lb 7oz on a bright orange slider of all things.

Well that's all for now, hopefully I'll shake this awful virus off before Christmas and try and get out to catch a fish or two.

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