Thursday, 21 July 2011

Boring, Boring, Boring.

I think I remember now why it was that I packed in fishing for specimen bream long ago - IT'S BORING! My biggest bream weighed 15lbs 2oz and was caught 26 years ago from Queenford Lagoon in Oxfordshire. I fished 74 nights at Queenford for just two fish and at the end of it all I would have been happy if I'd never seen a bream again.

The syndicate lake is, if anything, even harder than Queenford. It's more than twice as big and the stock of bream it holds is tiny. The only advantage is that no-one seems to be fishing the lake midweek when I'm there so I have my pick of the swims. That's a double-edged sword though and I'm finding myself getting more and more fed up having no-one to talk to for days on end.

Two trips in the last two weeks, one for three nights and one for two. The first trip produced nothing but I did come close to catching something. I had a steady run at 5.30 in the morning but when I lifted into it all was solid. Whatever it was it had run straight into thick weed and it was well snagged. Not wanting to tear the hook out of the fish I just maintained a steady pressure for several minutes but after a little while there was a click and the rod sprung back. On retrieval I discovered that the hook had opened out, allowing the fish to go free. On reflection I decided that it was probably not a bream that I had hooked, more likely a tench or even a carp, the run was far too positive to be a lethargic old bream.
All in all it was a boring trip, made a little more entertaining by the visitors I had whilst I was there. Two mallard ducks seem to be keen to make friends, too keen as it happens. The moment my back is turned they are in the boat or in the bivvy looking for something to eat and if they aren't doing that they're swimming across my lines or pecking at insects on the bobbins giving me false bites. This became infuriating after a while and I was ready to strangle the damn things. Eventually I cracked and grabbed hold of one of them as it rummaged through my food bag inside the bivvy. I imprisoned it in the landing net for several hours giving it water and pellets to eat. I expected this period of imprisonment would scare it off but no, ten minutes after I released it it was back in the bivvy again!

I had a visit from a bat too. There was obviously something wrong with this creature as it spent its time crawling around on a log neaby and made no attempt to fly. I took a few pictures and looking at them afterwards I realised it was alive with blood-sucking mites. I think it was a Serotine bat but then my bat identification skills may need some work.

Next trip I got close to a fish again when I had an early morning run that stopped after a few seconds. I've uprated my hooks and hooklengths after the lost fish but obviously I've not quite got it right yet as it managed to shake the hook out. I did get a fish on the bank the next morning though in the shape of a 6lb 6oz tench. It was a rough looking thing just like the last one - the tench don't seem to do so well here.

Only one of the ducks put in an appearance this time, perhaps the other one chose to get too friendly with a fox or an otter!

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