Saturday, 25 May 2013

Busy times - blog update

Well it's been a while since I managed to put finger to keyboard, it has been hectic to say the least and as anyone who writes knows it is much easier when you maintain some kind of rythym, getting started again can be very difficult.

 In an average year my work gradually starts to pick up at the end of February. This being a far from average year with the cold weather hanging around for so long meant that it was well into April before garden work really got underway and of course when that happened it was all systems go at once. To sum it up it about killed me, I had lost my fitness big time during the extended winter and my back injury started to show itself proper when put under some proper physical exertion, not good news at all.

March saw me start my level one angling coach course which came to a conclusion a couple of weeks ago. The plan is to try and encourage more youngsters to get involved with Loughborough Soar Angling Society after all they are the future of the sport and I do enjoy teaching, I think that goes back to my old mate Guffa who always took the time to pass on his knowledge.

I've also spent quite a bit of time on the river since the season ended. The close season always means that works need to be done to keep the banks serviceable which I'm sure isn't appreciated by the casual observer though when they are wading through beds of waist high nettles I'm sure that they would moan! As a club our manpower resources are limited, some give a lot of time and others little but it is all voluntary and any help is appreciated however it is probably fair to say that we tread a fine line between coping or not. As usual the secret is to keep on top of things with a bit of regular work, let it get out of hand and it becomes a big effort. As it stands at the moment another half day or so of strimming will see the river in trim and ready for the start of the season, the actual swims themselves will be cut as late as possible for the reason I'll talk about next.

The close season. Close season for the majority yet open season for a minority, that's how I now see it. It's becoming increasingly apparent that when the rivers close another set of anglers suddenly appear and start fishing them which you can only assume is due to a lack of policing. The signs have been there regularly, fires on the banks, food and drink rubbish, tackle packets, and worn tracks into swims, that's why I won't cut the grass just yet. I've walked the banks as often as possible but have yet to catch them at it however two English lads were kicked off last week, don't assume that Eastern European's are all to blame. All that we can do is keep bailiffing as much as we can, I've just arranged to get some signs up specifically relating to the close season so hopefully they will help. My opinion on the close season, I like it because it enforces a change on me, the anticipation is great and for that reason I've always said keep it as is. In more practical terms I don't think for one minute that it is required for the reason for which it is intended and worse still I now believe that it could actually act in a damaging way to fish stocks by allowing unhindered access to predators of several species including man. If the decision lay solely in my hands then I think it would have to be abolished.

A couple of months back I got a call from a mate asking if I might be interested in getting involved in a gravel pit that he had secured the lease on, basically a twelve man equal split with the lease initially being for ten years. I had my doubts, all of the other lads are carp anglers and that doesn't really float my boat much nowadays but I said that I would have a walk around. To cut a long story short it sold itself to me, it's just my kind of water with lots of nooks and crannys, two long thin islands dividing the lake into sections and in general ours to do as we wish with. Stock wise all I have to go on is historic rumours of big roach and good tench but only by fishing it will I know for sure. For a start though there was, and still is, plenty of work to be done and the three sessions that I have had with rods in tow have all turned into work sessions to some extent with the fishing being secondary. The fact is I really enjoy swim building and the like and I'm certainly not complaining but it is another drain on fishing time without a doubt. So far the limited rod time that I have put in with tench in mind has resulted in one bite from an unexpected small carp, the carp stock is also largely unknown and as it has previously been as one with the river on a reasonably regular basis anything could have found its way in. Tench wise I may have possibly seen one show, that tenuous whisker is all I have to hang on to so far.

It's a tad overgrown

Lots of nooks and crannies

And after
That aint a tench but you can't say it isn't pretty

My other tench water is the complete opposite in that we know full well what it contains, plenty of tench! So far my sessions have been less than exciting, I've scratched around for one or two fish along with a few complete blanks and not really got in to the swing of things at all. The lousy weather certainly hasn't helped matters and in general the fish have remained grouped up so it has been common for one angler to get a decent hit while all around struggle.

Typically cold and miserable
Even the ducks have had runny noses

Last week I sat through a long day of zilch while Bryan next to me banged out fish after fish, ending up for twenty odd bites. When he finally cleared off and ended my suffering I couldn't resist a cast into the area and caught straight away which at least shakes off the old rig confidence thing. The best fish I've landed so far both came in a short spell a few weeks ago but weight wise you'll have to guess with me as someone forgot to pack his scales. I make the biggest to be a mid seven pounder and the other upper sixes. To give you a clue the bloke next to me lent me his digitals to weigh the biggest and it went 4lb 11oz!!! Apparently the scales were a tad iffy, you aint kidding mate!

Best so far

What has changed at that water is that the chainsaws have been at work, big time. What used to be a secluded patch of woodland with three swims tucked away has now become a barren patch of dirt, I now call it The Somme. I hate it, to be honest it has spoiled the place for me and wether or not I decide to renew my ticket next year remains to be seen.

The Somme

The devastation didn't put one visitor off though. Bryan spotted an unusual looking bird of the feathered variety and after a search on teh phone we had it down as a black tern. An hour or two later someone with a lot more bird knowledge than us walked around and nearly wet himself when he spotted what we'd been looking at. Apparently it was a white winged black tern and countrywide only a dozen or so sightings are made each year. Apologies for the picture quality, they were taken at 840mm of zoom and have been cropped further.

Give us a tern

So that is more or less where I am at the minute, I'm just about getting a grip on work though where my back problem will end up I don't know at the minute, I thought it was a brief hiccup but at six months now it is still causing me grief which is a bit worrying but I'm just thankful that it isn't severe. All I want now, along with the rest of the country, is some decent weather. It looks like the tench spawning will be very late this year which doesn't bother me too much. I expect that quite a few anglers will have moved on to the rivers while the tench are still putting weight on so the banks should be quieter which will be nice. Mind you, with a daytime temperature of 8 degrees as I type this on the 24th of May it could be Xmas before the tench spawn!


  1. Looks an interesting project - hope it gives good results in the coming seasons.

    1. Very interesting Phil, a gamble but well worth a punt

  2. Amongst all the pics of the big fish and nights bivvyed out its good to know that you are putting just as much back into the fishing than you are taking out, both with the Club and juniors and the syndicates. Theyre lucky to have you pal.

    1. Oh I don't know about that mate. Work wise I really enjoy it, I'm strange like that you know! As for the tuition thing I guess I just see it as a natural thing do do and again it's something I enjoy.

  3. Great read Rob, keep up the good work mate and have a grat season fella.

  4. Well done Rob. Its always good to read positive stuff like this. I hope you have a great season.