Sunday, 23 September 2018

He's back!

 Fishing again

I thought I would regret shifting 850kg of decorative stone in a couple of hours on Friday afternoon, prior to my attending a charity fishing match on the Saturday.
As it stood, after a long hot soak in the bath I felt pretty good, but tired.
After falling asleep on the settee, I decided that it was bed time....9pm, 3 hours before my normal time.
Hit the sack, and slept up until 1am, I needed a pee, and then fitfully until 5.20am, just before the alarm. My guess is it was anticipation of the day to come that disturbed my sleep.

The match was at the Alders Farm complex, Great Brickhill, near Milton Keynes, and was in aid of the Willen Hospice. It is commemorating my old fishing pal, John Tipple's death from a brain tumour some 15 years ago.
Arriving at the venue at 7.15am just a bit earlier than the rest of the participants. and eagerly awaiting the Full English, the first disapointment was that breakfast would only be an egg and bacon sandwich!
I have to say it was probably the only disapointment,although it was very good, well apart from the fact that it drizzled down with rain from 10:30, the soaking through kind, and I was unprepared, clothing wise, not even a hat!
After all the intoduction we paid  for our day tickets, and our "breakfast in" the on-site shop.
It was there I learned that I needed two keepnets, I had one, close to being thrown out, as I don't use a keep net generally, and the connecter on the top had broken, so not ideal for holding itself open to receive the catch.
So bought a new one for £40, as it turned out, it wasn't my only unforseen expense of the day!
And so to fish, 10 of us all old friends of John.
The walk to the lake was quite a distance, especially for us, well me, not expecting it, down a ridged steep mud slope, and around the back of another lake. It took me a few hits at making the journey arriving at the draw totally knackered after relaying my tackle from a partial drop off point, and stopping to pull up my trousers and to get my breath back.
I learned that I was the eldest, and at close approaching 70, I have to say my much younger fishing companions were not being very charitable to me.
Anyway, we started at 9:45, I had a common carp first bite, comments from adjacent pegs, of  "oy you better not keep that up" the fish was about 5 pound and I bounced it off the old net.
1-0 to the fish.
I'd  made up a few fish after making sure that the new keepnet was for carp, and silvers in the old net, dropped one more on the net ,which was probably 6 lb plus but continued catching , mostly on worm, carp, tiny perch and one bream.
Then disappointment started to get to me, as the drizzle carried on relentlessly, my hands were wet, and knot tying became a problem, and when will they develope a split shot that doesn't come off with every decent fish, or crimps the line badly if it's bitten on tighter. ...Come on Mr Dinsmore!
To cap it all my polorised prescription glasses fell off my legs in to the murky depths of the swim. Before anybody asks "what were they doing on your legs", I can't see to tie hooks with them on, they are for distance!
The unforseen expense hinted at earlier.
So, it was 1:30pm, I'd had enough, and was dreading the uphill walk back, so I packed all my sopping wet gear, and left the nets in the water for the 2:30pm weigh in.
It was even worse going back, and after a few stops to pull my shower sodden  trousers up, and take a breather I made it back to the car...totally knackered.
So after a slow change from my soaked jacket,shirt and plimsolls, back down for the weigh in, in the coat and boots I should have been wearing from the start.

The top weight was close to 178lbs, followed by a 90lb, net.
My result doesn't matter, but I had at least two of the ten weigh in less than me, but we all weighed in.

My raffle tickets were pulled out 3 times, so I have a bottle of Bollinger, and some Latvian cherry brandy, which I may experiment with later.The third, I gave away.
All in all, a good day £300 raised for Willen Hospice, plus some topping up to come from the organiser Paul Scripps employers, Mercedes of Milton Keynes.

I suppose I learned two things about the day, the first be more organised about my tackle, and make my life easier for the unexpected, and the second that my heart must still be pretty good, even if the body isn't after two days of hard graft!
See you next time

Sunday, 24 June 2018

16th June 2018

Fishing again 

After a fairly long lay off from fishing, I decided that to get back into it, another holiday was needed.

We booked a week in the Norfolk Broads at Potter Heigham in a cottage beside the River Thurne.
The cottage was excellent with all the equipment needed for a home from home stay.
We booked through  and stayed in the Haven.
It will sleep 6, at a squeeze, but was very comfortable, and roomy, for the two of us.

I had decided beforehand that I wasn't interested in skimmers, I was determined to try and just catch roach.
Fishing was to bewith no groundbait, just loose feeding with a bucket of hempseed, and casters from my freezer.
No maggots!
I bought half a kilo of dendrobaener from Worms Direct, and for a test, some of their "worm enzyme concentrate"
After the drive of about just over 2 hours we arrived, collected the keys, and paid to park for the week.
Quite conveniently, there was an old boy offering a "river taxi" service down to the cottage for £10, so all our baggage and my tackle was loaded on board and off we trundled, under the bridge and down to the cottage. It was stated that this was no more than 600 yards, I think it was more, judging by our 10 minute daily walk there and back to the village.

As stated, the fishing was literally on our back doorstep.
What I didn't realise was that the Thurne is tidal, and running through, in both directions at a fair lick!
 I decided to fish with my Drennan float rod and my Youngs Heritage, and to use the stret pegging method at rod length.
So, the first few hours after arrival on the bank, were getting the method right, fishing with worm as bait, and droppering hemp and casters doused in the "enzyme" along the run.
I thought I had the method right, as I started to hook into perch, roach and.....skimmers.
Then as it was beginning to get darker...eels! 3 on the trot up to 2lb ish.
Decision made, don't fish with worm in the early evening, so, to the cottage patio for a few drinks before bed.
For the next six days, I fished firstly from the crack of dawn, and later.... a little later, and then back again in the afternoon/evening for a few hours.
Fishing mainly with sweetcorn as bait, fortunately the roach took this bait better than the skimmers, so I carried on using it, with the occasional switch to worm when all went quiet.
My best roach was 22ozs. Roach were by far the most obliging, only one true bronze bream of around two pound, and perch upto a pound on the worm.
I should say, that my 2nd bucket of hemp/caster mix without the "enzyme" didn't bring me the bigger perch, so perhaps it deserves another try?
I  fished with worms again in the early evening, on my last evening. Who is it stating that eels are endangered?
I couldn't stop catching them, one after the other in my 30 yard stretch of river.

All in all, a fine return to my fishing experience.

When not fishing, we were sightseeing, having never been to The Broads before, timing our journeys to coincide with the appearance of a real ale pub for a lunch stop! All pre planned...of course!
Of those we tried, including the Woodfordes Brewery and pub, our best experience was at the , an excellent selection of beer, and very good pub grub.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Still no fishing....

We've moved house, 8th December, just before the snow, we beat it by a day. Unlike our last move to Ludford fifteen years ago.
We are now living in Irthlingborough, near Wellingborough, a ground floor apartment/flat, with two bedroooms, a tandem garage, and a little bit of our own fenced garden.
Back to civilisation.

So, why no fishing ? 
Well, it takes some sorting out moving home, we got that out of the way, and in the meantime Pauline arranged for us to have 28 days in Los Cristianos on Tenerife, she hates our winters.
Off we went 10 days after the booking.
In the meantime,we arranged to have our kitchen totally renewed, including all main appliances, whilst we were away.
28 days of sunshine mostly cloudless days about 22c, plenty of seafood, I've got a bit of colour, and a bit more weight too!
We came back last Saturday, to a new kitchen, it is well up to our expectations.
New bed coming next week, so a bit of shifting to do before Wednesday!

Another mate dies!
My old mate Mick Huckle, a Yorkshireman who I met and played darts with from about 28 years ago, at our local pub in Castlethorpe. 
He is the third of my six, younger than me team mates to die since we left that village 15 years ago.
He and his wife Denise retired, and followed us across to Lincolnshire after his parents died, they took over their bungalow in Withern, about 20 minutes from us.
We took up our darts partnership again, and I started to play golf with him.
Mick was one of the most competitive of people I've known in my life time, he just had to win. 
He also called a spade a spade, probably why we got on so well. 
We challenged each other!
Some of my old readers may recall, Denise died some 8 years ago.
In the last 6 years Mick found another love in his life, Keren, and was due to be married later this year, alas this was not to be.
Anyway Mick died on the 24th January aged 66, and we got notice of his passing while we were away in Tenerife.
His funeral was yesterday, he had no religion, so the ceremony was conducted by a celebrant.
Mick's choice of music started with us following his coffin into "the chapel" to  In the air tonight . After the welcome, we sat in silence  with our memories listening to Knights in white satin.
After a good few laughs, and even some heckling during the eulogy, personal tributes, and reflections on Mick's life from his son, Simon, believe it or not, his next choice of music was Firestarter, yes The Prodigy hit.
It wasn't played at full blast, as it often was in his car though!
This was followed by personal tributes by his oldest friend from Keighley (Mick's hometown) and his fourteen year old grand daughter, Ebonnie.
Then came the committall, and our exit past his coffin to the sounds of  Stairway to heaven.
His sense of humour showed through in his music choice!

Image result for yorkshire rose        Rest in Peace Michael John Huckle: 
          9th June 1951- 24th January 2018

Next ?
Who knows?
I've got myself one ticket for fishing this year, so far, and
I need to get out, and see what chub we have in the local rivers, but only after a chat at the tackle shop.