Friday, 10 February 2012

Compulsory snow blog.

I had to stick a quick blog up. What kind of blogger or fisherman would I be if I didn't get out and show a few snaps of me in the snow, not catching. Sometimes it's just good to get out after a week at work. Admittedly it wasn't for long but it at least gives me a fishing fix and might calm my urge to sit out in it all day over the weekend. I've got the rugby to go to Sunday so that only leaves Saturday and I'm not so sure the missus and kids will grant me permission. I must have only got just over an hour on the bank. My original plan was to nip home and get my gear then be back on the bank for not long after 3pm. My gear is usually already in the car but I'd sensibly swapped it for a shovel and some grit. Once home I was to wait for the missus and kids getting home from school and be out of the door as they came in after a quick hello. That plan backfired when they all arrived forty minutes later than usual having had to go see the headteacher after one teacher had told my lad not to "P-i-s-s" her off. We all believe our kids are innocent and never do anything wrong but seriously, my two are angels, plus he's only ten. Anyway, my lad has shrugged it off and not let it upset him, so now hopefully the head teacher will deal with it sufficiently. I won't hold my breath.

Four play and fox footprints
I finally got on the bank just after 4pm. I wasn't the first to get to this swim since the snow first fell a week ago. Footprints down the bank, right up to the waters edge and right along the bank, back and forth, someone had been busy. But this is private property and no one should be here. I'd seen the culprit before while working night shifts. The fox would follow the bank side presumably looking for rats or any birds that may be hiding up and he'd been doing the same recently. Late on last year I'd been fishing before work and had caught a few. The net was wet and stinky and we all know what a hot car smells like if you leave your soggy, fishy net in overnight. So I'd left it out back of work to dry out and then around midnight me and my workmate decided to cool off outside with a pot of tea. Sat talking away when he spots something and gives me a nudge. A young fox had smelt my fishy net and worked it's way around the back of the building following the scent. I whispered to Gaz to stay still and the fox got to within ten feet of us. We were sat on a concrete step hardly hiding, but the fox didn't spot us. As he got close he couldn't quite figure out what we were and the smell of that fish was overpowering him, tempting him closer and closer. After a good few minutes he bottled it and left. Maybe these footprints were from that young fox all grown up?

I tried a few lures, figuring if I had any chance at all it was to work the lure slow. I tried the shallows and the deeper water but didn't get much action. You often get a fish pretty quick if you are going to catch one at all, but sometimes persevering can get you something. I kept at it and then I felt a knock, struck and missed. I cursed my luck but cast back at the same spot. As I retrieved it got to the same spot and again I felt a knock. This time I hooked into something but it wasn't a fish. The recent floods had washed all manner of new snags and what I thought was a fish having a go was just a thin branch which this time I managed to drag in. Oh well.

I didn't expect to catch. It's been pretty quiet as the colder weather has been here and I've struggled to get out and when I have struggled to catch. Even harder today was keeping the rod and reel free of ice. The braid brings in the water and the rings start to freeze up. I was messing around taking a few photos and then went to cast and two of my rings had completely frozen solid. A bit of wind was getting up and the cold was starting to get through to me. I decided to give it a little while longer and then get home before my fingers fell off. Annoyingly I managed to snag something quite substantial and lost the lure on the left. I've got a good idea where the snag is so my next trip will see me taking a length of rope and a grappling hook. I hate losing lures and often get them back somehow. It's not just the price of a lure, as is the case with this one I don't like losing a lure that catches the fish. In fact I often come home from a session with more lures than I went with, so coming back a lure down hits deep. Luckily today two lures popped up in the post and I have another half dozen coming next week. Damn that lure addiction. I've managed to grow up never giving in to peer group pressure and not smoking or taking drugs and after having a few years on the beer as a young man I now don't touch the stuff either. The lure addiction though is something else!

I'm looking forward to a warmer spell anyway in the hope that will trigger a feeding frenzy. Unfortunately a warm spell will also lead to this river flooding when all the snow melts. The high water also hasn't been kind to my fishing success this year so the chances of me catching a pike any time soon are slim. No doubt I'll still keep trying though.

2012 pike tally
Total 4
Largest 12lb

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