Monday, 26 August 2013

How it all started

My old man, a barbel and me aged four
Inspired by a thread on the LAS forum I went to my mums and dug out some old photos. There was all sorts to sift through but I knew there were at least a few that had me and a fish or two. When I was a kid I used to do a bit of all sorts and I wasn't just a lure man back then. My earliest memories are fishing with the nets for minnows on the river Ure and then making the step up to a granddad made stick with some mono tied straight to the end, a size twenty two hook and a maggot which would usually bag me a stack of fish before I had to change it to a fresh one. I can just about recall catching stuff on a proper rod when I was not much older than a nipper and though I can't recall my first "proper" fish I know it was probably one from trout, dace and chub from the river. I used to go all over with my dad and my granddad fishing, most of the time I would just be there to get out rather than be bored at home. It looks as though this is the oldest photo of me and fishing, and it's from about 1980/81 when I was around four years old. Again it's on the Ure and I'm with my old man for a nice barbel photo.Yes, I look stunning I know.

A nice brown trout, if you can make it out, and
my granddad in the background watching on.
I seem to remember most of my early fishing memories come from the Ure. My grandma and granddad had a caravan there an so we were up whenever we could. Back then plenty of what we caught went in the pot and that was another great part of fishing for me. Catching something that was big enough to eat for my tea when I got back to the caravan. When I was too big to fit in the red wellies I was fishing all by myself, either trotting some maggots under a stick float or on my little feeder rod waiting for the tip to whack round. We also spent a bit of time night fishing for eels, again they went in the pot. After scouring the local cricket fields late at night for lob worms, they were the best bait ever for catching big eels I recall. I can vaguely remember catching something like four three pound and three four pound eels in one session, not bad for a young lad.

me at about the age of eight with a nice eel
A nice brownie and me at about nine?
Grayling for tea, I'm probably about eleven in this photo
Stalking chub
When I got to around eleven I would spend my summer holidays at the caravan. I would spend the early morning out with the air rifle, often getting a rabbit for the dinner and a pocket full of potatoes from the farmers field to go with it. The daytime was chill out time which usually meant I went off on a little adventure on my own. Armed with a pocket knife I would just go off wherever I fancied. One particular day I was down at the river watching the wildlife, sat in full combat gear when I heard a bit of a commotion. On the opposite bank a troop of young squaddies were on some kind of exercise and were making camp at the river side. I sat watching them from afar, mostly blending in to my surroundings but eventually I was spotted by an SAS wannabe. This particular lad crawled across the shallow river, crashed through the bushes and the proceeded to take me prisoner. I had to explain to him I wasn't anything to do with his game of soldiers to which he then had to go back to his troop, pissed wet through and everyone laughing at him. Many of my adventures involved fish spotting and by now I'd got a taste for chub fishing, though I didn't eat them this time. I was always nicking the crust from the loaf, chunks of cheese from the fridge or collecting big black slugs. The last few hours of the evenings would see me stalking for chub with just a simple 5lb straight through, small  sliding chubber float and my bait. Often it was first chuck or nothing and so sneaking up to a likely looking bush or overhang without being spotted was the key. The thrill of the take and then a crazy battle had my nerves jangling and that was a thrill I enjoyed. I found loads of chub photos at my mums, but every one was a fish just laid on the bank with nothing to show it's size. Four pounders were a plenty, fives were a bit harder to find but if memory serves me well a five and a half pound chub was my biggest catch. It's a shame none had me on the photo too, I guess I hadn't mastered self takes on the old wind on camera. The chub photo below is one from the Swale on a session with my dad, though not stalking, it was a session on the feeder. I also seem to remember this session was a particularly long one which started very early and went on through the next night where I slept in a tree while the fishing was slow.

One of a few chub photos and me a young teen
If I wasn't at the caravan I had to find somewhere closer to home to fish. Often me and my dad would be off somewhere but if we didn't have plans it meant I was pike fishing on my own. Most of my lure fishing was shallow weedy ponds and often my only technique to avoid the weed was a surface popper which meant for great takes. Most pike were small, often three or four pounds though it wasn't size I was going for, it was the thrill of the take. Though It was this very same technique which back then caught me my still pb fish of 27lb which came up and took a small popper late one evening. Shame I've got no photo of this fish though. I do have one photo of a decent fish and that's a nice seventeen pounder I caught while out with my dad.

A seventeen pounder and a fourteen year old lad.

I think the way I like to fish now is fuelled by my obsession with pike lure fishing and chub stalking as a kid. Sitting around in one spot wasn't for me and that's why now I'm always on the move chucking lures. I've done a bit of this and a bit of that and sampled many fish, but out of it all I now only have the urge to go lure fishing.

No comments:

Post a Comment