The lead up to the festive period and the few days holiday that follow to some mean more time on the bank, for some it’s a ritual, however for myself I find it difficult to get out, usually due to getting as many things completed before the turn of the New Year. This year it’s been the same and with the weather being so wet I don’t think that I have missed much, saying that the one short session that I did fit in produced two very big fish.
I met up with an old friend that I used to work with when I was an engineer at the Sandown Show and we had agreed that we would get out after Christmas. Mickey fancied Old Bury Hill and with the weather being so mild it seemed the perfect venue to catch up along with having the chance of banking a fish or two. I arrived later than Mickey who had set up in one of my favourite swims along the ‘long-bank’. The wet start to the day had past and knowing that Mickey had received the odd indication felt we had a chance of a daylight zander, especially as the water resembled a cup of chocolate. The brisk westerly also provided some much needed cover. Making up the standard new rigs on the bank I cast out a couple of sardine sections and we sat back chatting. It was Mickey who received the first proper bite but unfortunately this was missed. Mickey was using carp bobbins on short drops, not ideal especially if you’re chatting and away from the rods catching up. The missed run was blamed on me which I took on the chin so to speak. My rods remained silent, yet Mickey was getting the odd lift and fall of the indicator so changed to a couple of my home made light bobbins, yet after this the indications ceased. My rods for a very brief spell came alive though, first by a couple of small zeds and a missed run before I connected with a heavier fish that did very little head shaking. I even said I thought it might be a carp but then a good zed hit surface and Mickey slipped the net under her. Fat as a pig and in great condition, apart from the pale appearance due to the murky water she spun the dial past the 10lb mark, finally settling at 10lb 5oz. Mickey couldn’t stay and left around 5pm and could have even got to his car when another run saw another double being landed, this time she went 10lb 6oz. I fished on for an hour but my confidence had disappeared as a broken isotope had left a horrid smell on my hands and even avoiding touching the bait I still felt that this could be detected by the fish, so left slightly earlier than I had planned.
Happy New Year and lets hope that 2013 is more productive than 2012!
Top Tip and lessons learnt.
At this time of year feeding spells can be very short. I remember talking to Adrian Smith on the banks of Willow Pool in Oxfordshire a few years ago. He mentioned that he could set his watch to when the roach fed and when they did it would last just a few minutes. He had built a picture of the venue from spending hundreds of hours on the venue and had to have complete faith and confidence in his rigs, bait application and placement of these. So my top tip here is, find out when the fish are feeding and fish at these times. Even though I’m allowed to stay on at Old Bury Hill, not one angler was still fishing come the 4.15pm closing time. In fact everyone had left at least half an hour before this and two of my four zeds came before the kicking of time.
The lesson learnt during this trip was to be careful breaking an isotope. Anyone that knows me will know that I don’t even fill my car up with diesel on route to a days fishing for fear of tainting my hands. Its been written about that fish have a million times better smell than a human, how accurate this is lm not sure, but if I can smell diesel then you can bet a fish can. The liquid from the broken isotope was as bad as diesel, if not worse, so once this was on my hands it was time to head for home and the next time l break one l will be wearing gloves.