New Year Reward

New years eve, day off work tomorrow and I’ve not been on the drink. Perfect chance to get out in the morning and go fishing and enjoy a bit of free time for once. Everyone else was partying or letting off fireworks. Why set them off at ten to midnight? Do you not get the point? A whole year to prepare and you still cock it up. I’m sat scratching my head all night as to where I can go fish. Storm Frank has caused so much mess, the rivers are in the fields for a start. Still scratching my head it’s ten past midnight and I’m in bed, but I didn’t bother setting the alarm, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. An hour later I’m still listening to the idiots letting off fireworks and stumbling down the street making as much noise as possible, the twats, I really need to go to sleep so I can be up in the morning. But I didn’t bother setting the alarm, I’m a twat.

At some time after 7am I woke up briefly, just enough to notice it still wasn’t light yet, but i rolled over like a lazy dog. I could have and should have got up there and then and gone fishing, anywhere would do. The next thing I know about an hour later some weird noise wakes me up. It’s my mobile phone vibrating. Left on silent so as to not be woken up by a bunch of “happy new year” messages or pings from Facebook alerts and the rest. In my still sleepy state, blurry eyed, I manage to cut off the person ringing me. I saw who it was, it was Neil and I already know why he’s ringing me at this time. Something tells me he’s out fishing and he’s caught a big fish.


New years eve, day off work tomorrow and I’ve not been on the drink. Perfect chance to get out in the morning and go fishing and enjoy a bit of free time for once. Everyone else was partying or letting off fireworks. Why set them off at ten to midnight? Do you not get the point? A whole year to prepare and you still cock it up. I’m sat scratching my head all night as to where I can go fish. Storm Frank has caused so much mess, the rivers are in the fields for a start. Still scratching my head it’s ten past midnight and i’m in bed, but I didn’t bother setting the alarm, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. An hour later I’m still listening to the idiots letting off fireworks and stumbling down the street making as much noise as possible, the twats, I really need to go to sleep so I can be up in the morning. But I didn’t bother setting the alarm, I’m a twat.

At some time after 7am I woke up briefly, just enough to notice it still wasn’t light yet, but i rolled over like a lazy dog. I could have and should have got up there and then and gone fishing, anywhere would do. The next thing I know about an hour later some weird noise wakes me up. It’s my mobile phone vibrating. Left on silent so as to not be woken up by a bunch of “happy new year” messages or pings from Facebook alerts and the rest. In my still sleepy state, blurry eyed, I manage to cut off the person ringing me. I saw who it was, it was Neil and I already know why he’s ringing me at this time. Something tells me he’s out fishing and he’s caught a big fish.


So I jump in the car and the bloody thing won’t start. The recent mild weather has led me to forget about a winter service and typical, it’s a proper frosty morning. There’s a proper crust on the windscreen and I lower the window to reach my arm round and spray some de-icer onto the windscreen. Finally the car starts, but not after waking up half the street in the process. After about four long chugging, noisey attempts it sparked up. Anyway, stuff em, they didn’t think of me and my fishing plans when they were enjoying themselves last night. Still windscreen half steamed up I’m weaving my way in and out of the cars in the street and hoping that heater starts to warm up soon. I’m in my trainers, no socks, my lounging joggers and my hoody and it’s bloody cold. Out of the street and on to the main roads it’s a pretty clear run but as I get on to some country roads I’m cautious of the icey surface and my caution is proved right when I pass a car abandoned in a ditch. Not too bad, no smashed up car or anything it had just run off the road and in to thick mud where they had just left it. As I pulled up my car not too far from where I know Neil is, I grab my camera and set off on a 400m dash. I remember when I could do this in a decent time. Like shit off a shovel when I was a kid I tell ya. Not now though, not while half asleep and running on mud and ice in a pair of trainers similar to a pair of slippers.


“Happy New year pal” I said as i shook his hand and was greeted with a massive beaming smile. Neil had already had a go at a couple of self takes but it’s not always the easiest thing to do. Especially when you are not really expecting to catch such a fish. I know you should always think you have a chance and be prepared but we don’t live in a dream world and big fish don’t come too often. For Neil fish of any size haven’t come that often at all because he’s suffered far worse than I have in recent times. Problems at work, shift changes and the rest have meant his time on the bank in 2015 have been very limited. He wasn’t really organised for today’s result because even this session wasn’t planned. Neil was supposed to be working new years day but a last minute early morning call from work and he had the day off for once. Neil was already awake and he seized the chance. He didn’t roll over like I had done. He didn’t come up with a list of excuses like hurricanes, high water and the rest he just went fishing. Excuses are there if we want to find them but deep down you know that it’s you who has to make that little bit extra effort. Don’t make an excuse not to go fishing, make it happen. I know as I sat waiting for that mist to clear on my windscreen as I sat in a cold car on my drive, I smiled to myself and said “that’s what you get when you put in that extra bit of effort to make it happen.”


dscn46082_d1000


There it is. An absolutley awesome fish. After a quick re-weigh with us both double checking the net and Neil no longer panicking and shaking we could confirm a new pb for Neil at 25lb 8oz. So glad I could get there to witness it and help get at least one photo to look back on and smile at. Releasing the big girl back in to the depths was a great moment and after that Neil packed up and we drove back to mine for a pot of tea and a chat. A great start for Neil to the new year and inspiration for him to make a bit more effort to find some time in between work and family and find a bit of time to get out and enjoy what we love doing. For me, it’s a huge reminder and kick up the arse I obviously needed to go out and make something happen. I know I say it to others, but obviously I don’t always take on my own advice. 2016 will be a year where I won’t be rolling over and grabbing another hours sleep.

I wonder if I can still get out this afternoon?


25lb-8oz_d800

Leave a Reply