It’s midweek and me and Ady know that this weekend we need to get out and fish, as for the next couple we might be struggling due to other commitments. We’d had some real hard graft the weeks previous and so a nice day afloat on Adys boat would be nice. A few fish, more laughs and if anything else pops up it’s a bonus. Well it bloody chucked it down midweek and the river shot up, colour of mud and there’s not a chance in hell we will be fishing it.
Struggling to think of anywhere to go we opt for a canal we know about. Some of the canals we fish get a nice flush through when the rivers flood which makes them as dirty as the rivers themselves but a little further afield we know a few that don’t suffer it so much and if they do they tend to get it later anyway. As we pull up and start to get the gear out there’s a couple of cars and a van that pass us and they all looked suspiciously like anglers. As we start at the first peg on the canal we can see someone in the distance, he looks to be pike fishing. We cover a good strecth of canal and have one hit from a small pike. We bump in to another piker, rods everywhere and before we can discuss what to do next a car pulls up and three more pikers get out. I think that just made our minds up.
Chatting to an old bloke on another stretch and there’s at least two matches on. That’s ruled out our next plan then. We have a half hearted chuck on a bit of canal we never catch on and yep, we manage to not catch on this bit too. A new bit of canal and we have one follow each, both from small pike and apart from that, nothing. Hours have passed now and we’ve not had a fish, this is going bad very quickly.
We find ourselves back in the car, aimlessly driving somewhere random while running through all the spots we know and one by one knocking them off the list. Eventually we end up at a spot just on the off chance that no one is there already. Just when we think we have a bit of luck because it’s empty, the heavens open up and there’s an almighty down pour.
We’re both pretty much gone by this point. Drained of any energy and willingness to keep going, there’s certainly no way we’re getting out of the car while the rain keeps bouncing off the bonnet. You have to laugh sometimes and we both did, but deep down we are both gutted as a blank now and we know we might not be out for a few weeks and that means it hurts even longer.
Finally, we get a break and while I wouldn’t say the sun came out, at least the rain dried up. Let’s just give it an hour here and see what happens. So we’re back out, may be even with a little spring in our step. A fish some time soon and that spring could get springier but if we don’t get anything soon I imagine we’ll be back in that car as soon as we feel the next rain drop.
Two casts and Ady is in, great start. As he fights to gain control of the fish I have the net up and ready to scoop. Bang, fish in the net and we’re off the mark finally. How quick can moods change? A really nice low double, unhooked and picture taken in no time and we’re back chucking around.
When the going is tough a change of tactic sometimes does the trick. You fish a bit of water that you’ve thrashed to foam and then one lure goes and pulls out all the fish. I’ve done it plenty of times, but on the other hand, we’ve also done it plenty of times using just one lure. One trusty lure that catches the fish over and over again. That’s the tactic we were opting for today, no faffing around switching and changing lures, losing confidence in one and thinking another will do the magic. Nope, just one tried and tested lure, five or six chucks in a spot and move. Leap frogging each other as we go with the thinking that if a pike is there, it will react. When we get that reaction it’s either one loan fish or if we are lucky, it’s stacked with pike.
So when I get that first tug on the rod I’m one happy angler. New lure curse is gone and I have the confidence that I have a fish catching machine again. It’s a Squirrelly Burt, they are all fish catchers, you just need to get to know it and form that lure angler bond between you and your lure. That confidence that it works so that when you are up against it, and every single thing in the whole world seems to be conspiring against you, deep down you know that what you are doing is right. You know that your lure catches fish and you just need to find them. That nagging that is there is just a distraction, something else to make the fishing difficult when it need not be.