Monday, March 30, 2015

Avoiding a duck.

On Tuesday I headed to the Forth & Clyde Canal to target pike and perch on soft plastics. Things were tough to say the least and despite trying four different stretches I did not encounter any fish. When I got home I had a text from my mate Keith, whom I haven't seen for quite some time, asking me if I was free the following day so we could meet up and wet a line. I told him about my towpath blank, that I was indeed free but that I was unsure where we should go fishing. In the end we decided to spend the day at Orchill Coarse Fishery.

Driving up the M9 the next morning we soon arrived and set up a couple of rods each on Alex's Pond. Keith went with a ledgered worm on one and maggots under a small waggler on the other. I opted to fish a single maggot on the bottom under a waggler and double sweetcorn fished with a method feeder. Things were very slow and it took a while before the first fish was landed.

I was in the middle of loading my method feeder when my float rod started shaking in its holder. I'd not seen the float go under so I was lucky that this chub had hooked itself. 

After that things remained painfully slow for a while. The conversation centred around matters fishy for a bit, then we discussed last year's Scottish independence referendum result and Keith brought to my attention a conspiracy theory regarding postal voting statistical anomalies and potential illegal activities that might have caused them. All very interesting but I subscribe to the view that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Anyway, Keith and I both voted differently last September and we still get along fine.

The fish were clearly not in the mood. Keith gets comfortable and his fairly minimalist approach to fishing means he doesn't need an expensive seat box to do so.

The next thing hooked was a mallard that quickly scooted over the surface of the pond and grabbed my maggot when I cast in my waggler. Chaos then ensued as I attempt to "land it" as it tried its best to fly off. Having hooked a few birds in the past an successfully done so, unhooked and released them unharmed I was confident I could do so again and managed to get it out of the air and back in the pond. I slowly reeled it in and Keith was just about to net it when it took off again snapping my hook off in the process. Needless to say the punked up duck with its new #18 piercing and its mates were all a little bit more reluctant to go crashing about in our swims trying to steal our maggots after that.

Back to catching things that have fins instead of wings and shortly afterwards I got caught out again by another fish, baiting a maggot on one hook whilst it was busy on the bottom eating the sweetcorn on my other. Keith soon pointed this out to me, I quickly dropped my waggler rod, grabbed my feeder rod and my second fish of the day was soon being played out.

I was busy baiting the hook on my float rig when my feeder rod tip was pulled around. A short scrap later and this lovely bronze common carp was on the bank.

After this the action dried up again for quite some time. Another angler who was fishing a few pegs to our left wasn't having much luck either although he eventually caught a couple of carp. Keith, now getting a bit frustrated at not getting any bites, decided to head to the far end of the pond and soon reported that he was getting some interest so I headed round to join him. He wasn't having much joy converting the bites into hooked fish though and much to his annoyance a small F1 carp was soon pulling my feeder rod tip right over as it got hooked and charged off.

Keith found the fish but couldn't connect. I caught one of the culprits, a feisty little hybrid.

Much to his relief though, Keith then caught his first fish of the day, a chub, after switching to a method feeder. This was soon was followed by an F1 carp but only after it pulled his rod in. We just managed to grab it as it slowly got pulled out of the margin and out of sight. It was a close call but having successfully averted disaster we both laughed about it and agreed that had his rod gone all the way in then the fish would have been much bigger and would have probably grown in size the more he retold the story.

As well as angling in his spare time Keith is also keen on cricket so he was gald to catch a couple of fish and unlike me, successfully avoid a duck.

I then switched from a flat bed feeder to an in-line bait ball style feeder and this soon paid off when again a fish did its best to try and pull my rod out of the rest and into the pond.

What carp could resist a big tasty ball of groundbait, a few free offerings and most importantly, my hair rigged double sweetcorn hook bait?
Not this one, another common carp in fine condition. It ended up being the last fish of the session and was also the largest so I took my time playing it before Keith netted it for me.

So, typical of the time of year it was another slow but enjoyable session. I may have only caught four fish but I was glad as it was four more than my session the day before had produced. It was good to catch up with Keith again and I really enjoy our chats too, whether they be about fishing or exciting topics like politics and alleged electoral fraud on a national scale involving shady governmental agencies. Unfortunately Keith's job means he works a lot over the summer but I hope we can meet up and fish together more often than we did last year. The weather will soon be warming up a bit more and the coarse fishing should start to improve with it. Hopefully I won't be scoring any more ducks when I next visit a fishery or the canal, or catching them either for that matter.

Tight lines, Scott.

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