Thursday, 3 September 2015

One year ago today!

I started this blog, and my interest in fishing, on this day last year - My, that went quickly!

Maybe this is what sold me on fishing. This is the second fish I ever caught. The first was of similar size but slipped off the unhooking mat straight back into the lake before Sue had a chance to photograph it. I had no idea then how slippery live fish are. I caught four fish of this size that day, not bad for an absolute beginner and left me just wanting more.
This time last year, I was talking to my brother (Tim) and during that conversation we discussed finding some common ground where we could get together and have some bloke-time away from family gatherings, which seem to be the only time we get together. Living 50 miles apart does not help. Fishing was suggested, as Tim had done some fishing as a kid. I, on the other hand had no experience whatsoever having never been interested when younger. Living in London may have been a factor, I don't know, but having said that, there were more venues to fish in parks etc. in those days. The first post on this blog was made on the 3rd September 2014, one year ago today. As I wrote that post, I had no idea where it was going to lead.

One Year on it hasn't worked out as I had envisaged. I was thinking that we would be sitting on a river bank somewhere with Tim doing all the fishing and me chatting to him. In the past year Tim has made it to the bank four times and I have been going on my own more often than not.

From nothing to now has been a steep learning curve. The first lesson learned was not to go too cheap. The tackle we bought initially got us going and defined what we needed - neither of us were sure. I had no clue at all. I had often wondered why anglers had so much gear when all you need is a rod, reel, line hook and float... Wrong!  Almost immediately it became clear that the cheap reels and rods that came in our starter set were second to useless. The slightly better rods we had bought as extras were better but not great. however we cut our teeth on those items and we both caught fish. For us it was a very good way to get started. Those cheap kits do provide everything needed to get a hook in the water.

The turning point for me came in November when I went fishing with one of the guys I had been talking to on We spent a mild November day at Beaver Fishery where he gave me some hands on tips and dispelled a few myths. This was the start of me fishing seriously. I had realised, by this time, that all was not as I had foreseen. No sitting about snoozing in the sunshine; to catch fish you have to be active all the time. If it is not casting and retrieving, it is feeding and planning the next move. So intense has it become that hours just fly by and a eleven or twelve hour session seems to be gone in no time and I am heading home. What started out as something to do with Tim, has turned into a new interest that is rapidly consuming a big chunk of my spare time as well as some time that is not so 'spare'!

I have now got the hang of still water waggler fishing and have been honing my feeder technique to the stage that I can go for a whole session without losing a feeder. A year on and there is so much I have not tried yet. No river or canal fishing yet and there are plenty of other still-water venues that need exploring. I have stuck mainly with the one venue at the moment as at least I have one constant in the equation.

Eleven months in and here I am with a 27lb bag of fish at my second match. Yesterday I fished my third match
Match fishing was not something I had even thought about a year ago. In fact, I had said I was not interested,  however over the past few months I have entered three matches and enjoyed them. I still have a lot to learn and I am perhaps more enthusiastic now than ever. Funny how it turns out. I suppose I had change the strap-line on the blog to 'The tale of one bloke who goes fishing'  as there has not been much activity from the other bloke during the past year. You never know, he may get a bit more enthusiastic this year, so I will hold of doing that for now. Here's to the next twelve months...