Saturday, 28 November 2015

Cool fishing...

No, not cold but cool as in 'agreeable' According the the urban dictionary "...the word 'cool' is very relaxed, never goes out of style and people will never laugh at you for using it". I am not sure that I am comfortable using the word in that context but it is in very common usage and unlike a lot of 'street' talk it is probably the most universally understood.

Its a fish... Is it?
Having established the tone of this post, I expect you are wondering where on earth this is going and what all this has to do with my fishing adventures. Well, I will tell you. In the social environment we live in, here in the UK, most hobbies that kids of the 1950s and 60s (like me) were associated with are seen to be something that fathers and grandfathers do. To use the street vernacular, they are just not cool! To a lesser extent this applies to angling, although we have a good spread of ages participating, there is one area that seems to be considered to have Street-cred and that is urban fishing, more specifically jigging and dropshotting.

The Crazy Fish logo is a prime example of the style attached to this form of fishing
Take a look at the advertising and graphics associated with what some see as the latest craze. Lots of it is very reminiscent of the better graffiti and street-art, obviously aimed at a much younger target demographic. I can't see the fly-fisherman appreciating this kind of art. Crazy Fish is a global company that have dialled into the urban scene with vibrant logos and an in-your face website and on-line catalogue. See HERE. They are not alone. What ever you do don't look at the AGM catalogue. They sell a good selection of Crazy Fish products along with a lot of other brands of lures. and there are many many more! At this point I need to issue a warning...

Buying lures can be addictive...

Craze, fad or whatever you want to call it, it has found favour with the younger generation as well as a few of us 'old fuds' that includes me. Now I am not going to start wearing my baseball cap backwards, listening to rap music or wearing the crutch of my trousers down by my knees, any time soon... But, there is an appeal that is hard to resist. The small amount of gear required is a big plus, but for some reason the acquiring of little plastic fish are said to be addictive - can't understand that at all - Honest, but the bottom line is - it is cool!

Soft plastic fish lures

I may be a lot of things, but cool is not one of them. I have, however, been bitten by the light lure fishing bug and it will make a very welcome distraction over the next few months. I must admit that sitting in the freezing cold, wading through mud and getting wet have no real appeal to me. Urban fishing can eliminate or at least minimise all three of those disagreeable features of this time of year. Most of the time, sitting about is replaced with wandering or at the very least standing, the mud can all but be regarded as non existent and the wet... well it does not rain under bridges!

Blow Up Bridge on the Regent's Canal
Add this to the fact that there is no messy bait involved and a absolute minimum of gear. In my case, an added bonus is that I can do it all by hopping on a train at the bottom of the road and be beside the water in very short time. The docks are very close and the Regent's Canal is less than an hour away door to fishing. With so little gear, it is also easy to make this a bit of a social event too. No problem taking a shoulder bag, tiny rod and small collapsible net (in a mini stink-bag) into a pub or restaurant. No driving means I can enjoy a pint or two if I wish. For me it is a totally different experience. Sue can come along and enjoy the walk, take in the urban backdrop, study the wild flora and architecture, new and old. It is amazing how much there is to see if you open your eyes to the world around you. The story of our first visit to The Regent's can be found HERE.

Nice tiny Fox Ultron 1500 reel
The mass appeal of this type of fishing is, in no small part, due to the minimal set up costs. Full dropshot kits can be bought for well under a hundred pounds providing all you will need to get going including a good selection of end tackle and lures.

My Fox Dropshot rod - all 6 ft 6 inches of it

My set up is centred around my my joint Christmas (last) and birthday presents of a very nice Fox Rage 6ft 6inch Finesse dropshotting rod and Fox Ultron 1500 Pro reel. Although this is not the cheapest of set ups it is still not eye-wateringly expensive either. At the moment the reel is loaded with a brown coloured 13lb braid. Bright colours, such as yellow, are favoured for this type of fishing but for now I will make do with the brown as braid is not cheap stuff! I also have a shoulder bag that carries all the hooks, lures, a few tools and the small net, which hangs on the strap fixings ready for use or packed in its stink-bag. That's it. I can easily transverse London's transport network with all the gear I need.

This small net collapses down to under 2ft in total. Ideal for urban transporting
At the moment I am caring the tiny rod in it's sleeve. The commercial quivers are all too big for this little rod so I may have to make something myself. The advantage of this is at least while I am fishing the sleeve folds up and packs away in the shoulder bag.

Now all I have to do is find some time to go fishing!