Tuesday, 9 March 2010

North Wind Blows


Hello again and welcome back to fishing for memories.

Well it is the final week of the fishing season and I am hoping to perhaps net one last Barbel before the season ends,but I cannot say the conditions favour it,cold north wind and poor water temperatures,to be fair I do feel it is Chub conditions overall.

And with that in mind I took with me a plan B in my rucksack,that being some nice cheese and garlic paste,which has always gone down well with Chub as well as with Barbel from time to time.

Feeling the fresh blast of north wind on my face as I made my way to the swims was a resounding shock to my senses,I observed a pair of deer one sat down and other stood about foraging in the grass,I was glad to be out regardless of the conditions,the clouds were racing by on the strengthening wind,I decided to fish the cheese and garlic paste just to the underneath of some tree roots,a likely looking area for a Chub,my other rod was placed close to the opposite bank near a bush and had a pellet and belechan paste on the hair.

The afternoon was chilly with the odd intermittent drizzle,which did eventually die off leaving a very sunny but cold and blustery afternoon,I could of cursed the weather for not playing ball,but when has it really been good conditions most of this winter,you either fish or do not and I certainly do not wish to be putting up new light fittings just yet thanks Mum,such things can wait for the close season.

A cheeky chappy of a Robin moved into my swim in the afternoon and was readily fed and treated to pieces of biscuits and maggots,I am sure without a doubt he felt most full up on such a banquet.


Time was ticking by and both rods remained silent and lifeless.My cheese and garlic rod which had been silent nodded lightly,the river was still pretty high,but not so much junk was coming down,the rod tip nodded again,a more solid and confident tap tap followed,I smiled,maybe just maybe grey lips would be about,I did not have long to wait as the rod tip thumped over and I was into a solid feeling Chub,after the short but spirited fight,it's sturdy frame was resting in the net and sure enough the scales did not lie as they settled at a cheerful 5Lb 11oz's,I was very happy as if I am totally honest I did expect a blank.


As evening drew in no more bites were forthcoming and my feet were telling me "we are cold" So I decided it was time to head off home.

So less than a week is left of the river season,I hope many of you make good use of it regardless of the conditions,after all it will be 3 months of hiatus before we can wet a line on our wonderful rivers again.

Tight lines and the best of luck Mark

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Otters and Angling


Hello there and welcome back to fishing for memories

I was sat thinking today about the very heated subject that is the re-introduction of the otter to rivers,this got me thinking back to when I was a young boy and when I use to frequently see otters on the river Loddon back in the late 80's.

Now it would be folly of me to try to surmise on what kind of impact they are having on certain rivers since their re-introduction.

Especially on rivers like the Ouse where there has been some high profile and well publicised cases of record Barbel being predated by Otter's,but I do feel that there is a lot more to some of the problems troubling our rivers than just the re-introduction of what is an apex predator,to a degree I feel it has been carpet bombed into looking like enemy number one,when it is not the only problem that is now facing many of our great british waterways.

Thinking back to yesteryear I can remember as a boy in the late 1980s seeing a few Otters on the Loddon,back then we did still have a good population of eels in the river and many an evening I would spend time deadbaiting for them,obviously with the decline of the eel populace in most of our rivers,this means when re-introducing such an animal it will thus target other viable food sources,our much loved Barbel being one of these.Now having seen many heated debates and discussions on many angling forums,I have to say I feel we have more than the re-introduction of the otter to blame as a problem with our rivers and stocks,there are many more problems.Where to start?

Over excessive amounts of Signal Crayfish in our river systems,eating small fry and eggs.Cormorants which do as they please readily gorging their way through fish stocks and not a mass cull in sight.

Large populations of escaped Mink as well as the problems with our Eastern European friends taking fish illicitly either by netting or night lines.

I have to sit and wonder with all of the above problems why the Otter has been lined up by some as enemy number one,when in reality re-introduction of this animal may merely be the tip of and addition to much more larger scale problems that face our waterways,food for thought perhaps.