Lovely evening…

It’s so nice spending time at the canal in my favourite fishing spot. Such a sense of calm and tranquillity, sitting under the shade of a tree with nature providing the soundtrack and light show.

Switching up my baits (luncheon meat and sweetcorn) and rigs tonight certainly got the fish really interested, as they were right on top of my rig, but they still didn’t bite. It didn’t matter to me that I didn’t catch anything, as learning more about what baits and rigs the fish like is a wonderful part of the game. Fishing solo is such a lovely thing to do. I really want to catch a fish, but the whole experience is what makes it. Your senses are working overtime… watching the water, listening for fish movement; touching the line and reel – playing the float into place. But your brain is so calm and quiet. Nothing exists except the moment, everything else fades away.

So I blanked again, but the buzz of seeing fish near my float was superb, a wonderful vindication of what I am learning. The only problem was the mystery tangle of line coming off my reel, which I’ll sort on the morrow, as it was getting too dark to sort bank-side.

Happy fisherman…

Hooked!

Back from my best solo fishing session yet! I got my first bite, though the fish got away!

I feel so happy and calm right now. I had intended to go down to the canal for two hours tonight, and fish the other side of the bridge, as there seemed to be more fish activity on that side, BUT… I looked over to the side of the canal where I have been fishing for the last few weeks just in time time to catch sight of a mighty splash in line with my usual spot. Game on! I was fishing down there for sure!

Trying to keep calm and quiet after seeing activity in ‘my’ spot, I got down there quick sharp, baited up with sweetcorn, using the water from the tin at the canal’s edge to tempt the fish, got some corn on my hook and cast out… There was lots of activity on the far bank, near the weeds, and a little further from there too. I felt really happy, and proud that my tactic of baiting up this spot seemed to be paying off. The fish were out there, and definitely interested…

I got a little frustrated that I seemed to be casting more into the overhanging tree for a while, and managed to break a float… It was a freebie, but still. I set up a new float and rig with lighter weights, and this seemed to do the trick. Casting out to the other bank, and allowing the mild current of the canal to shift the float and rig a little closer paid off, as the fish were a lot more interested, bubbling up around the float. Time passed without me noticing, as watching the fish draw ever closer was so exciting. I was willing them on to take the bait… then one did!

This was my first proper bite, as I was fishing solo, so it was really exciting. I managed to get the fish out of the water, a small Roach (I think) about six inches long, but it wriggled off the hook and splashed back into the canal with a plop! Miffed, but so happy that I’d got a bite!

roach

Time had passed, and I had planned to head for home, but they were biting now! I stayed on for an extra hour, until the light started fading, enjoying seeing the fish get ever closer to the float, but not quite taking the bait. Plenty of knocks, but no more bites I’m afraid. I cleared up, taking my rubbish home, and walked back with a REALLY big smile on my face. I might not of actually caught and landed my first fish on my own, but I was so close. I’m hooked!

Hello bulls…

I’ve been to the canal again this evening… the light was lovely, and all was calm.

I baited up and cast out into the middle of the canal, as there were signs there on Sunday on the stretch I’ve chosen. As it was breezy, the current was moving quite fast, as were the fish. They were definitely there, as I could see plenty of signs of them surface feeding, so I baited more heavily nearer to where they were appearing. A few well placed casts got me right next to them, but they weren’t biting. They were also a couple of smaller fish (about finger size) that actually jumped right out of the water! So close…

Still, it was so nice just sitting there, a big smile on my face, watching the fish moving about and feeding. So calm and relaxing.

On the way back, I had a comedy moment. I had stopped to sort my rod out, as the knot on the lead had slipped, and there was a right old tangle of line! I was away in a little world of my own, when I realised the young bullocks in the field had wandered over to see what this funny human was up to… It did make me giggle, seeing a dozen of them standing in a row, mystified.

A wonderful way to spend an evening. Calm, happy and content.

Near bank - Lookout point
Near bank – Lookout point
Far bank - they're out there!
Far bank – they’re out there!
Sunset on the way home
Sunset on the way home

Going solo…

Been out on my first solo fishing mission today, without my very good friend and mentor, Rolf. (Mind you, he does live a fair drive away…)

The learning curve at present is HUGE, from knots to bait, casting to positions, hooks, line and sinkers! After a bit of a mess setting up my rod at first, I got it spot on second time round, added a rig and headed for the canal. It was so nice to walk up through the canal fields where I have since my childhood, cross the old bridge, and wander into the woods to the spot I’d ‘found’ on Friday. It was lovely and shady under the trees, good for hiding me from any fish, and a perfect spot to get baited up and make my first cast.

Handling maggots could have been an issue for me, as I’m a bit squeamish about slimy stuff and all that. (I’ve been scared of frogs and toads since I was tiny… They still freak me out a bit now, but I know they look lovely.) I’m pleased to report that handling maggots wasn’t an issue at all, and I baited my hook fine and baited up around the ‘swim’ I’d picked out. Yay! First issue resolved!

Casting out was cool, as I was short casting near the bank, thinking that’s where the fish would be… Well, the fish were there for sure, as there was plenty of surface activity, but more towards the middle of the canal. Mind, I couldn’t cast there, as there were barges cruising through. Hey ho…

It did quiet down, and I recast further out towards the centre or the water. Time passed in a weird way, slowly and quickly simultaneously. Focussing on a small stretch of water for hours made time disappear, and I slowly lost myself to nature. Birdsong, wind, sun, insects on the water and the occasional splash of fish feeding became my soundtrack. It’s a lovely feeling just being in nature, and I was very aware of the large smile on my face. I was truly in the moment and very happy.

I didn’t catch anything on this trip, but I could see that the fish were there. I will return later this week, trying different angles, times and spaces in my little corner of the canal bank. So happy and calm. Catch you later… (LOL!)

Rod rest Happy face Tree Canal overview

Wind Power…

Thanks to Thomas Dolby for the title! Linda, Fizz and I went for a walk in the woodland next to Gumley church this morning. After being stunned by the beauty of the trees (so straight and tall!), we came across a huge tree which had been knocked down (by the heavy winds last week?), and had taken out many more trees too. Incredible to see the power of nature.

Enjoy the photos!

Big fallen tree Fallen trees Tree trunk Spilt trunk Knocked down trees Curvy tree

Lovely day for a walk.

Me and Fizz (our German Shepherd) went for a walk to the canal fields in our village this morning. Partly for a change of scenery and routine, but mostly so I could check out fishing spots for the weekend.

It’s been a glorious day today, bright, sunny and warm. The trees around the canal look great in bloom, and the canal is looking good for fishing, plenty of surface activity, with bugs skating around and fish eating them. It was just lovely being out in nature, surrounded by trees and looking at the differing qualities of light. We are so lucky having such a beautiful space on our doorstep.

I checked out a few potential swims on the canal banks, under the shade of the trees, and have earmarked them for fishing, hopefully on Sunday, I just need to get some bait!

After checking swims, Fizz went for a swim! It was so nice seeing her really swimming, breathing heavy with effort, proper doggy paddling! (Mind you, Fizz won’t be coming fishing with me… I don’t think German Shepherds and fishing mix!)

tree spot
Tree at the third swim
Second Swim
Second swim
First Swim
First swim
Fizz Swimming
Fizz swimming
First Spot
Potential swim
Woodland
Woodland