A long lost memory…

November 4, 2010

I have recently been given a CD full of old photo’s following the death of my Gran. A nephew gathered all the pictures from her home and then scanned them onto a CD. Amongst the many memories found was this old photo of me holding a bass. But not just any old bass – no sir. 35 years or so  later, this happens to remain my largest bass caught to date!

check out the hair

It's going to pull me to the Isle of Wight!

If you have followed my earlier blogs you may have picked up on a running theme throughout, and that is I don’t have a great deal of success. There are a few reasons for this, one is the area I chose to fish is not recognised as a big-bass spot (that is not to say they are not around) another is that I am incredibly unlucky. For over the years I have hooked, played and lost bass which I believe far exceed the one I caught all those many years ago. Having just re-read that line I think I should replace unlucky with stupid as for a number of years I continued to use a batch of line that had the combined strength of  2 strands of cotton, and not even very good cotton at that.

I have now got to a point that before I move on to pastures new I need to conquer the local area with a bass that will easily replace my earlier memory, and it doesn’t look like I will be doing that this year either. The night in question I can still recall with vivid detail. My Dad had promised to take me fishing but on this occasion my younger sister was to come along with us as well…

Unfortunately the weather that evening made a turn for the worse and it was decided that we would have to postpone. However our insistent pleads of ‘can we go’  finally made him relent to great cheers of joy around the house. When we arrived we were both kitted out with a rod each, both baited with rag. It wasn’t long however for my Dad, who used to smoke roll-ups, to take a wander as it was customary for him to take a walk along the shore line with a powerful torch to see if there were any shoals working close. It was always a relief to see the red glow of his cigarette signaling the return of the wanderer.

It was on one of Dads returns that my sister yelled-out that she had a fish on, quickly he ran and helped with the rod. I can still recall the noise and the white spray in the darkness as the rod and bass battled it out, but seconds later the rod fell limp. My sister was to recognise that sinking feeling that a rod against all odds had suddenly come to life, was then to suddenly spring back straight and lifeless with the rejection of a lost fish.

It was after the loss of her second bass that my Dad decided to check the hook, and discovered it was blunt. Off it came and soon resumed its place amongst the others kept in a small cardboard box about the size of a small toy car and maybe twice as high. A ‘new’ hook was selected and was soon out into the action. I can still remember those hooks so well. They were bright silver with two small bards up the shank of the hook designed to stop the ragworm from coming off. Out of interest lead weights in those days were made out of lead borrowed from a building site, melted into the back of a small dinky-toy flat-bed lorry with the eye for the knot placed at right angles in the end.

Un be known to me Dad had been baiting my sisters rod with mackerel, so after reeling in he said ‘try this you may have more luck’. A short cast and I was fishing again with all the excitement of a child at Christmas. Sure enough it wasn’t long before I too was to get into some action, as a bite  soon became a lunge, which soon became a ‘Dad I’ve got one’. Years later Dad would recall that I shouted-out that if you don’t come quick I am going to be pulled to the Isle of Wight!

In those days (the age before conservation and the digital camera) everything was taken  home to proudly show Mum. If I remember correctly we ended up with three bass that night with two being caught by my sister and her new hook. Some years later Dad would recall that those two earlier losses were from bass far bigger than mine and that if it wasnt for us he would never have gone.

My sister never went fishing again.

4 Responses to “A long lost memory…”

  1. RichardB said

    Priceless memories. And a priceless photo to match ! What a great find on the CD album.
    Loved the bit about the custom made lead weights. Brought back memories of when as kids, me and my brother would collect bullets from the butts on Browndown ranges and melt the lead into sand moulds to make weights. A bit of a dodgy business really !

  2. julie said

    was the little sister me?

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