A returning summer visitor slowly made his way down a small channel carried by the incoming tide, eager to see its size I must have shown myself as it quickly about-turned and speed off in the direction it came from. Its appearance complimented the summer like conditions and I was sure that there would be others to see as I set up two light carp rods for a chance of a Plaice.

It was only a quick visit so I was soon sitting behind the rods waiting expectantly for the plaice to move in on the increasing tide. I had managed to find a spot sheltered from the wind and it really was lovely to be out. A sprightly retired man his face already tanned from a life outdoors passed with a small dingy on a trailer. ‘Lovely day to be out,’ was his greeting as he weaved passed me before leaving his boat by my rods to take his trailer back. Quickly I grabbed my camera as he had left one of those shots, but for the second time in two trips my camera told me to change batteries, despite being fully charged last night. Grrrr.

With the skill of an old hand he was rowing out with a strength that seemed out of sync with his age and moored up against a beautiful teak sailing yacht.  Soon he was busying himself on deck and I imagined that he was getting ready for the first trip of the year.

The small mound of rag worm in the newspaper by my side slowly reduced in size as each new cast sent out a fresh scent trail, however not a movement came from my rods and my mind started to wander. The amount of wildlife  today was staggering, together they all appeared to be noisily appreciating the warm summer like conditions. In amongst it all two swans were starting their mating ritual which would have made for some excellent pictures.

The putt-putt sound of a diesel engine broke my almost sleep like trance, on looking up  the teak yacht was now puffing out smoke,  it crossed my mind how strange that this pollution seemed so right in these natural conditions. My bait supply was now finished and it was time to pack up. The summer visitor appeared to be alone but it won’t be long now before this year’s angling can start in earnest.

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Distant memories re-visited

August 25, 2010

... its just an age thing

 August 2, 2008

I opened the car door and got out, what’s this no wind trying to force the door shut?  Blimey.

A quick walk along the beach confirmed that the conditions were just about perfect. The sea had a nice colour with a slight chop running along the shore line. Things were looking good.

I set up my rod and cut a large fillet from a side of a frozen mackerel. I found myself admiring the clean-cut and thought to myself I really should have sharpened the knife ages ago! A 1.5oz lead was attached to a simple running ledger and a size 4/0 completed the outfit. A gentle lob out and I was fishing.

There are occasions lately that I’m finding that I just need to go fishing, it doesn’t matter whether I catch, and recently I’m not even that bothered about the weather. Maybe its just an age thing.

The sun, still low in the sky turned the clouds into fantastic shades of red giving us a great parting, and maybe just a promise of a better day tomorrow. The last of the geese flew past, noisily showing their appreciation of a rare glimpse of summer. Time had past and it was starting to cloud up and turn blustery, however tonight I didn’t mind. In the gathering darkness I was glad I bought along with me an extra top, and was soon enjoying its warmth against the steadily strengthening wind.

Now I was alone standing on the beach just listening to the rhythmic pounding of the waves, it wasn’t that long ago I stood here listening to the fizz of the mackerel shoals hitting the whitebait and wishing I had brought my rod with me. The sun was hot that day, too hot…

Was that weed on my line? The rod felt heavy and out of sync with the waves. Suddenly I was alert and waiting, but after a few anxious moments I started to think that maybe I was just getting tired and imagined it. No, there it was again. My heart started to race and I was willing the bite to develop further, the rod nodded again and instinctively I struck and stepped back at the same time… fish on!

In the dark I could see white water being created as it tried to make its break for freedom, and just for a split moment I thought that I had hooked into a bass that I have been waiting for a very long time. However the initial power of the fish was subdued and I was soon using the next wave to help me beach it onto the shore.

The size by most people’s standards was probably small, but this was the 2nd biggest bass I have landed in over 30 years. Sure I have hooked and lost larger, but at that moment I couldn’t care less. A quick photo and weigh before I carefully carried the bass to the water’s edge. Unusually I had to hold it upright for a while before it suddenly seem to realise that I was going to return it, as it dashed forward into the waves just in case I changed my mind!

I considered a recast, but the wind was strengthening still further and the thought of a warm home became very appealing.

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