Roll on the 16th!

What a frustrating and scary period the last few months have been. Sorry once again for the lack of updates, but fishing time has been very scarce as you’ll find out.

I ended the river season on a high then fished the local canals for some lovely pleasure fishing. Sport was slower than normal, but when the float dips and goes under you never know what it will be. Good roach, bream, silver bream and roach bream hybrids were landed along with an early season tench.

The above picture is a specimen silver bream, often confused with roach x bream hybrids which is the next photo up. The local canals seem to contain more and more of these silver bream and when they’re getting to the 2lbs mark they’re more than welcome. Who knows how big they go in there. Possibly a record breaker?

Martin and I shared a few days together having friendly matches to concentrate our efforts. It’s fair to say I got well and truly thrashed, but still caught well. I can’t believe more people aren’t fishing these canals. They’re full of fish these days and most areas are completely neglected.

The early season tench got me in the mood for my tench campaign in May. I had a ticket that covered several lakes, all produce numbers of big tench ands I’d got 2 weeks off work. What could go wrong?

Well, the first thing was Tracey finally got a date for her knee op, right before my first week off. Of course that scuppered my free time as I took over all the household jobs, which included looking after her horses more than I already was. I did manage to sneak out of the house for the odd trip while she slept after the op. I went to a local pond where I started fishing as a lad. I still remember my summer holiday streak of 6 roach in 3 days. That keepnet used to get lifted out of the water every 15 minutes just so I knew I really had caught those fish.

Anyway, I knew this pool like the back of my hand and thought I’d find a few carp to tempt on floating crust. It wasn’t long before some slurps were heard as they took my free offerings.

One particular shady corner is always a holding area. I’d put some bread in, but when I looked back it had gone, yet I’d not seen any disturbance. I flicked a piece out on some 6lb line and specialist rod. I wanted the fight to be fun, not drag a fish in on tow rope!

Straight away a dark shape eased up from the depths and took my bread so delicately. I connected and all hell broke loose. ‘This is proper carp fishing’ I thought to myself as my reel sang while line was taken against the clutch.

After a short but spectacular fight I landed a lovely common. I didn’t weigh it, it wasn’t massive, certainly double figures, but this time the reward was in pleasure not pounds and ounces.

The rest of the afternoon was just as much fun as I landed a couple more carp, but the amount that took my bread without getting hooked was unreal. I think I spent half of the afternoon cursing! One fish that never took my bread was very large. I threw a piece of bread on it’s nose to see if it would feed, it slurped it down, then took off, not to be seen again!

I planned to do more of this ‘quick hit’ fishing before disaster struck. Looking after Tracey’s horses was making my hay fever type allergies flare up, but I thought I’d be fine, before a bad cold triggered some kind of attack that had me in hospital for almost a week. It was very scary not being able to breathe and I received plenty of tellings off from the docs. First I waited till the last possible minute before realising things were serious. Apparently I was 1-3 hours from croaking it! A tube inside my lungs had gone into spasm and a muscle was closing it off completely. Then I had tellings off because I knew I was allergic to horses but carried on looking after them etc.

At the end of all that I pulled through (obviously!) but I’m absolutely shattered and it’s taking a long time to get my energy back. One doc described it as “it’s like walking at the top of Everest” I’m on lots of steroids and the like to get me back to normal, but it’s a wake up call to start looking after myself again. The down side is I’ve missed all the good tench fishing times, but it’ll soon be the 16th of June and a whole load more adventures open up to me then. As the title says, roll on the 16th!