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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Back out on the marsh

It's been two weeks since I ventured out with the rods; I just haven't felt enthused and there's other stuff going on in the background which is a distraction. However, a window of opportunity has presented itself and I am getting the kit sorted (Saturday) in preparation for a short session after "Anguilla anguilla" Water temperatures might still be a little low, after the recent cold snap but, if I don't go I won't find out!

I have a couple of little tweaks which might assist my efforts? I'm going to use sardine sections for the first time (I know eels like them because of the number of false bites when pike fishing!) and I've upped my hook size because I'm no longer using the hair-rig. The weather forecast is predicting overcast and mild (11C) conditions overnight, perhaps I should run the moth trap instead? I'm going to the swim as a one off, there has been no pre-baiting, so I will have to make the most of whatever happens as a result of a few freebies around each hook bait. I'm feeling reasonably confident, not always a good thing, but glad that I am going back eel fishing. The real crunch will come in the two weeks from March 1st when I have to get a result in order to complete my challenge - all the drains have an Environment  Agency "traditional" close season imposed upon them.

It looks even more moody, than reality, because of the use of flash lighting!
Well that's what I had written prior to leaving the bungalow on Saturday - that session was not without incident. I had three bites, two pike - one bumped, the other biting me off - and an absolute screaming eel take which I missed by a mile. Small eel; big hook? I couldn't get back to the swim until Monday, the last chance before the mild spell ends and we return to seasonal conditions - it will be -1C overnight on Tuesday/Wednesday.

Still more "tweaking" ideas spinning around in my head although, knowing I would get back, I had introduced some freebies prior to leaving on Saturday night. My two main bait choices have been Bluey and Sprats, both providing fish during the campaign. However, my endless search for answers has lead me to explore Sardine sections and now I'm looking at prawns. I know Perch love them, I think we (although not I) even had a few Cats, from Claydon, on the King Prawn, and obviously Carp will have a munch if the conditions are right?  Eels have eaten everything else I've tried, surely prawns would be acceptable? So trying them would be like buying a ticket in the Lottery - anything could happen?

I called in at Dad's on my way across to the swim, yet was still fishing by 16.45 hrs and within 40 minutes I experienced a very twitchy, slow take on the prawns which didn't develop into a proper bite - Benno suggesting perch as the culprit? I only had until 20.00 hrs due to work commitments, so was very glad when, at 19.25 hrs, the alarm sounded a screaming take on the prawns which resulted in my second February eel gracing the landing net. Not big, between 1.08 & 2 lbs, but a success all the same. Another bite, just five minutes later, to the sardine section proved to be an aborted take and that was it for another session.

I'm just glad that it wasn't a better fish - eels are an absolute nightmare to present to the camera;
even more so when you are attempting self takes
With the forecast predicting further frosty nights and daytime temps not exceeding 7C - there is little point continuing to visit the drains. All I hope is that I get a window of opportunity in the first two weeks of March - this eel project has captured my imagination more than I'd thought possible for a bloody nuisance species. I'm itching to get out with the Mk IV and start my carp challenge, but one thing at a time - I'll get one job finished before starting the next! Loads of stuff to do, around the garden, in preparation for new fencing - I don't envisage getting too much free time in the next two weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Dyl, down in Rickmansworth there's a section of canal which is really a section of the river Colne. Technically; as it's a canal, it's ok to fish all year. The section holds some decent fish but is members only from dawn to dusk. Well I'm not a member so I'll fish it at night which doesn't seem unreasonable.

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