Who am I?

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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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Friday, 10 November 2017

Reality, perception and wild guesses

My recent blogging has been, very much, angling biased, and for good reason; it's what I've been doing for the majority of my free time. It's true I've made mention of some of the birds I've seen, plus a couple of late dragonflies but, the pursuit of fish has dominated my writing because that's what is providing the brain cell stimulus; at present. There's a "night feeding pike" project in the offing and my focus is on getting the most from the time I have available.
I was wandering around the marsh, at the end of October, and bumped into another pike angler (Steve) who was lure fishing. After we'd exchanged the usual pleasantries it became clear that we were of a very similar mind-set. We spoke about tackle and tactics plus our desire to do things our own way, avoiding the mainstream angling circus. Simply by being pike anglers we'd already alienated ourselves from the vast majority of the, carp dominated, UK scene. Seeking wild (not big) pike, in remote places, puts us in a niche alongside hard core dace fishers - we're well off the scale of normal? We talked about the drains, and their potential, having to agree that the likelihood of a pike ever making twenty pounds is highly unlikely. Comparing our captures of the previous season, twelve pounds seemed to be around the top weight. I recalled that first season, 2011/12, when I was to land a magnificent pike of 19 lbs 5 oz, only to hear that one of Steve's associates had also taken a "19" from another drain, in the system, during that same period. Parallel experiences, how weird is that? Well not weird, at all, in reality. We are fishing the same waters and carry a set of scales, thus able to, accurately, record the weight of the fish we capture.

Pixie's Mere, Bourne End, Hertfordshire.
16th January 1990 - 22 lbs 3 oz
Steve was a little anxious when I let on that I had a blog. "You don't name the drains, do you?" I quickly reassured him that I worked too hard to allow poncing, wasters to use my efforts to cut corners. He was on the marsh because he had a vision of what he wanted from his pike angling and had made the effort to get out there in order to make it happen. Exactly the same applies to my own efforts - I wish to make history, not chase it.
For pike to grow to a decent size, in a wild/natural environment, requires some very special circumstances. The number one factor being neglect. If  I publicize where I'm catching these fish then neglect won't remain a factor for long? For as long as I've used a camera to record my captures, that's over 40 years, images have been deliberately taken to make exact location of my swim very unlikely, given the backdrops.

British Aerospace Pit, Colney Heath, Hertfordshire
23rd November 1989 - 16 lbs 6 oz
Pike are a magnificent species which grow to length that is beyond the experience of most (club/match/pleasure, even carp) anglers. They are, therefore, at the heart of angling folklore. "Chinese Whispers" will be a massive factor in the hysteria which surrounds many a tall tale.  Even a modest pike of, say, fifteen pounds is a far bigger fish than the vast majority of anglers will have ever, regularly, encountered. I have lost count of the number of times that I've had verbal exchanges, usually in pubs, but also on the bank and even at the Tesco wet fish counter, with guys who claim to have caught pike far larger than my PB. There are two very common themes in all these conversations - it's the only pike they've ever caught and, no, they didn't have a camera/scales to record the event! Being aware of this fairy-tale nonsense, surrounding the existence of "huge" pike makes me very cynical whenever hearing second hand reports. Wild pike, in excess of twenty pounds, are as rare as hen's teeth. Yes I have been extraordinarily privileged to have landed a few during my life yet, in doing so, have also captured many hundreds more that didn't break this magical barrier. As Robert Palmer once sang "Some guy's get all the luck?" If I'd not put a weight, to the accompanying images, how big would be the guesstimation of a, scaleless, pike fisher when they recounted the story in the pub?


2 comments:

  1. Brilliant blog dylan. Im in your story now. Wow. Im heading over this afternoon. More than likely just lure fishing again. May have the odd twitched sprat session.
    Lovely 10lb girl you caught. Tight lines pal.

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    1. Hi Steve, welcome aboard and thanks for comment. If you send me your e-mail address, I won't publish it, I will be able to keep you updated on the state of play out there. Eleven fish, five nines (one repeat capture) and four doubles to 12 lbs 7 oz in four outings. Not too sure on how much longer I'll give it before moving to another drain. Stay lucky & tight lines - Dylan

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