Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to 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!


Saturday 25 January 2014

Another glorious blank!

You'd have thought that I might have got used to not catching anything; given my recent run of form yet, the reality is far from it! I am frustrated by my own short-comings and complete lack of answers. The pike of the RMC are a project that will continue, as and when the conditions improve, the perch of the local day-ticket venue, however, have now taken centre stage and dominate my angling thoughts.
These fish are a completely unknown population existing, as they do, within a commercial carp fishery. They have no serious pressure and we have very little information on which to draw. Benno has certainly done his homework and, therefore, reaped the rewards. I had another session on Thursday afternoon (13.00 - 17.30 hrs) which has provided more questions than answers - although I do feel that there is progress being made. I fished in a very similar fashion to Ben, even down to the same swim! I didn't loose feed maggots; I have to draw a line somewhere. Our usual bait choice of lob worms and prawns is fairly standard fare, amongst perch anglers, and the other items of tackle are also in line with like-minded specialist anglers. Soft, through action, rods and light lines (3 - 6lbs b.s.) being typical - allied with size 10 - 12 hooks, float fished or legered, the choice is for the individual. Float fishing is so much more sensitive, yet requires 100% concentration, if done properly - I haven't got the attention span to do the method justice. I am, therefore, a devotee of the bottom rig methods. When used, in conjunction with electronic bite alarms, these tactics are the perfect solution for any angler who, also, wishes to enjoy the natural history and the surroundings in which the hobby is practised.
My gear for the session. Back - Bruce & Walker "custom" Tring Tench Rod with ABU Cardinal 44X reel
Front - Duncan Kay 1lbs 10oz T/C rod with an ABU Cardinal 55. (A sleeper rod chucked out for a carp)
Now I am quite sure that there many non-anglers (and some ultra purists within) who frown upon the use of such wizardry in the gentle art. However, I will remind them that it was Dick Walker, himself, who devised such things. The original concept being a wire lever attached to a bank-stick. The lever closing a GPO contact switch as the fish took line from the reel. Thus, via a very simple circuit, the bite was indicated by an audible alarm. The first commercially available alarm being the "Heron" system. Simon and I both had these plastic contraptions, which were quickly replaced by the Delareed Ltd, Ramsgate. "Optonic". A revolutionary concept, using a roller/propeller to break a light beam which in turn produced a series of "bleeps" from the speaker, thus indicating the speed by which the line was being taken, so unlike the mono-tone of the Heron system. This was all prior to 1980 - bite alarm technology has come a long way since then - in line with most other electronic devices over the same period. Micro circuits, new digital systems and magnetic switches have been used to produce alarms that have the sensitivity to detect a fish sneezing near your bait!
As the sun begins to sink, in the west, "witching hour" approaches.
Perch love the low light levels of dawn and dusk.

I'm no "tackle tart", if anything I'm quite the reverse - an inverted snob. I take great satisfaction from fishing with mis-matched rods and reels. Impressive as the regimented pods, complete with three identical rod/reel combos look, this stuff is purely designed to make a statement to other anglers and is no indicator of ability!
My motley assemblage has been built up over the years and consists of odd rods and reels which have come my way. I have purchased just two rods (1.75 lbs TC Specialist Barbel - twin tipped) and two Matt Hayes "Limited Edition" centre-pin reels since my return to the hobby; all of my other gear is from the era prior to 1993. All this said, I will not scrimp on my terminal tackle. The technological advances over this same period have not been restricted to bite alarms! Hook manufacture is now a science, with the Japanese capable of manufacturing these vital items to incredibly high standards. Similarly, line technology has evolved some superb new materials that have high breaking strains, abrasion resistance, low diameter and ultra reliability as standard. After all, it is the bit in the water that is of importance - what the fish can detect is vital for any angler's success and directly responsible for failure. Bait presentation has to be only second, in importance to location, in any specialist angling situation. So back to my efforts on Thursday! I waited until 17.00 hrs for that bite - missed it on the strike. I have absolutely no idea why or how? It was a classic slow lift -unmissable!!!
Simon with an absolute beauty. 3lbs 6oz of hard fighting perch.
It is a fish of this calibre that I seek from my new challenge. They really are magnificent.
I had to content myself with some fabulous views of a hunting Common Buzzard, three Little Egrets and a Kingfisher, whizzing about the fishery, while my session elapsed. It is a superb venue and one where sooner, or later, my perch PB will be bettered. Until then I keep trying, but with the realization that, even on small waters, results are a direct consequence of effort. "Effort equals success" - the motto of Steven Whitby, an incredibly talented carp angler from Cambridgeshire.

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