Benno, Luke and myself have endured countless occasions during our winter pike fishing, when eels have been an absolute pain in the arse! Soft baits, like Sardine and Bluey, have been regularly savaged by the eels of The RMC and the East Kent drains - all this lying up, in a torpid state, myth, being completely opposite to our own experiences.
I suppose a lot of this thinking is similar to what must have happened in the past when, bygone, anglers challenged the status of winter carp angling. Now, it is quite possible that the eel population of East Kent has to endure far less extremes of winter climate than other parts of the UK, yet I am sure that this is not a unique situation - we are not in some micro eco-system that cannot be replicated elsewhere in the southern counties of the UK?
My contact with modern angling and anglers, is minimal. I don't buy the weekly/monthly publications and my internet interest revolves around a few angling blogs who's authors are of a very similar age, and mind-set, to my own. Admittedly, I do have a look at what's on offer, via Youtube, but as it is heavily carp biased - there's not a lot of interest for me there either. I don't do forums, angling or otherwise, it'd be a nightmare situation for me. Sitting at my laptop, late at night, a couple of light ales down the crop and "I'm off to war!" All because someone has written something I disagree with? I can get myself in enough grief, with what I post on this blog, I certainly don't need to actively go looking for it! Thus, there may be plenty of other anglers who are questioning the status of winter eel fishing - I am not party to any of these initiatives, my personal journey into this unknown is driven by a fascination to discover more about my quarry, and myself, as it is to demonstrate my questioning of current thinking.
I've spoken with a few guys, at work, about my latest session and, in particular, my "hissy fit" at loosing that eel at the net. As expected I got completely "ruined" by a couple of lads, however, two reactions were rather unexpected. Clive, a sea angler, said "That's good! It shows you still care" whilst Wayne (who's just returned from, a week long blank at, Gigantica) commented - "I'd have done the same!"
I don't know quite what it is with these eels, but I am getting very drawn by the challenge that I've set myself. I am, as yet, unsure whether it is loosing a fish or failure to achieve a target, that is my main driver? Clive's comment certainly hit the mark - I do care about this project, far more so than my Stour Barbel and Carp campaigns or the Tench from the East Kent marshes.
Steve Gale has stolen a march on the rest of my "Blogland" fellows - he's already posting about the trials and tribulations of his experiences during 2015. A little premature for my liking - I've still got a good three weeks before I can draw a curtain over the events of the year and publish my thoughts. Up till now, however, it's been pretty good - that's all I'm able to say. One thing that is for sure - a review of the events in the life of "The Non-conformist" 2015 will appear before the end of the month - that's a promise.
|2015 - a year of massive change in many areas of my life.|
A Red-rumped Swallow from our balcony in Lourdas, Kefalonia.
There's lots to be happy about!