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!


Tuesday 4 September 2018

Blanking; I'm in good company!

It has been quite heartening to watch some of Alan Blair's recent Urban Banx underwater footage of how carp are able to feed over a very tight area of bait, yet avoid picking up his rig. This just reinforces some of the other underwater imagery, that Danny Fairbrass and the Korda Team, had produced a couple of years ago. These anglers are light years in front of me, carp angling wise, yet seeing their rigs being picked up and rejected, without any indication on the alarms, is rather reassuring during my current run of biteless sessions.
I was back out again, Saturday evening, same outcome - I blanked and not a bleep from the Sirens. I didn't stay late, and had packed up before 20.45 hrs, yet this is when the fun started. Head torch required for the tackle down process, I was able to examine the two spots. One remained untouched, so it didn't require a Mensa IQ to deduce that I hadn't been done over, the second however, had been visited and there was a rather sad-looking (badly deformed mouth) Tench feeding on my baited spot. Scanning around, there was a decent carp (a twenty possibly?) lurking at the back of the swim and then, all of a sudden, there it was - the big fish just drifted out from under my feet and melted away beyond the beam of my head torch. It's moments like this that define the emotions of angling, as a hobby, and exactly why I set myself these challenges. Had that fish been feeding on my baited spot, or just arrived? I'll never know, but that's not an issue. What's important is that it's still in the area and I am, therefore, in with a shout if I can remained focused. As I walked off, I checked another baited spot on which I have yet to cast a line, there were two carp feeding on a gravel run, one of which would beat my PB. This 2018 project is providing a fantastic test of my thought processes, yet also defines my very being - what I'm all about as an angler and the enjoyment I derive, from simply being outdoors, watching the natural world go about its' daily routine!
Didn't get to cast a bait on Sunday, having promised Bev that we'd attempt to get the bungalow back into some kind of liveable state and so it proved. I still got down to the drain and introduced a bit more bait, prior to me getting out after work on Monday. I'm not introducing huge amounts of free offerings, just a couple of handfuls on each spot, attempting to keep the fish accustomed to finding food in the vicinity. Four spots were prepared, although I didn't see any signs of the carp whilst I was getting the bait in. I did locate a decent fish, as I walked off, but it was well away from my target area and so not of more than passing interest. I'd carried my camera kit, in the hope of a Whinchat or Wheatear being present - nothing doing so I grabbed a few shots of the munga and what it looks like on the bed of these tap water clear drains.

Munga - my party mix plus halved 15mm boilies (through a Korda Kutter) ready to go.
Quite a lot of surface glare, I don't own a polaroid filter, and the water movement doesn't really
help my cause. The swim is nearly six feet deep and the freebies stand out like beacons. It's
no real surprise that the majority of fish activity is noted as the light starts to fade away.
There are exciting adventures ahead for Bev and me, so I've got just two, or three, more opportunities to visit the drains before this project gets put on hold for a while.
All the previous stuff was written before my Monday sojourn; what follows will bring you bang up to date! Work was negotiated, without to much grief, and I was able to get on my way prior to 16.30 hrs. In no great hurry to get started, I had a wander around the favoured area looking for signs, anything that might provide a spark of inspiration, something to go at. I eventually baited four swims, settling for a very familiar spot, one rod, and a completely new swim for the other. The distance between these two spots probably 15 m, at most! By positioning myself back from the drain, very slightly, I was confident that I would be able to get to the rods quickly, yet not be so close as to alert any fish to my presence. Traps set, I sat back and awaited events, it being now 18.15 hrs. A young Wheatear was flicking about on the field opposite and eventually came close enough for me to grab a shot, with the long lens, absolutely pristine in the late evening light. A couple of Kingfishers came flashing past, their piercing calls alerting me to their rapid approach. With the clock ticking past 19.15 hrs, the light levels started to fall away and I got myself ready for the main event. No, not catching a carp but, instead, the nightly swim pass by an adult Beaver. Tucked down in the bankside vegetation, I could see the bow wave as it powered towards me. Camera settings were ISO 1600 1/340th sec and thus the images weren't as sharp as I'd like, but I did manage one that is rather pleasing.

Immature Wheatear in the late evening sunshine
I'm coming through! An adult European Beaver ploughing through my swim
Darkness fell and a second Beaver came through the swim, this individual one of the "kits" from the 2018 breeding season - it was very slight in comparison to the earlier adult. Golden Plover and Lapwing were calling out on the marsh when this evening ambience was broken by the scream of a Nash Siren R3 and the clicking of the ratchet on my Matt Hayes Centrepin. Bloody Hell - a fish!
Sadly not the one that I seek but a beautiful example all the same. A stunning little linear mirror came grudgingly to the landing net and ended a fantastic evening session out on the flatlands. I'm back out before Friday, that's a definite!

Under 9 lbs, but size isn't everything when they look this good?


  1. Great photo of the beaver Dyl. fishing does have it's advantages .

  2. By the way, did you get to have a beer with Steve.

    1. Hi Derek,

      Apologies for this tardy response - loads going on and I'm rapidly running out of time! Sadly I didn't manage to hook up with Steve, it is something that I would dearly love to happen. Hopefully he'll be down at Dungeness when the pike season starts and I will be on The Royal Military Canal. The logistics will be so much easier if this were the case. As for the Beaver photo? Yes I'm pleased with the image, although would love to have the same opportunity in better light conditions and really nail one.
      Take care - Dyl

  3. Another fine read, mate. What another incredible looking fish. I'm stuck by the hazelnut colouration all these carp have out there. I stuck to my guns and fished for only the first week of the season on the part of the marshes where you clocked me tenching that time. I'll fish a bit longer next year. I've been bass fishing ever since; had nothing huge, but some fairly nice ones- and tonnes of eels! I thought they were all in the river... Had an absolute snake the other night fishing the slipway next to the tidal swimming pool on the western undercliff; a good two and a half pounder. Thought it was a bass at first. I have a feeling the plains will reward you for your efforts. I'm starting on another dyke soon- in fact I visited the location yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to see a large carp (even though I'm after stripeys!) and a lone heron. Always lovely to see the latter, no matter their diet! I shall let you know how I get on... Roll on that Amber Giant!

    1. Gareth,

      Many thanks for these kind words, glad you enjoyed the post. Bass are a species I've never experienced, eels however, have provided many extremes of emotions depending upon whether or not I was targeting them when they picked up my bait. Big Perch hold a great fascination, especially as Nick, the gamekeeper, has taken them to 3.14 from the drains close to Sandwich! Maybe it will be a project for the winter period, once I've had enough of blanking chasing after this enigmatic monster.
      Take care & tight lines - Dylan

  4. Hello Dylan- It'd be unsporting of me not to declare that I've met the same young gamekeeper! If I can find some of the areas he mentioned, then I'll be back out the next day with a bit of cane...

    1. If you're serious about a perch campaign this coming winter, I'd love to join forces and target a "three" from one of these remote venues. I'll leave my e.mail address with Camo and ask him to pass it on to you when you're next in the shop. We could possibly arrange a chat about the prospects and the venues. I'm away for the next fortnight so pike season will almost be upon us by the time I return. I've seen a few threes caught since 2011, but not had one myself - 2.10 being my PB at present.

  5. Hello mate- Good plan! I look forward to teaming up- will see Camo shortly. Be good as we both use different techniques- also two heads are better than one- and best of all we are very unlikely to see anyone else out there... BTW, you may get this reply twice! I replied a couple of weeks ago but on a kindle- not sure if it went through... Best Regards, Gazza

    1. Gazza,
      Was down with Camo this morning and he is happy to provide the link! As you say two heads! I have a few ideas where to start the project and will be very interested to discover if they align with your own plans? As for technique - my own approach has far more to do with my limited attention span rather than the effectiveness of any bait presentation?
      All the best - Dyl

  6. hi Dylan,just discovered your blog via gareth craddocks blog,i have found both blogs very enjoyable,they have the feel of the writings in the old creel magazine that were passed on to me from my angling uncle who also had a tackle shop in the midlands,the articles of the day were mind blowing to a twelve year old and your adventures rang a bell!.as a child we holidayed with relatives in herne bay ,canturbury and ashford and travelling to Whitstable and sheppy and watching the beach fishermen was a big deal for a northern towny who had not long fished his firt canal!!.anyway wind time forward to august 2018 and I find myself back in kent for the first time in many many years at the hop farm blues festival and as soon as our slot was finished and the gear packed it was a nostalgic drive into herne bay to find number five York road and a drive to Whitstable,but there was no one fishing at the time.....anyway,we are booked for next year and I intend to chuck some tackle in the van and if possible cast aline in these intriguing waters,tight lines,stuart royle.

    1. Hi Stuart,
      Many thanks for these kind words. I'm afraid that my writing style is very "heart on sleeve" compared to the masterly efforts of young Gareth. However, I'm glad that you are enjoying the experience of perusing my offerings. If you do bring some tackle next year, there are many day ticket venues available, plus quite a bit of free fishing on the tidal Stour and surrounding area. Nearer the time, drop me a line and I'll see if I can sort something out for you?
      All the best - Dylan