Let’s flashback to last Monday to a conversation with Rich at work:
Rich “Have you even been fishing yet this year”
Rich “You’re not really a proper angler are you?”
Rich “Why don’t you come on this weeks match?”
Rich “Go on, I will book you in”
Me “Yeah, ok”
That was that. It might be hard to believe, but for someone who runs a website that mostly features commercial venues, it must be around 12 years since I fished one.
On reflection it would seem like an odd decision to give myself a few evenings to get ready to fish somewhere I hadn’t been to before. I think Dave Harrell’s comments about my natural angling ability must have been running through my head. Confidence was good.
It would be easy to underestimate the level of preparation needed for a few hours fishing, the next few days involved:
- Visits to 3 tackle shops for bait and terminal tackle
- Setting up a selection of new rigs
- Tying spare hook lengths – hours of fun re-learning how to use my Pierotti hook tyer
- Looking for my keepnets
- Searching every corner of the garage for the legs on my platform
- Putting new elastic in my pole top kits
- A drive round to Mum and Dads to get bits from their garage
- New elastic in my Deli-caty’s
- Cleaning out my bait boxes that have been left for years!
- Throwing out a whole load of old bait that was in the bottom of my carryall
- Dusting off some industrial sized cobwebs off my luggage
- Trying on fishing clothes and then having to buy a new coat and bib ’n’ brace
- Getting some last minute YouTube tips
- A trip to Tesco for meat and corn
Sunday came and by half 7 I was pulling into the car park at Springwood Fisheries. Did I say it was windy? Jesus, it was so windy! The match came and went pretty quickly. I had a dream start, about 20 minutes in I hooked into a carp, I think I was the first person to get a fish. Unfortunately, it came off just as I was ready to net it. That set the tone for the next 3.5 hours, I didn’t start catching well until the last hour. It was a good experience and I learnt quite a lot. Rich won the match from a peg just round the corner of the lake, so that made it an interesting week at work.
Roll on to this Sunday and I was back at Springwood. The wind had died down, but this week we were faced with bitterly cold conditions. I drew a half decent peg and was the only person to land a big sized carp. I won the match by just over a pound, pretty good going for my second match back! This week at work has been a bit better.
Both of the matches have been great fun, especially taking the win! One of the hardest things I found was how long it took before I could tie some decent knots, barbel fishing with size 10 hooks, braid and 10lb line is a whole world apart from tying spade ends on 0.14 line. I’m going to try spending the few months over the winter on different commercials, I love fishing on natural venues, but in the cold weather I would rather catch some fish rather than spend hours walking to a peg to catch a few bits. I feel lazy typing that, but I suppose you have to take advantage of what you can!