You would have thought by now, that numerous negative experiences would have taught me a sturdy lesson, regarding the perils of deciding what peg to fish in advance - but not so! Instead of having a good hard look for signs of carp and making an on-the-spot decision, based on good old watercraft, I slotted straight into the Noddycast Peg. This was simply because I wanted to 'give 'em a bit of bait' (no prizes for guessing who I was trying to emulate) and this was the peg that seemed to facilitate close-quarters baiting up most readily. The plan was to bait the little bay opposite with around 1 Kg of Oddysey XXX 15mm freezer bait, using a baiting spoon on a landing net handle, and then rest the swim for a couple of hours, without any lines in the water, in the hope that the carp would eventually come in for a confidence building feed. And did it work? Did it heck! The odd cruiser passed over the top of my carefully prepared banquet, but there was no significant bubbling to suggest that they were 'on it'. It has to be said though, that once again, conditions were far from ideal, with an absolute scorcher of a day, that had me hugging shade at the rear of the peg. It wasn't until 2.15 pm that anything happened - a carp took my hook-bait, buried itself in roots on the right hand undercut bank and was lost! And that was the only action I had from the little bay for the duration of my session. Fortunately, I hadn't put all my eggs in one basket and the larger area to the right produced an 8 lb 12 oz Mirror at 5.30 pm. Also, at 6.40 pm a rod fished 3 feet from the RHS margin produced a tiny 4 lb 2 oz Common. At 7.40 pm a savage take from the RHS bay came to grief, as the 15 lb hook-link parted. And then, to crown it all, just as darkness was descending around 10.00 pm (i.e. prime bite time) disaster struck, in the form of a runaway Pedalo. A slight gust of wind caused the 'fibreglass' monster to break away from its resting place and set off on a course that slowly, but surely would take it right through two of my lines. Given my lack of chest waders this week (they were still drying out after last weeks nettin/electro-fishing exercises), there was nothing for it, other than to wind-in and rush round to Peg 1 to get a boat. The disturbance of paddling back through my swim, tying a rope onto the Pedalo, towing it back and mooring it safety, obviously did me no piscatorial favours and the dismal outcome was a completely blank night. I awoke at 6.00 am to find the lake shrouded in thick mist. The whole place looked flat-calm and totally lifeless. So that was 2 lost and 2 banked. Oh well! that's fishing - nothing is ever guaranteed. No doubt, we would quickly lose interest, if amazing catches marked every session.
Finally, I must include an anecdote that I failed to recount in last weeks blog, but one that definitely deserves a place in Wetlands history. I don't know whether it's something to do with the combination of hard graft and frivolity, but work parties have a habit of turning-up completely unexpected information about the guys involved. Last week's work parties were certainly forthcoming in the revelation stakes.
Now, when you first meet Dave, in day to day angling situations, he appears to be a perfectly normal person. But don't be deceived! Beneath that respectable exterior, are some very strange idiosyncratic traits that defy belief.
You see Dave appears to be pioneering a new form of national greeting that puts the French (with their kiss on both cheeks) and the Inuits (nose rubbing) well in the shade. Apparently, Beanie was the poor unsuspecting recipient of Dave's pioneering activities one morning, when he poked his head out of his bivvy door, only to receive a violent slap across the cheek, administered by parts of Dave's anatomy that are best not mentioned. For the life of me, I can't figure out what would prompt such behaviour from Dave.
I can only conclude that he has a secret desire to enter politics and would like nothing better than to be addressed as the male member for Retford East. Alternatively, he might have been his trying to challenge Beanie to a casting dual (3.5 TC Rods at 150 paces) and got mixed up with the body language. Or maybe, the object chosen to signal the challenge was the nearest thing he had to an old leather gauntlet that had seen better days! Anyway, the moral of the tale, is that I would advise the greatest caution when venturing out of one's bivvy. You never know who or what might be waiting outside! Mind you, if your name is Tony, I would also advice extreme caution when entering your bivvy. There might just be a 6 foot eel relaxing in your sleeping bag!