Ducks And Other Little Things

Early evening, after a long, hot day and the consumption of a full flask of coffee, a six pack of Diet Coke and a litre or two of lemonade, Hubby was desperate to reduce the pressure. ‘It’s no good,’ he said. ‘I’ve got to have a sprinkle. Look the other way for a minute.’ As if I needed to be told.

‘O.K.,’ says I, only too glad to do as I was bid. ‘But what happens if, while you’re mid sprinkle, the rod tip goes?’

‘You’ll just have to grab it, then,’ he answered my anxious question as he headed towards a convenient bush nearby.

Well, that’s all right then. So long as I don’t have to touch a fishing rod.

It seems that plumbing the depths of a water can be a good idea. I had never really understoood why this time consuming task should be necessary until recently when I was told this little tale by a young and inexperienced angler. He wishes to remain anonymous because, he told me, he felt a big enough prat on the day and would rather not broadcast his identity so that the whole world is aware of his slip-up.

The youngster had carefully cast out about seventy yards and sat down to await developments. He’d been sitting there for about twenty minutes watching several families of ducks swimming back and forth, just in front of his bait, when one of ’em stood up. Turned out that they were all swimming in about four inches of water over a sand-bar and our novice hadn’t the required experience to feel when the lead hit the bottom. He was so embarrassed, he said, just in case any other ‘proper’ carpers in nearby swims had seen his error, that he packed up and moved to the other end of the lake to start afresh. Aah! Bless!

Ducks getting on your nerves? Try this. Dave, my eldest, has found a foolproof way of keeping them occupied, leaving him to fish in peace.

A few weeks back, in mid-March, he and a friend took advantage of an unseasonably fine day out at a local lake where the resident duck community evidently thought that Spring had Sprung and were busy begging for food. He fed them for a while, with peanuts and boilies, following the usual procedure of tempting them away from the casting area and up on to the bank while he cast out, but before he could settle down they soon gobbled up all the bait he was prepared to part with and noisily demanded more.

Dave decided to make himself a coffee – maybe a shot of caffeine would help him to control the impulse to strangle his feathered friends – and in sheer frustration, he threw them a couple of tablespoonsful of instant coffee granules. To his amazement, they ate those too – with undisguised enjoyment. Suddenly, though, they waddled off to the water’s edge where they spent some time drinking and washing their beaks, no doubt trying to get rid of the God awful taste. After half an hour or so they all disappeared and were not seen for the rest of the day – allowing Dave to catch a 22lb 12oz mirror – well worth the expense of a couple of ounces of coffee, he said – but then he didn’t have to buy it in the first place!