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Dumbfounded


Rusty

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K&A Canal, River Kennet and then back to the canal, Saturday 9th March 2013

 

This is why I don’t gamble, I would’ve bet every item of fishing tackle I own on today’s session being successful. If you could order perfect perching conditions from a menu what greeted me on arrival is exactly what you would’ve ordered, I was that confident that even on the journey to the venue I was compiling witty PB blog narrative in my head.

 

Setting up did nothing to dispel my confidence, the ledgered lob went out and then in the gloom a flukey first cast got the float fished lob in prime position. I didn’t set up the chair because I thought I’d be on my feet playing a fish within minutes. After 30 of those minutes I reasoned that today was a late breakfast day but that was ok they’d be along soon. I’d make myself comfortable and then sit back and wait for the bites…..I waited for three hours with not so much as a beep or bob to show for it.

 

At the other end of this is a fat juicy lobworm;

 

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A text exchange with Chris Plumb suggested that over fishing might be putting them off. This is something that I hadn’t considered in my eager pursuit of big perch, I’d always thought of the species as being quite resilient once you’d found their holding spots but looking back through my blog this is the seventh time in nine weeks that I’ve fished this swim. I might well have over done it, oh well you live and learn.

 

The consolation prize was breakfast in the Wild Bean Café (zero ambience) followed by a short drive to the Kennet. The preceding day’s rain had put quite a lot of colour into the river and it looked very different to recent trips, the fish however were just as keen to feed during the couple of hours trotting that I enjoyed. The dace were particularly nice, all males and mostly this size;

 

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This mini session was rounded off with a bream of all things, it put up an impressive fight for a fish of circa 2lbs but blotted its copybook by needing the landing net. A wet net in the car I can tolerate but one covered in bream slime is another matter.

 

After that I headed off to meet Steve and James who were prospecting a ‘new’ stretch of the canal near Hungerford, this can be fished during the close season and it’s rumoured to hold big perch. There’s miles of water so finding the fish would be quite a task but it runs through some pleasant marshland and the season ticket price is very reasonable, just the job for a leisurely sunny Spring excursion. It was during this rendezvous that the day’s comedy moment occurred, Steve and James were struggling with just a small perch between them. I jokingly offered to show them how it was done (I didn’t have my gear with me) and promptly caught a jack on James’ rod quickly followed up with a perch on Steve’s, both fish barely made a pound in weight but that didn’t stop the tirade of abuse. A polite enquiry as to where I should send the invoice for services rendered met with more abuse so I decided to retreat quietly to the location of the dawn session. This final quest didn’t last long, I was intending to fish into dusk but it’d been a long day and a cold breeze was getting a bit too enthusiastic for my liking. Angling shouldn’t be a test of endurance so I packed up and went home long before the witching hour, I was in the land of zeds shortly after Ireland and France had finished their game.

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I didn't want a slimey camera as well. Water temp was 46 degrees at both dawn and the late afternoon short session, plenty warm enough I'd say. I just think the fish were somewhere else.

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