Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A Potpourri

Since the end of August my visits to the bank have been somewhat limited for various reasons so I decided to bring together 3 adventures, two where I got soundly kicked in the bum and one where a complete change of scenery and location brought some relief.
Firstly, as has been well documented on other Blogs, 6 of us got together to celebrate someones birthday (60th or something?) at the impressive venue, Blenheim Palace lake. Despite the fact that it's only 20 minutes down the road for me I'd never fished there before. So, along with everyone else, I was excited about this trip. So much so that aiming for a 6am meet at the gates, I found myself walking the streets of Woodstock at 5:25am! It was a magical half hour with the orange glow of the street lamps lighting up the interesting, but expensive, shops and restaurants of this VERY touristy town.
I had an interesting conversation with a Gentleman of the Road while drinking my coffee and when I returned to the gates found them open so I drove in (and around!) the Estate before meeting up with the rest of the crew.
Here's the Birthday Boy (boy?) choosing his craft.
The three boats set off at 2 or 3 minute intervals depending upon a) the dexterity of the oarsman and b) the amount of gear we loaded.
I was with Martin, who despite bringing along not only the kitchen sink but also the bathroom and downstairs loo's sinks, rowed us manfully and successfully down the lake. The mist was still hanging about and this made for some nice sights of our compatriots appearing out of the gloom.
I'll gloss over the results of the Good Ship Sod All and just confirm that the other 4 had some very fine results.
The well-known problem of getting rid of the coffee/tea/orange juice etc while in the middle of a small sea was quickly overcome by my compatriot thus:
Keith kindly presented us not only with a piece of his Birthday cake, home-made by himself he assured us, but also a lovely hand-made quill float, here beautifully demonstrated by Martin.

A couple of pints in the town at the close of play brought an end to the adventure and the only comfort I could take from the day was that I'd be back home in 20 or so minutes.

Next came my attempts at a catfish. I'd had on good authority that a small lake in Pitsford - about 40 minutes drive - held them up to 60lbs. Certainly pictures of 40lbs plus specimens confirmed their existence. Armed with some gob stopper halibut pellets and a box of California's finest calamari, I arrived to find I was the only angler. It was smaller than I imagined but a chat with a couple of guys who turned up while I was having a walk around gave me an idea of location.

Result, zilch. Move on.

Finally it was time for our week in Southwold. We returned to a flat we have rented on a number of occasions. The beauty of it is that it overlooks the beach and when I'm fishing, a quick attempt at tic tac (learned from my mis-spent youth at Birmingham Racecourse) brings my wife down with a cup of coffee. Perfect!
I fished about every other day, catching the high tide and staying for an hour or two through the ebb. I had bass, both takeable and small schoolies, as well as an eel. This was the first one I'd caught either from fresh or salt water for more than 10 years so I very carefully - no that doesn't go with the word "eel" - with GREAT difficulty unhooked and released it back into the surf. I was fishing 2 rods, 1 with lug tipped with a sliver of squid just lobbed into the third breaker, the other with a whole squid cast to the horizon (in my dreams). This second rod remained untouched as I think it was too early for the codling. All my fish came to the first rod.

So five or six weeks with only three sorties. All enjoyable even though only one saw fish on the bank. Now we're into proper Autumn weather with frosty mornings forecast maybe I'll have better luck with the predators.


  1. Dave you realy have something about people taking a slash don't you.
    Do you also hang around public loo's.
    It was tough at Blenheim though, and you are correct I did bring far too much kit (not that it did any good) good company did make the day go faster even without fish


  2. Welcome back Dave, did you take any bass pics?

  3. Hi Lee, sorry, the biggest was only about 1.5lbs so didn't bother. :-(
    BTW, well done on your expeditions!