Monday, 3 October 2016

Losses and Gains; Swings and Roundabouts; Snakes and Ladders and The Like

Dank dawn
As the hook pulled-out for the third successive time it was time to question all in life.

The scapegoat was the hook. Ripped from involvement and cast aside. Replaced by a smaller, bright, young, more attractive model. 'Twas ever thus.

No further losses. Youth is the future.

A steady, regular, intermittent fluting cut the dawn air. Out of sight but consuming the mind.

Curlew pitch it was, but no upturn toward the end. The likely comparison call note was golden plover. Anything is possible here within a stone's throw of Draycote Water and a dried pea throw of an extensive escarpment running south-east.

A move, and into the target straightaway. Three roach in as long as it had earlier taken to have a wash and, in clearing water, these beauties were approaching their winter peak. Thickening of gut, sparkling of scale and fighting fit. Not the usual washed-out complexion from this oft deeply murky canal.

1, 2, 3 or, more precisely, 1.1.14, 1.3.6 & 1.3.0. Yet the last one is the only one that looks big. The angle of the shot is all.
Visibility had increased from nine inches depth to around eighteen since last Sunday. Three days. Much more clarity and things could become rather too challenging.

The shoal found, the boats increased and the end was upon us.

No sooner had the beginning drawn it's draughty early morning breath than it was wheezing the end through funnels and smoke as a steam narrowboat forced it's industrial scale prop past with deep thumping kinetic drive.

That earlier sound stiffened the ears again but this time multiple calls and, overhead, five plover hung on the breeze contemplating decent. So it certainly wasn't a curlew then. They drifted north and out of sight over the high hedge that had protected all that mattered from the early wind.

Returning yesterday to trial underwater filming in cahoots with The Boy Wonder we found aquatic visibility still at around 18" at first light. The sun would rise promptly without any cloud cover to assist in the attempt but limit fish feeding.

Two roach gave themselves away to the baked sensation. The first just eight ounces; the next established it's position twice in also being runner-up to date in the current big roach campaign list

I cannot recall a more perfect canal specimen than this. 1.4.10
The filming needs work but the principle is firmly established. Switching the camera ON before filming for an hour will make results improve, we fear.

Big Canal Roach Campaign current list:

The above takes us back to the first year of this obsession when the fish averaged around 1lb 2ozs on the North Oxford Canal until, during some kind of death wish session, 3 handfuls of mash were introduced at the off. After that change to increased feed fish over 1.8.0 became regular.

Recently, perhaps the equivalent of half that volume has been used so there's an area that might improve things. There must be a limit though and over forthcoming visits we'll find out.

Yesterday evening, an hour before and after sunset picking-up on the long-established River Leam 4lb chub hunt, and 20 minutes into dark this:
High on the Leam list at this weight and with the fight to test the tackle to its limit but the clutch was set just perfect for the bang-crash-wallop event in a swim just 2.5m wide, and full of potential banana skins, and within seconds he was banked and not best pleased about it.

Three pounders are not that common on this small river and it makes a nice start to go with the 2.12 fish of a fortnight ago.

Having ditched the membership I had last season in favour of stretches further downstream the clear difference in weight is immediately confirmed. If there is indeed a four pounder out there this is surely where it will come from and the 3.13 fish taken had three years ago will be that big by now - if dear old Lutra lutra hasn't had nabbed it yet

Parting thought...
It's tough being a spaniel

No comments:

Post a Comment