I’m taking you back to New years eve 2009 and the Christmas period when most of us get a little extra time off work and maybe a few angling plans set out. This particular year was another wet one, not only that we’d also had a bit of the white stuff, the gritters had been out and my local Great Ouse was up to its neck with a mass of chocolate salty water!
Probably like most of you, when I feel the need to go angling, I just have to go!
Luckily for me, on leaving work pre the Christmas break I had taken some maggot and Lobworms home with the mindset that if the inevitable happened then I could just go out angling for a bite from anything and not necessarily a specific species (maybe just drop on to my local Grand union canal if push came to shove). Anyway, with all the festivities done and dusted and work looming fast the urge to angle was upon me, my brother was also itching to get out so between us we hatched a plan to get out and grab a bit of fresh air.
The Ouse was a definite no go, so I decided to head to a local lake that’s just a short drive from my home where I used to angle for Carp/Catfish. General coarse fishing wise, not that many anglers tend to bother with it but it holds all the usual suspects from Tench, Bream, Perch and Silvers, silvers that I had caught all be it by mistake on 12mm pop ups whilst fishing for Carp during previous springs and summers!
Leading up to this particular day, I had readied a tip rod, an Avon type rod with a 1.5oz tip, 5lb mainline, black cap maggot feeder stopped with a quick change bead and the hook link was a self-tied 2lb 80z to a size 16 hook with the intention of fishing a chopped worm tipped with a red maggot.
On arrival at just after first light it soon become apparent that half the lake was frozen solid so with only 5 swims maximum to choose from I carefully selected one that would not only be comfortable but also that sat on the back of the chilling wind.
I knew the lake quite well in regards to depths and features etc and in this particular peg at about 20yds or so the depth changed from sixteen feet to ten (a hump, quite a large hump) and this was to be my chosen distance. An empty feeder was then cast and clipped up, I then cast still with no hook link on five or six times just to get a little bit of maggot in the swim.
Shortly after, a baited cast was made and I sat back and chilled out with a brew from the flask.
We had decided to fish until mid afternoon and apart from me striking at thin air to a tentative pluck at mid-morning all else was quiet.
At about 1.30pm just as I was tucking in to a cold turkey and pickle sandwich, I had a knock, a little attention as I like to call it, the tip pulled round at a steady pace, little did I know what was about to rise and be pulled over the net cord? On first glimpse I can remember saying to my brother “I’ve got a very large silver dollar here”
Safely netted and unhooked, we then set about putting a number on her and neither of us could quite believe it when the scales read out a very pleasing winter 3lbs 8oz!!
A quick couple of pictures were taken before slipping her back and toasting with a sloe gin from the hip flask. We angled on for another couple of hours but no more attention was forthcoming and we headed for home to see the New year in.
The moral of the story is…. If you need to change tact or species then do it, you never know what that next bite might be!