My Year in Review 2012

Wed 09 January 13

 

In my last article I mentioned that I didn’t think I would get an opportunity to get down the lake again before the New Year, well after a weekend of strategically getting in the way and generally moping around the house this weekend saw me banished to the lake!

Unlike most weekends where I am able to get down after work on a Friday this week due to my work Xmas meal I didn’t head down the lake until Saturday morning. I had hoped to be there around first light however, the stonking hangover I woke up with put paid to that.

The lake was fairly quiet; although the anglers who were fishing had spread themselves out quite well so most area of the lake were covered. With this in mind I headed for an area left free. With all the rain we’d seen recently the swim itself was a quagmire, but luckily I managed to get my bivvy setup close to the pontoon where there was some dryish ground.

My Year in Review image 1

After the last week being so cold I hoped the sudden mild and wet weather might make the fish more active. I managed to get everything set up and the kettle on before the first of many cloud-bursts came through, and this was the pattern for the rest of the day.

Whilst I was sat there I thought about my fishing for the year, the highs and lows and more importantly what I had learnt, so whilst it’s all fresh in my mind I will share some of this with you.

There have been many highs this year; last winter I caught quite consistently catching my first fish in the month of January after quite a few years of trying, the backing it up with a few more before the end of the season at Broadoak in March. Moving on to early June I was not only lucky enough to catch one of my target fish out of Broadoak but to catch it in a charity match meant that I won a prize donated of one year’s membership on Medway Valley Fisheries.

This ticket has really helped me expand as a carp angler as anyone of who read my previous blog articles will know, my fishing over the years has almost exclusively been on small to medium sized estate lakes so fishing large gravel pits has forced me to start thinking about what I am doing again. Staying on this subject the key thing I have learnt has been that no matter what the lake is if you keep things simple, watch the water and listen to other anglers these waters, whilst by no means easy, are definitely not as daunting as I first felt.

July was my first French trip since 2007 and the fishing at the Island Lake, not to mention the venue itself and brilliant bailiffs have left me seriously excited about returning there in 2013. I accept it is not easy but the rewards the lake can throw up are astonishing, catching two 45lb mirrors and a 50lb’er was seriously pleasing.

My final highlight has to be just a few weeks ago catching my first UK 40, even now it seems surreal and I have once or twice gone back to the pictures just to confirm it wasn’t a dream. Sadly with highs come lows, for reasons I won’t go into in this blog, the biggest low this year was when I decided to leave Broadoak, it’s a truly stunning venue but with things that had gone on their over the last two years I no longer felt I could continue to fish there.

So what else have I learnt?
Well in no particular order of importance, chod rigs are easier to tie if you crimp them, using a quality pair of crimping pliers is essential, sometimes a pub chuck is a perfectly acceptable way to fish and might throw up a surprise, pop-ups do work even though the concept is still ridiculous and scaling down your gear to keep mobile is harder than you think, you empty your bag and promise yourself that you will only put essentials back into the bag, 30 minutes later everything you took out is back in. I am still not sure how that happened but I have promised myself that for next year when I venture back on to the big unfished gravel pit I will have reduced the amount of kit I take with me.

My Year in Review image 2

Well after that little round up I will bring you back to the current session, I decided that I wanted to get an early night, as usual whenever you decide to do that I then laid in my sleeping bag listening to the radio for a couple of hours before I drifted off to sleep. I was woken up a couple of times during the night with the bloody swans going through my line but all was quiet on the fishing front until just before 5am when I had a take. Sadly all I felt was the fish shake its head before everything went slack. Not a great end to the year but speaking to others on the lake no one else had a touch so I obviously did something right!

That will definitely be it for this year fishing wise, next weekend I have to go to a friend’s wedding then its Christmas, so I would like to thank you all for reading my ramblings and hopefully see you all next year.

Tight lines,
Stef