I originally posted this in the June of 2011 on the Warrington Anglers Forum. I feel it gives an insight into what fishing is all about, and hopefully tells you something about my personal approach to angling. Hope you enjoy it.
I finished work yesterday handy at about 5pm, and with the weather so good and the wife working a late shift I couldn’t resist a quick evening session, Rixton was the chosen spot. I rushed home and loaded the car with the minimal amount of tackle I could, rod, reel, landing net, tackle box of bits, feed pellets and a small tin of sweet corn. By 6:30pm I was there on the bank side bathed in glorious sunshine with a light whisper of a breeze on my face. I chose a spot I’ve fished the last few visits to Rixton as it looks great for Tench but I’ve yet to pluck one from the swim and with conditions looking good confidence was high that I might get lucky this time.
I chose to fish off to my left under some overhanging bushes where there were already some bubbles emerging from the bottom, could be fish, might not be, I told myself they were definitely Tench grubbing around anyway! I flicked out some corn and a few small pellets then set my tackle up. This normally takes me about half an hour, sometimes more, this evening with such a spars amount of gear with me it took 3 mins and I was fishing!
I had decided to set up a rig I have been using a lot recently as it has a couple of benefits for me. It simply consists of an under shotted float set roughly to 2-3″ over depth with no hook link on, I then slide on a running link to which I attach a small lead, followed by a quick change bead. With the float set by tightening the line, the bead sits just on bottom, so with the 6″ hook link attached to the bead I am fishing 6″ over depth. I like this rig as it enables me to easily flick the rig tight up to features without snagging up, and the extra weight of the lead makes it easy to be accurate at a fair distance, which I would struggle to do with just a float set up. Also as it is running it is still pretty sensitive and safe. It’s just like fishing a running lead really, but with a float instead of a tip as a bite indicator. I just flicked the rig out under arm, set my rod down on the lilies next to me, as I didn’t bring a rod rest, and tightened the line until the tip of the float was just visible, perfect. With double corn on the hook, one side hooked one on the hair; I sat back and enjoyed the moment.
My eyes are not what they used to be, so I let a little off the reel to allow the float to sit a little higher in the water, but the real problem wasn’t the float, it was the masses of bubbles, ducklings, small birds and fish jumping clean out of the water that was distracting my eyes from my float!
About an hour passed and I had spotted a few small dinks on the float but nothing ‘sail away’, so I changed from my double corn to single to see if a smaller bait would bring results. It certainly did, I got much more positive bites, but struggled to hit them. I changed from using a hair rig to just side hooking the corn, the same problem. It might have been smaller fish plucking at the corn, but I’ve put this down to the rig needing refining, maybe a shorter hook link next time will improve it. I didn’t change anything though this time, and didn’t catch anything either even though I continued to get bites up until I left at 9:30pm, I was just happy to be there to be honest, and a fish really would have been a bonus. I went to a local commercial fishery last Saturday with my wife as she is not a member of WAA so we just go to day ticket venues when we have time to fish together. We caught plenty of fish, but which trip did I enjoy more? It’s got to be the short session on Rixton last night, after all, it’s called fishing, not catching!