Growing up as a kid any fish was worth it's weight in gold.Gudgeon were plentiful,Perch and Roach abound.Maybe the odd Crucian Carp and Tench thrown into the mix.Then you grow older and you suddenly get a few pubic hairs,read Carp Fever(first edition) and hey ho you are now a specimen hunter.
I remember one night creeping into to the local trading estate and stealing the covers off the backs of Lorry's to hang over our brolly's down on the lake.And boy did those brolly sag under the weight.We needed a "Bivvie" right ?But they were happy times and care free with Mum and Dad always about to help with bait,tackle ect.
Now Perch have had such a huge resurgence in the last six years or so.I had my first decent Perch over three pounds about five years ago.And plenty of three plus Perch up to 3.11.But try as I might I cannot get that elusive 4lb plus fish.
Much to my shame I even stopped weighing fish that were well over 2lbs but under 3.They did not count as the fishing was so good.How sad is that ?I know certain waters have larger fish,but I got caught up in the "I must catch and catch big" thing.Yes I do like to catch larger specimens be they Perch,Tench,Pike,Chub ect,ect.But what's more important being happy in peace and quiet or trying to be an angling "hero" ?.It's not as If I need to prove my captures to anyone.So why did I get so fed up ?When did a 2.8lb Perch become such a poor fish ?Mr.Perch himself does not know,does he ? When did a 5lb Chub become "Only a Chub about 5lb,did not even weight it".I'm guilty of that.I would love like many,to see the large Roach of days gone by come back to the fore.And maybe less single species anglers on the river.Yes you know who you are,you Boris heads.
Where is this leading ?No where really,but as I get older I'm starting to think angling has lost it's way.If you do not catch and catch big all the time then you are seen as a chump ?Or should I say we as anglers have lost our way ?I know I did for a while,but I now I enjoy fishing alone more and more.Pleasing myself and just being happy to be out.
Christ not even a rant ?Melancholy old me.I think we may have got blase over the last few years with our rivers being in such rude health.we may need to get used to catching less but just being less hassled as the "fish chasers" leave the rivers and go back to the lakes ?