Saturday, 31 January 2015

Southern Softie

I'm not sure in all the years on the bank, my body has been as cold as it was today.Work has kept me away from the river these past two weeks and when I looked outside this morning a mixture of sleet and snow was falling.

Nearly went back to bed, sacked it off. But time is running out the specter of the close season is casting an unwelcome shadow across the land. Now you read about the importance of a layering system to keep the cold out, well today my body would pass for the  Michelin man of old, movement was hard, no giant strides along the bank today. More of a waddle and a twaddle, quack,quack.

Sanity made me pick an area a few miles upstream from where my main Perch area is, in that it's shrouded by trees, providing solace from the wind that was cutting right through me, sleet stinging my face. Spooky old place, the trees are gnarled and bent over. No birdsong, no wildlife , just silence as if the trees are waiting, watching, daring you to do something to feel their wrath, think Fangorn without the humor. Christ the cold was addling my mind, surely we all play out little scenarios in our minds while fishing.

Small curly tail grubs today fished very slowly across the bottom was the plan. After ten minutes my hands were frozen, not fun. Talking to myself " Your mad, should have stayed at home, fuck me I'm cold".

Move along a short way and cast to the far bank under some trailing willow fronds. Gently, very slowly bring the lure back in. Then a slow pluck, then a dull thump, thump and a head shake so synonymous with Perch.

Rod bent, trying to get her head up and praying the hook holds you just know when it's a good fish.On the surface her mouth opens wide, eyes glaring and defiant. Dorsal fin erect, angry and resolute. In the net and a fat as butter Crayfish eater looks back at you. Hooked very, very lightly in the top of her mouth. Fortunate to land this one, nine times out of ten the hook would have slipped from such a slight hold.

Not the greatest photo composition in the world , just a very quick snap and back she went. Hands burning through cold, no time to faff about.

Fished on for another couple of hours, but my concentration was waning, Thoughts of a hot bath, nip or three of Glenmorangie to warm my soul were in my mind. I'm sure my northern brethren are still out fishing in shorts and a tee shirt, while this Southern Softie is home and warm.Three hours were more than enough for me today.

Already my thoughts are turning to  next season, some Trout in the Spring and a club water that I've not had a ticket for, for a few years. But's it's shallow and fast running in the upper reaches, so with that in mind a new ultra light rod was bought  in the week. Mainly to fish small crank baits for Chub and Perch.

These will be getting a work out, soft baits do catch me more fish. But crank bait fishing for me is much more fun. So roll on some sun on my bones as today was tough.

Lastly, Helen Macdonald has recently won the Costa Book prize for H is for Hawk. This book has gained immense plaudits over the months.

Like to think I was way ahead of the game with this one.

Be Lucky

Monty D


  1. Delicate little soul aren't you :o) You need to eat more pies and get some blubber around yer bones.

    Love the mini-lures, they make lovely earrings for the girlie in your life.

  2. Dave,

    I did waver about getting out, train was delayed. Standing on an empty platform, was not an ideal start. You start to think, go home, go home. Glad I waited though, as for the lures, the beans weigh in at 1.5 grams.

    The others are tiny also, weighing in at a little over 2 grams.

  3. Love the blogs mate. Started lure fishing last October with some success with zander
    and perch and a few jacks on local canals. Keeping hands warm now is main problem. Kevin

    1. Kev,

      Glad you enjoy it. Your not find any advice on here in relation to lure fishing.

      Have a look at this blog.. and Paul's video channel. Plenty to learn on here, my blog is just a piss take and a ramble mostly.

  4. Well in there shag. Good to see that you're not pushing the old 'lure fishing keeps you warm in winter' load of trollocks, as it dosen't.

  5. I tend to put glovies on me dannies when its nippy.

    Nice perch Monty .

    1. I'll be getting some tomorrow mate, fancy these.

      Got a few sessions planned in the next couple of weeks, with a few people. Can't be doing with numb hands :-(

  6. Nice perch Monty. I had my first good 'un of the year last week. Tight lines for the rest of the season mate.

    1. You too mate, the river rose by a foot or so last night. Christ knows why it's not rained.

  7. Thanks mate
    If it's not a wind up.

  8. Kev,

    Just Google "River Piker" or go to Youtube and put that in and watch Paul's videos, the one on Drop Shotting is a classic. Or look at Both very good blogs.