The water temperature has been kept unseasonably low due to numerous night time frosts and combine that with a very chilly wind at times and you can understand not only my reluctance to fish but the very reason why the fish themselves are so reluctant to feed at times.
After some pretty dire conditions of late, I haven’t really felt like getting out the coarse fishing gear. I don’t mind the rain per-Se but with these miserable temperatures of late, I have never felt so less inclined to fish. Work has also kept me off the banks for a while too. I mean, how very dare you.
Of course it doesn’t help when you fish with three mates that are all retarded er I mean retired (well, I think that’s what I mean ).
Still at long last we have experienced a slight rise in those overnight temperatures. We haven’t had a frost for at least a week and with the gauge not dropping below 6-8 most nights and daytime temps remaining around 13 or so, it was beginning to look a little more promising. We opted not to fish on the Tuesday evening as the forecast was again for some very heavy rain with a significant drop in temperatures again. However Wednesday’s forecast was pretty good, so we hoped that this blip wouldn’t spoil the fishing on Wednesday.
Geoff, Kevin and I set off, probably with limited expectations but I was certainly looking forward to being on the banks again after my enforced hiatus from my so far unsuccessful attempt at a big crucian. We headed to Godalming town centre for some lunch. Godalming is a lovely town, with several good cafe’s to boast of and a couple that offer very good value for money. So after a very healthy lunch (cottage pie and er chips…uhum!) we wandered along the river for an hour before heading off to Marsh Farm.
On arrival the lakes were showing the signs that spring was well and truly underway and that despite the weather’s best efforts to convince us otherwise, Summer was just around the corner. The trees were in full bud, the reeds were tall and green and the bankside flora was showing signs of healthy, vibrant growth. Perhaps this was not quite as much as it would normally be at this time of the year for obvious reasons but it was at least a sign that things were improving.
Very unusually there was no wind when we arrived. So I opted for a swim in amongst some thick reed beds where close in the depth is around 3 feet. With so much cover for the fish, I just felt it had to produce. Geoff wandered off to my right and Kevin stayed in a very good area to my left. The sun was out, albeit just at intervals due to the cloud cover and it actually felt very pleasant. We all felt it was the best conditions we had experienced so far this Spring.
Geoff was in almost immediately; a tench. I missed a couple of bites on paste and after missing a couple more opted to go back to worm bait. Kevin was steadily catching some small roach. This sort of action continued for some time. My switch to worm elicited instant results, when after a really good fight I netted a beautiful looking tench weighing 6lb 5oz.
Then the wind sprung up and the action slowed a little. Eventually the wind dropped and the action continued throughout the night. Geoff seemed to be catching tench steadily whilst Kevin and I were somewhat slower in the action. Then Geoff reported his first crucian. shortly followed by Kevin. They ended up with 2 or 3 each, mostly over 2lbs and one dead on 3 for Kevin. Despite catching 6 nice tench I felt a bit excluded from the action. I was getting lots of interest on the float. Lots of tiny dibs and dips, with the float moving slightly from side to side. A sure indication that crucians were in the swim and mouthing the bait in only the frustratingly delicate way that crucians can. I had plumbed the swim several times to check depth and so ended up whittling down the bait size. I ended up with just about a quarter of a dendrobaena worm on. I moved the float in towards the bank slightly, after seeing a few good crucians roll close in. After probably 20 minutes of tiny movements on the float, there was a sufficient ‘bite’ to strike at. This time I connected with something heavy. The fight was dogged, with the odd dive, whilst the fish plodded around in a circle. Eventually it broke surface and the magnificent buttery gold flank glistened in the torch light. It looked like a really nice fish and after a couple of heart stopping dives, I eventually netted her.
I was looking at a perfect specimen crucian. She was immaculate, just so stunning. They are truly a beautiful fish to behold. I popped her in the weigh sling and recorded a weight of 3lb 9oz. I was over the moon. It’s the biggest crucian I have had for sometime and a just reward for all of those dismal sessions in the wet and cold weather of the last couple of months.
Well Geoff ended up with 12 tench (again, I think he had about 12 the last time we were here), including several 5s and 2 or 3 crucians, Kevin I think had 7 tench and 3 crucians to 3lb and I brought up the rear with 6 tench and the 1 crucian. Still with the 6lb tench and the 3lb 9oz crucian, I felt I’d had the moral victory, they may of coarse disagree! We left at this point as the weather had got somewhat chilly and it was nearly midnight. Enough is enough.