Catching our New Years Fish (You are having a laugh)
In a nutshell, it was a disaster, for all sorts of reasons, not least the weather...
To start with I had a lucky escape on Christmas morning when a car coming towards me lost control on the ice, crossed to my side of the road and smashed into me head on. My early Christmas present was an airbag hitting me in the face, but as the policeman said, I walked away from it, and metal can be repaired.
Then there was the weather. Like the rest of the country winter hit East Yorkshire hard, and despite several phone calls to various contacts I failed to find a water that wasn’t frozen, or hazardous to get to, especially in my little courtesy car. With our scheduled New Years Day session getting nearer, we were struggling. New Years Day, some more phone calls, and the inevitable conclusion, we would not be going fishing.
New Years Day came and went, so did several more. Decorations came down and were packed away for another year. Martyn returned to Oxford, and work. Life settled back into the usual routine, but still no early season fish, just lots more snow and ice.
Jan 28th and at last my phone call gets a positive result, the lake was clear of ice, and as an added bonus the weather forecast indicated a milder day … chomping at the bit just about sums it up! An hour before first light and I’m on the road. For once I didn’t need several prods to get me out of bed. With the sky just starting to lighten I’m stood by an empty lake, and I’ve not even needed to get the full thermals on. Come on Brian, get the gear out, you’re wasting fishing time!
Tactically I was very aware that it was only two days since the lake had an ice covering, so although the conditions were quite pleasant, I didn’t go mad with the bait, and for starters opted for high attract, heavily glugged 14mm boilies and no free bait. It can be a real leap of faith to fish with no free bait, just two single hook-baits, but it has served me well in the past, so I was happy to give it some time.
A couple of hours passed and nothing, no signs of fish, no signs of movement on the bobbins, and no signs of other anglers. Perhaps my early optimism was ill founded, then a single bleep, and another as the line went slack and the bobbin started to fall towards the ground. I scrambled from my chair, picked up the rod, tightened the Basia clutch and wound like mad, till at last I caught up with the fish and put the Infinity into its full battle curve. My first fish of the year was on.
A few nervous moments but eventually I slipped the net under a lovely mirror of about 17lbs. Take my word for it, I was well chuffed!
I got the camera gear out, and did some self takes, got recast out, and put the kettle on, my season was underway. Things were soon to get even better, the buzzer on the recently recast rod burst into life, a real one toner, and I was attached to my second fish. Another good fight, and another fish in the net. So my tea had gone cold, who cares?
I’d had to wait almost a full month for my “Traditional New Years” trip, but it was turning out to be worth the wait. Fish continued to take a fancy to my heavily glugged single boilies, and I was kept pleasantly busy.
As the light started to fade, I’d had nine, a brilliant day. How does the old saying go? “Good things come to he who waits”.
As a footnote, the following day the cold weather returned with a vengeance, and as I write this the lake has its “ice lid” back. So I missed my New Years Day fish, but at last I’m off and running, or perhaps looking out of the window, I should say slipping.