Covid -19. Time for a little self isolation, went fishing

March 23, 2020 at 6:07 pm

There can be nobody that is unaware of the global threat to life as we know it, as Covid-19, the latest and deadliest type of coronavirus, that has rapidly spread from China in recent months, continues to cast a shadow over all our lives. Governments are struggling to get ahead of the curve of infections, bringing in restrictions on movement and association.

Only days ago, the thought of an escape to the solitude of a small pond filled with obliging crucian carp, seemed the ideal antidote to worries of the future. Thumbing through waters in a club handbook, I found the likely candidate, a tree lined farm pond twenty minutes drive away, that boasted nothing of size, but plenty of roach, crucians and common carp ready to pull the float under. The first day of summer had dawned bright and clear, the sun still shining when I arrived at noon, although a chill wind was blowing in clouds from the east. The car park was close to the pond and short walk found a well tended swim with no overhead obstructions. Perfect.

Prepared for battling crucians and an occasional common carp, I had brought my heavy duty pole with 12 – 18 weight elastic, setting up with a 16 x 4 antenna float to a size 16 hook Plumbing the depth, I found three feet at 4 metres, dropping away to four feet at 6 metres. While getting ready, I had not seen a ripple, or a movement on the surface and wondered how accurate the handbook had been in its description of the fishing. I ventured a small ball of liquidised bread at 5 metres, followed by the float rig baited with a 5 mm punch of bread and sat back waiting for the action to begin.

It began with a few dips of the float, followed by a slow sink to the left. Bracing myself, I lifted into the bite. Missed it? No I hadn’t.

My heart sank. There was no mention in the handbook blurb of rudd, let alone tiny ones.

Back in again, the float dipped and sank. A bit more resistance, it was a slightly larger rudd.

I was fishing just off bottom with the bulk shot 12 inches from the hook. Adding another length of pole, I adjusted the depth to 4 feet in an attempt to avoid the rudd, damping down the feed to allow a tight ball to fall through quickly.

The rudd were still small and after an hour would have expected some better fish to have been attracted into the swim, or a few bubbles bursting on the surface. At least the float kept going under. I slipped into mechanical mode. Feed a small ball, fish to the side of it, hook another rudd. At last they seemed to be getting bigger. I actually netted this one!

Slipping the landing net under another “better” rudd, a voice behind made me jump. I was in my own little fishing world and someone asking how I was getting on brought me back to reality.

I said that I had not had any crucian carp yet. “Crucians! There haven’t been any crucians in here since the 90’s!” So much for the handbook. That young lad proudly displaying a net of crucians and tench has probably got sons of his own now. A long time member of the club, my visitor explained that the photos and write ups were rarely changed. “I only had one tench here last year. Its mostly carp now.”

After a chat, and more rudd for me, he walked round the pond and settled down opposite, casting out his two rods diagonally with a bait either side, spraying out pouches of pellets over the deeper water.

My steady feed had been effective over a small metre square area, fishing close to the bottom picking up some chunky rudd. I had gone up to a 6 mm punch, which seemed to have slowed the catch rate, but improved the quality.

After three hours, the temperature had dropped considerably and with tea and sandwiches gone, this rudd was my last. My carp fishing collegue, also packed up, not having had a bite.

No crucian carp, but the rudd had kept me busy and thinking about fishing rather than the worries of the World. If there is a government clampdown on travel, this may be my last blog for some time.