Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

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Of Dumbell Wafters, eel-pacifying and perch holes

Saturday, 8 July 2017 at 14:19

Silly bait If you'd told me I'd ever fish with a bait called 'Dumbell Wafters' I'd probably have thought you were bonkers. Anyway... I was trying to catch tench in a local pond and the chap in the tackle-shop said this is what I wanted. I was thinking more of brandlings and/or lob tails, but bought the Wafters (Chocolate Orange flavour). The Wafters didn't catch tench (it said 'Irresistible' on the tub); nor did brandlings or lob tails. Meanwhile Henry divulged his trick for pacifying eels: you stroke them. This only works with big eels. Since I've never caught a big eel this was all esoteric - or possibly, mad. To bring myself round I went out at the crack to a perch hole on the river and caught a handful of decent perch. Then I moved upriver to the gravels where I knew there were dace - and I caught dace, too, best c.8oz. Triumphantly, I also released three minnows - another species to add to the list of local river fish.

I should get out more.

Bread, jack attacks and a rudd in a tree

Sunday, 2 July 2017 at 14:29

Jack attack Out for a few hours this morning in gathering heat, re-learning how to fish with bread flake for roach and rudd. I was pottering along quite happily, missing more than I hooked, when suddenly a jack loomed from a weedbed beneath my feet and had a go at a roach I was bringing to hand. There was a big, green-marbled swirl in the clear water.... The jack missed, fortunately. Next cast I hooked a little rudd - and this time the jack made no mistake. The Lucky bent over and I could see the jack clearly, with the unfortunate rudd protruding from its jaws. The pike wasn't anywhere near hooked, but nor would it let go of its prey. I played both fish for a minute or so and had begun to believe I might land them both - was reaching down for the net - when... The jack let go. The hapless rudd flew up into a tree, from whence I luckily retrieved it, though I can't say that by this time it was anything other than a terminally poorly rudd.

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