In the late summer and autumn of 2022, I suffered a weird illness that was never diagnosed. It left me feeling weak and breathless, far from my usual self. The obvious thing would have been covid or long-covid, but the tests said no. We ended up changing a load of things and one, or a combination worked and the illness passed. It took five months though! Having felt so rubbish for so long, which is very unlike me, I’ve been doing my best to make the most of this year. Getting my fitness back, trying to avoid “dad bod” and making the most of the opportunities. This has included fishing on a Friday morning before work for the last few months. Work starts at 7:30am so to fit in a couple of hours it means a 4am start. And I’ve been absolutely loving it! The best fishing I have enjoyed this year has nearly all come to those two hours on a friday morning. You don’t need to be there all weekend to catch a good one.
It wasn't a fluke
Having caught a fantastic big crucian carp a couple of weeks’ ago I was keen to repeat it and prove it wasn’t a fluke and I had a successful method of catching them. The lake where these lovely fish live is conveniently on the way to work so fits with the 4am start. It’s a lake that’s typical for the area, deep and surrounded by rhododendron. In a bid to allow the native flora to flourish much of the rhodo has been removed in recent years but, some has been left because whilst they do hog the sunlight to the detriment of the plants around them, for a couple of weeks each year their blooms are breathe taking. This year was perhaps the best I’ve seen and provided a stunning backdrop for a photo of a second large crucian carp that proved the first wasn’t a fluke. It was another week when I floated into work on cloud nine!
Coaching in June
The evening coaching session in June was in the stunning weather we’ve been blessed with this year. I really enjoy the evening session format. It doesn’t take up an important weekend day of family time for me of my guests and, particularly in the warm weather, it’s a really productive time to be in the bank. This month’s guests were a mix of familiar faces and a couple of new ones. Those returning for more fishing really are becoming independent which is so good to see. They include Lauren who came with her son and at the first session, “wasn’t going to fish”. Like so many before her, after seeing everyone else have so much fun she could t resist a go and we discovered in Lauren and completely natural and incredibly enthusiastic angler. One her first session Lauren had a story of the one that got away. That experience of feeling a fish really pull back on the rod and eventually slip the hook got her buzzing and gutted in equal measure. On her return she was desperate to settle the score. It was right at the end of the session and after a switch of bait to sweetcorn (a great tip for anyone seeking to catch the larger fish in front of them) that the shout went up, an excitement in a voice that can mean, I’ve hooked a whopper! This time it didn’t get away and we scooped up a fine mirror carp which had Lauren absolutely beaming from ear to ear. Really good fun!
Time for a change, it's Mullet time
Normally in late spring, when the carp spawn I leave the lakes alone and head off chasing mullet around the coast. It’s happened a bit later this year as the weather has played havok with the spawning behaviour of the fish in the lakes I fish. It’s been a similar story around the country from what I’m hearing.
So, after waitin and wiating I decided I needed a change of scenery and the carp gone has been put to one side and the mullet gear is out. With all the hot weather we’ve had the sea temperatures absolutely shot up in just a few weeks. It seems to have put the fish off a little and i’m finding far fewer mullet than I would expect for the time of year. That said, I’ve not had a blank session yet so it’s not all bad. I’ve been fishing on the Fowey and the Camel and the usual, “throw loads of bread at them, they’ll eventually eat it”, approach has been working well. Mullet have a reputation for being “grey ghosts” that are impossible to catch. They certainly can be frustrating but so long as you’re using fine tackle they’re easy enough to trick and provide great sport.
As I type the wind has gone to the west and things are a little fresher. The hope is, it’ll kick things back into life a little and the bass, smoth hounds, giltheads and everything else that visits at this time of year will come out to play.
It’s a good year, long may it continue. Good luck!