The Dawn Raiders Rise Again
It has been a while since telling another story as in the main they have centred on my fishing experiences with my friend Percy. However, my dawn raiding now concentrates on our Club Fishing Match scene. The lads are all very much friends and are willing to help one another out, well except Ian Darler and myself. You see, as well as being the grumpy old men of the group we have adopted Percy- speak and Percy don’t tell the truth speak. It’s getting quite extreme. Let me explain, as youngsters Percy would encourage us to go fishing, he would show us how to make floats, tie hooks, shot lines etc. Oh yes and if the floats were any good he would put them in his pocket and break the other ones he did not like. Yes! Snap them in two. Can you imagine it, the little lad spending hours making them only to see them on the floor in pieces. how Percy remained unchallenged by this severe and I have to say random action I do not know. He also taught us to be cagey about how we were catching in matches going to extremes of concealing baits on hooks, methods etc. Did we ever learn anything? I don’t know but one thing is for sure being students of the bullshit, Ian and I are up there. This season’s series of matches started off o.k. with a sort of openness between the two of us but it soon deteriorated. Pegged side by side but separated by a huge reed bed so that we could not see each other at Mepal was the start of things. 1 hour into the match and Ian reported with his booming voice that his son was doing well but he could not get a bite. I confessed to catching a Perch but really I had three and two Roach. Two hours into the match and Ian reported that things were very poor indeed and I confessed the same despite adding another two Roach to my net. I kept hearing splashes but that’s not unusual with Ian because he is not half measure, mainly often lumping in great qualities of bait. It was really windy so I opted for a small feeder with a light hook length down to a size 16. Apart from a little Perch which whacked round the tip it remained motionless until just when I was having a cup of coffee (always happens) the tip not only went round but the rod was pulled into the lake. This is a lake known for its Carp so I thought here we go! I gripped the rod, struck and true enough I met with a solid resistance. The thing was that it did not scuttle off but just kind of thumped occasionally. Gradually I brought the fish over the shallow bar and to the landing net. It decided to go mental just at the net and yes, ping went the hook. A 2 lb Bream lost at the net. Because of the wind and because I could not be seen, Ian was none the wiser, so I did not say anything. Out went the feeder and no sooner had it loaded it winched round but sadly it was not another Bream but a skinny little Perch – undeterred I set about it again and just as I was about to recast the tip moved slightly then drew away in that characteristic Bream fashion. Over the next couple of hours I added four more Bream until it went quiet. I then decided to go on the long pole over some Hemp which I had put in earlier and bang I was into a decent Roach, then another, then another until I got hooked up on some discarded line which messed up my pole rig. Right, out went my little feeder while I sorted out my rig. I confessed to Ian I was catching Roach on Hemp which was probably not a good idea as he started to catch the other side of where I had put my Hemp. Then my tip moved and moved again, I struck but this time the fish went off like a steam engine straight through some rushes and out into the middle of the lake. I let it run but just kept the pressure on. Just like the scene in ‘Jaws’, the fish stopped out in the middle and then turned and headed back towards me. Frantically I gained line only for the fish to zip through the rushes again and sulk the other side. I could feel the fish was still on but the line above the fish was caught on the rushes. I held the strain for a bit and lent into the fish. Nothing happened, I put more pressure on then all of a sudden the fish surfaced thrashed around and came out the way it went in phew! My 16 hook and 3 lb hook length held firm and a lovely Common of around 6 lb was in my net. I confessed to Ian, well I could hardly not admit it considering all the commotion.. When young Dudley shouted up behind me “that’s a lovely fish” when I was adding my sixth Bream to the net my bluff was definitely blown. Still 2nd in the match and kept it quiet for 5 hours. The situation has been recently reversed though, on our latest encounter on the River Lark. Another story to tell!