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Roach and Reflections: The Doc Spot


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Fun fishing and easy to forget just how engrossing float fishing can be in this age of bolt-rigs and Method feeders Fun fishing and easy to forget just how engrossing float fishing can be in this age of bolt-rigs and Method feeders

This month Paul is on holiday and reflecting upon his fishing during 2013 and looking forward to the challenges ahead; he’s also remembering just how much fun it is to watch a float!








It is going to be a particularly short blog this month, purely because my fishing was uncharacteristically limited to just a couple of sessions with nothing of note coming to my net.

This had nothing to do with any loss of enthusiasm, or even very much to do with the weather, but purely because my wife and I had decided to book a two-week holiday at the end of the month (apparently our first fortnight away for more than 15 years!). This sojourn had the knock-on effect of meaning that a month’s worth of work had to be crammed into the start of the month to ensure the bills were paid. Such is life, and to be honest with very few reports of decent fish being caught, I was not that frustrated to be away from the bank.

I hope that the pattern of the last couple of winters is not something that we can come to accept as the norm. The high winds and heavy rain have brought misery to much of the country, which would make any bellyaching about not being able to go fishing sound rather trite. In fact, if you have been willing to get a bit uncomfortable there have been plenty of opportunities to wet a line, even if the results have not been spectacular. With the rivers in my part of the world unfishable in the main, it was to the stillwaters that my attentions turned.

I did manage a total of two and a half days on the bank during January. I opened my account on the first day of the year back on the local reservoir bagging more roach on the pole, whiling away a few hours before the rain returned and I decided that enough was enough. It was fun fishing and it is easy to forget just how engrossing float fishing can be in this age of bolt-rigs and Method feeders. There was certainly nothing complicated about the fishing and a half-decent match angler would probably have tripled what I managed to catch, but for pure enjoyment it was right up there. The main upshot of this was that it did remind me of just how much I have missed my grayling trotting this winter, something I must remedy in 2014.

My two other trips out were during rare lulls-between-the-storms when I was able to get out on the reservoir zander fishing. The first day was spent lure fishing, resulting in a couple of small pike, whilst the second was spent deadbaiting, resulting in a complete blank.

Despite our initial enthusiasm for the winter opening on the ressies the results have been generally poor. Our own fishing has been rather less than I had originally hoped because of distractions further south, but in the words of Arnie ‘I’ll be back’ come Autumn for a more sustained effort to uncover a few more of the hidden gems in these huge venues.

Reflecting on why we have not caught much here this winter the answer is perfectly obvious, we have never really been in touch with the fishing. This only comes with time on the water and without it you have to be remarkably lucky to catch with any consistency. This coming winter things will be different...

I am a terrible fidgeter when on holiday and certainly not the kind of person that can laze about for days on end. I wish I were, as there is much to be said for doing nothing, but it isn’t in my nature.

With two weeks holiday at my disposal I had a cunning plan to finish a book that I have been working on for a couple of years now, as I tend to only work on it whilst on holiday. This panned out really well and by the time we were due to come home the bulk of the missing chapters were finished and now it is all systems go! There is still a lot of work ahead, but I would expect this next tome to be ready by September of this year and will mark a big departure from my first book ‘Underwater Angling’. Hopefully, if it goes well, then more will follow. I have so many ideas for books and enjoy the whole process of writing and producing them, so with a following wind there will be more!

Whilst I was sat next to the pool sunning myself in the Canaries I had time to reflect on the year just gone and the months ahead. Despite catching some good fish in 2013 it was a slight disappointment in some respects. I guess the main reason for this was that I wanted to do too much and flitted about a little too often. A lesson learned and one that I hope not to repeat this year. How that will pan out in 2014 I do not know. Normally I am able to drop a few permits at the change of the year, happy that I want to move on to pastures new, but this year I want to keep just about all my permits as there is still some great fishing to be had. Add to this a couple of new tickets that I hope will drop through the letter box and it is going to be an interesting 11 months! I have also added my name to a couple more waiting lists. Mainly carp syndicates, although the carp are not my main interest. I know it may be some years before my chance for a ticket comes up, but that is fine by me, hopefully when the time comes I will be spoilt for great fishing.

I do have some very interesting places to fish this year, some that will probably be much harder to crack than others. Unfortunately though, for a variety of reasons, I won’t be able to tell you about the lows and highs of fishing these venues. Some have publicity bans in place, others are already well known, but in respect to the anglers already fishing there I cannot write about them, and one is a complete unknown which could prove to be something very special indeed. I want to keep that one under my hat for now!

So my ramblings are going to be slightly less frequent and perhaps take a different tack in future. Can I take this opportunity though to thank you all for reading my monthly blog and wish you all the very best for the year ahead.

And fingers crossed the bloody rain might ease up sometime soon!



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Paul Garner