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d.owens

Operation Ducky

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Friday 5 July 2019

Tonight would be the beginning of three night shifts over the weekend. After getting out my pit at 10:30, the day was my own until picking the kids up from school at 3:30. The Ducky had been on my mind, I could have grabbed a few hours fishing on numerous, nicer waters, but I had let my previous failures on that snaggy puddle get under my skin. This was personal. I was soon heading to the tackle shop for a pint of red maggots, a bait I have confidence anything will take.

I selected a sheltered swim with some reed cover, the remains of a landing stage jutting out the water, and overhanging trees that meant casting could only be with an under arm flick of the rod. It was soon baited up with liquidised bread, crushed hemp and a few samples of juicy red maggots. Battle was about to begin.

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It did not take long for the curse of The Ducky to strike, first cast and my end tackle was instantly attacked by a duck. I lost my hook length and was lucky to get my float back. Soon, a flick of the rod tip had my little balsa float close to the derelict landing stage timbers, and triple maggots in the water. I began watching a heron patrolling the margins on the opposite bank, but my attention soon turned to my yellow tipped float and the unmistakable little plucks that would precede it vanishing below the surface. I soon had my first fish, a nice plump, fin perfect roach. I held it on my left hand, searching for my phone with my right, I needed a photo of this, the roach performed an escape act worthy of Houdini; disappearing into the water with a flashing silver somersault.

I was soon catching very small roach, seven or eight in about an hour, none as big as my first, but very welcome all the same.

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I also caught a tiny golden rudd, I was unsure of its identity, I think it may be the smallest fish I've ever caught, especially on size 14 hook! Following a brief lull in proceedings, the bites began again. This time a shoal of little perch had barged into the swim.

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Eight small stripeys later and it was time to leave, I watched a young lad stalking the margins and pulling out a double figure common carp, he had earlier told me that the largest carp in the lake was around 27lb. As I was putting my rod in the holdall I spotted what I thought was the head and shoulders of a decent sized carp cruising about 15 yards away. It was getting too late for me to whip the rod back out and try tempting it with a lump of bread, then I noticed that it was actually a turtle! An enjoyable couple of hours and, even though my landing net remained dry, I had broken there curse of The Ducky.
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