Today's final session of 2014 was a reminder of two things- stillwater fish are much easier to catch in warm weather than cold, and winter angling can be cruel. For me, fishing in the colder months is like smoking cigarettes - more of an addiction than a pleasure. This morning as I climbed into the car to get my quick three hour fix the car temperature gauge cheerfully informed me that the air temperature was a full 2 degrees, and the weather forecast on the car radio didn't suggest it was going to get that much warmer, either.
Knowing that bites would be at a premium, I decided to go small (size 20 hook and single maggot), with half a pint of maggots and half a pint of castors as bait. As I arrived at the lake the sky had a pretty pinkish tinge, which quickly faded to wolf coat grey. I set up with one of Ian Lewis' (Ian Lewis handmade floats) Norfolk reed wagglers, and began feeding a swim just off the edge of some dead reedbeds.
I was fishing with Pete, my regular fishing companion, who decided to double his chances by fishing a swimfeeder tucked in close to an overhanging tree with maggot as bait, as well as a waggler. In the event Pete had the only bite of the whole three hours that we fished together. Fortunately he connected with the fishy culprit, the result being the carp pictured below.
After the allocated three hours were up I needed to return to work for an afternoon meeting, followed by a running a training session for the village primary school football team that I coach before taking the first (of many!) carol services this month. My fishing season, which has almost entirely comprised of very short sessions, has lost momentum in recent weeks, with the abundant pike and perch of the spring months from the canal, and the summer's carp giving way to a disappointing winter in which Pete has almost permanently had the "Indian sign" over me.
Pete stayed on for another two and a half hours after my departure, and added this handsome perch to his catch, on what was a gruelling winter session, and- almost certainly for us- the angling swansong of 2014.
But here's the funny thing: while this morning's session may have been about as pleasant as a bad case of amoebic dysentery, and notwithstanding the fact that January and February may prove even colder and harder to find fish, I can't wait till my next session ........... do they do the equivalent of nicotine patches for fishing? ......... this addiction is getting ridiculous.