Sunny at times, windy at times and mostly dry, the first ever trip of the Thurnby Church Anglers was everything that could have been hoped for. No-one blanked, but more importantly everyone had fun, and the bankside banter and conversation was as much a part of the day as the fish landed.
Although all members of St Luke's Church, we were an eclectic bunch, a mixture of experienced and obsessed anglers and newcomers to the hobby (in the case of Graham's nephew, one teenage angler fishing for the very first time) and the tackle in use varied from state of the art to "out of the ark". Although the fishing was never hectic, fish came steadily throughout the day, with perch, crucians, roach, bream, tench and chub all putting in an appearance.
The crucians were chubby and for those of us who were pole fishing pulled the elastic gamely before dazzling on the bank with their plump profile and golden sheen.
Most were small, like the ones pictured above, but the odd better sized specimen turned up, like the one held by Louie in the picture below:
As someone who, in common with many anglers, generally fishes with one particular target species in mind (usually pike or perch in autumn, winter and spring, and carp in summer), it was a real pleasure to be fishing for whatever chose to take the bait, and to never know what was going to bite next. This chub was my most prized fish of the day, not for its size, but because it was the first of its species that I had caught for many a year, and it gave a good account of itself on my light pole tackle.
We mostly fished using either pole or waggler tactics, both proving effective, but Pete's experiments using the Method towards the end of the session showed its potential for this lake, with a succession of carp attacking the feeder within minutes of it landing on the lake bed.
Some of the mirror carp were among the prettiest I have ever seen, with lovely scale patterns. I often think that carp are similar to pike, in that while the giant leviathans provide a sterling test and look impressive, it's their smaller brethren that are the most aesthetically pleasing to look at.
All too soon it was time to pack up, but it was unanimously agreed that the inaugural trip had been a stunning success, that every church should have a fishing club as well as Bible study groups, Alpha Courses, Sunday schools and youthgroups, and that we should meet again next month for another outing. I, for one, can hardly wait .....