Something Old, Something New

Back in the winter I wrote a blog suggesting that we lose a little something if we don’t continue to explore the full breadth of the angling experience. I believe that we should all try and rediscover those techniques or disciplines we once used, have since abandoned, or never tried.

For our anniversary, my adorable wife had booked us a wooden lodge next to a private lake. Which is how I found myself sat in idyllic countryside in southern England’s Somerset, in glorious sunshine with a match rod in one hand, a glass of champagne in the other and two slightly cooked beagles.

A Bit Out Of My Depth

One thing I have loved over the years, but have not practiced in perhaps 8 years or more is a bit of float fishing. Bait fishing at its simplest (or more complex depending on your point of view). Now I am not Harry the Finygo Fishpert. He excels at pretty much all angling but me, I am pretty good with the fly, but a rank amateur at everything else.

Harry unfortunately was not with me to proffer any advice, so I found myself seeking the advice of the local shops, and also remembering Harry’s comments about using pellet for bait.

Something Completely Different

The aim of the day was to try something new and something old. The new was a whole different bait technique (I discovered that pellets are attached to the hook via an elastic band) and I also tried a drop rig, where the float is held down by a split shot in the bottom and will rise when the fish picks up the bait.  And the old? Well that was simply the whole scene of float fishing really!

My Audience

All fishing is made better by an audience. So my lovely wife was accompanied by the two other loves in her life, our Beagles Louie and Betty and this entourage was enjoying the sun and the odd trout pellet thrown as a titbit (although not so much for Katy).

As it was our anniversary, she was also feeding me champagne out of a cooler. Now I have the same tolerance for wine as I do for being spun on an office chair for 10 minutes, so I was a bit of a mess (to say the least) after two hours in the sun as I fished into the dark.

Learning & Relearning

I have to be honest, I spent much of the time trying to get my float weighted just right – alcohol did not help here! But I fed little and often as Harry always advises, and soon found a really good head of fish feeding in front of me. I started with maggot but found that the small fish, often less than 3” would snafu the bait. So I switched to pellet.

With some patience, I was rewarded with a couple of handsome Carp. Not the biggest, but I caught them on a bait I had never used, with a technique I hadn’t used for many years, so it was frankly perfect! The only thing that made it a little more perfect was that it was my anniversary present from my wife, for which I say a big thank you!

Tight lines, Chris


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