By Calum Owers
Sometimes, it’s the simplest forms of fishing that can be the most rewarding. I had no plans of fishing last night, but when I woke up this morning basking in glorious sunshine, I had only one thought in my mind.. Get the rod out! I had a quick bit of brekkie, slapped on some factor 30 and off I went. Tactics were simple, with just a rod, reel, line, hook and a loaf of the good stuff.
I live in a flat beside the River Stort, so I was on the lookout pretty much from the moment I left the door. My quarry today was going to be carp, but with plenty of backstreams along the river, a cheeky chub would also be on the cards. By the time I got to the more carpy looking stretches, the clouds had made an appearance, but I was still confident I would find some fish. After half an hour or so without the sight of anything other than some Bream basking in the sun, I came to a swim my brother has told me about previously. He said there were 4 or 5 carp cruising near a floating bed of weed, and that one of them looked a good 20lb, so I decided to stop for a while, and ping out a few bits of crust. The ducks had their fill, and not 10 minutes later I caught sight of a golden looking common drifting towards the weed.. Game on!!
I threw a few more crusts and the carp, about 10lb or so, sucked them all in without hesitation, and was soon joined by an equally hungry, similarly sized mate of his. I gave it 10 or so minutes, all the while feeding 4 or 5 pieces every couple of minute, then had my first cast of the day, and almost immediately one of the 2 came and nosed it before turning away. I played the waiting game for all of 30 seconds more, before his best mate came and slurped down the bait. Thankfully the fish stayed away from the weed and plodded around in the middle of the river for a couple of minutes before rolling into the net. I lifted the golden slab out and onto the unhooking mat, and noticed that while for the most part he was utterly immaculate, there was something , or rather two somethings missing… He had no pectoral fins! Bizarre indeed, just a stump on one side and a couple of spines on the other. I didn’t bother weighing him, estimating instead at about 8 or 9lb, and it made me wonder, how can a fish reach that size with such a disability! Anyway, about five minutes after I’d slipped old Johnny no fins back, I spotted something…
There were a few crusts still over by the weeds, and I caught a glimpse of one being sucked into a big pair of rubbery lips. I threw out a few chunks, and instantly something came out from the weeds and began to chow down. It was a gorgeous looking ghostie, drifing ever so beautifully around the weeds, sucking in bread as it did so, and then I realised something, the river was a bit quiet today, and then…
It happened. The sound of an engine chugging its way in my direction, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time, and it didn’t stop there. The boats just kept coming, one after the other. I didn’t see the ghost again, but I will be back again soon to claim what is mine!!
I decided then to have a go for some chub. I found a few likely looking pools, but just caught a couple of half pounders, and just when I did finally spot one of the big old girls sitting patiently beside a bed of lillies, I did the unthinkable. Like a clumsy oaf, I broke about every twig on the bushy bankside under my feet, flicking some of them into the shallow pool and sending what looked like a solid 5lb fish into a chub safe zone. Never mind. It’s been a good day all in all, and there’s plenty of fish still out there, waiting for a size 8 buried inside a chunk of the white stuff!!