March 25, 2020

Pass the Swear Box

Occasionally my fishing loses momentum and I become frustrated. I decided to make some adjustments last year and chose a few new places to try but, with one thing or another, it didn't happen. I haven't even wet a line since November.

Looking back at 2019, I really enjoyed a hard trip to France that involved determination and a spot of brain power, I wanted more of that. I have fished public and commercial lakes over there along with a few rivers but now I have made the decision to go at it hard. I know, I know, it's been done to death by thousands of other UK, Dutch, German, Belgian....... anglers and not to mention the hoards of French guys that now target the carp. But there are still plenty of fish to be caught and, before I slow down my fishing life, I'd like to land something that makes my jaw drop.

There we are, my new goal and an entire winter to get planning and amassing the essentials. I now have an inflatable boat, an electric outboard, a couple of batteries, a fish finder with more options and gizmo's than I'll ever get to grips with, three new rods and reels and a dustbin brimming with boilies. My bank balance has shrunk but his will be a father and son adventure and we will be searching out some big, unrecognisable fish.

Then Coronavirus came.

I made a decision early in the crisis not to buy any travel tickets, it proved sensible as the situation worsened. I gradually came to realise that I may well not get over there this year, well maybe the autumn? We'll see.

Taking a deep breath and kicking myself into action I have started planning a concerted effort on my syndicate lake. I would never say I was bored with the lake, it's far too beautiful for that but the challenge has definitely levelled out and its' in no way a difficult water. If something else came along to get the juices flowing I'd be well up for it. There is a lake containing some nice commons but logistically it's difficult.

My first walk around the syndicate lake was Monday when the sun shone and a few fish basked in the warmth. The first one I spotted was clearly over 30lbs so I started planning a trip. Nicky has been house bound pretty much since the start of the virus as her underlying health conditions mean that exposure would be very serious. She does though understand my need to escape from time to time and was happy for me to go. Right, let's get that new line on the reels.

That evening the guy that runs the lake rang me. We chatted and I confirmed my place for the next year and so on. Then he let on that he had a new place to fish, a big estate lake with plenty of depth, cover, islands etc and which hadn't been fished for thirty years. Thirty years! and almost virgin water with unknown stock but certainly carp, tench etc. He had secured a lease and was putting together a small group to fish it but, the invites had already gone out. My envy must have drooled down the line and into his ear. "Would you be interested? There may be a place available". We arranged to meet at the water later.

I rang to arrange the meeting with The Man and yippee I am in the syndicate. Okay, it costs a small fortune never mind the extra mileage but I'm only human and chances like this well, they just don't happen, the odds of winning the lottery must be bigger. It may or may not contain monsters but it's be a proper challenge finding out.

Enter Boris and the lock down commenced - pass swear box.