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Rotary Letter
we all booked the last week of the
season off work. I was still working
full-time as a draftsman when I was
fishing waters such as Fox Pool and
Yateley, and there was still a closed
season. It was a great time of the
year; we all got together there at the
end of the year, all expectant that
there would be one or two decent fish
out in that last couple of weeks of the
season and hoping that the weather
produced the goods.
Generally we weren’t disappointed
and there were one or two fish out,
but then that was it; we all went
home on the 15th. Some of us tried to
stay an extra hour or two in the morning and then reluctantly packed the
stuff up all covered in muck and mud,
and then packed it all away in the
shed. The following weekend though,
just to get out carp fishing fix, we’d
pull it all out of the shed, all still wet
and covered in muck and set about
giving the gear an MOT. I used to
strip my reels down and grease them
up, and I’d even rewhip whole rods
and repair any damage to bivvies or
unhooking mats or weigh slings. They
would all be sewn by hand and everything was laid out in the garden.
The tackle box would then be com-
Hooked as the link straightened?
pletely emptied on the dining room
table and sorted through, checking
that the swivels hadn’t got any nicks
in them and making sure that any
blunt hooks and old bits of rig and all
that were all thrown away. Then the
tackle box was all cleaned out and a
bit of Mr Muscle was sprayed in there
to make it bright and shiny. Believe it
or not, those three months used to fly
by because you were busy making
sure that you were 100% ready to go
come the beginning of the season.
Very often I would arrive for the off
on 16th June a few days early – I’ve
even been a week early. I remember
down at Harefield in the late 80s and
early 90s we were actually on the
water with everything set up and still
a week to go, enjoying the night time
socials and daytime BBQ’s, chatting
with people and going around and
looking for fish. They were great times
indeed, expectantly waiting for the
season to start. We’d even get down
to Yatelely three or four days before
the start. We’d be on the lash and out
up the Indian every night to the
extent that very often by the start of
the season we’d almost had it – we
were whacked out after so much partying.
So yeah, in answer to your question
and in response to other comments
made earlier on, I really enjoyed the
closed season, but now I certainly
look forward to the April and May
start better than the closed season. I
think opening it up in the spring has
done wonders for carp fishing. Now
the banks are given a chance to
recover, as very few people fish, certainly on the harder lakes throughout
the winter. The footfall is less on the
bank and the grass does get a chance
to come up. As regards the fish – I am
sure it hasn’t caused any undue
effects to them either. I talked earlier
on about spring deaths of carp, but I
don’t think that’s down to angling.
There have always been spring carp
deaths, even when we had the closed
season. At that time of the year it was
a known fact that there was a chance
of a few fish to turn up.
Ed’s other question, in issue 190,
was debating at which point we think
the fish get hooked. I’m pretty certain
that the hook link straightening and
turning the hook is the point where
the point goes in. I’m also of the opinion that having more than one fish
feeding in the area so that there’s
competition between the fish certainly improves your
chances. Certainly
three or four fish
jostling together with
their heads down over
an area pushing each
other hither and
thither is more
inclined to get that
hook link straight and
the hook to turn over.
But very often it’s just
one fish feeding on
the spot, and it’s given
the luxury of inspection. This is where the
importance of extra
sharp hooks comes
across, so keep those
hook points sharp.
Anyway I’m sure
I’ve taken up far too
much room in the
Rotary Letter for this
month already with
my ramblings. Next
month we’ll be back
to questions again. I
hope you’ve enjoyed
this month’s Rotary


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