Andrew Pilgrim

Lockdown Blues.

So here we go again, Lockdown! Only its not a Lockdown at all is it? Most things are open for business…….. B&M staying open. Go outdoors Timpsons, Argos, Wickes and B&Q staying open. All off licences staying open. Macdonald’s Burger King and KFC staying open. All supermarkets staying open. All takeaways staying open. Schools colleges universities staying open. PC World, Curry’s staying open. The Range, Dunelm, Auto centres, Halfords, Majestic Wines, Subway, Greggs, Costa Coffee, Service station restaurants to dine in !! Starbucks, Boots, Hobbycraft, Pets At Home, Next, M&S clothing, Carpet Right…. etc etc etc.

“So what is closed then?” I hear you ask…. I’ll tell you what is closed. Bloody PUBS !!!! Now anyone who knows me will appreciate that this bothers me greatly, not because I am a functioning alcoholic (This may be open to debate) but because I own a pub and yet again this ill advised bunch of er?….. lets call them nitwits, have seen fit to close the one sector that have been doing the most to prevent the spread of Covid-19. It really does boil my Pi…. ah yes!, my beloved Sheena has just reminded me that this is supposed to be a fishing blog not a political rant, so I will go make a nice cup of Yorkshire Tea and I’ll be back in a minute or two.

Other inferior brands of Tea are available.

Ahhh!…. that’s better. Right, where were we? Oh yes, Lockdown. The one (only?) good thing about being denied the ability to earn a living is that you have lots of time to go fishing, so I did. And what follows is a report from this weeks outings.

Now closing a pub up for a month isn’t as simple as just locking the door and walking away, there is a lot of work to be done, emptying fridges,cleaning the beer lines and closing down the cellar. Once this was all done I realised I had a hour or so of daylight left and my dropshot tackle was in my van so I decided to have a stroll allong the river Colne, which by another stroke of luck is but 50 yards from my establishment, and it’s a very pretty little bit of water..

I should point out that this stretch is, alledgedy, no fishing, I am not sure if there are any signs up but I am old and my eyesight is poor so I cracked on. Not much to report really, one hour and 4 perch, biggest 8oz or so but fun nevertheless and I am learning more about this method every outing.

Perch really are very pretty.

The next day I was back on my forlorn quest for a big Chub from the River Stour near Langham. A three hour session on worm and cheese paste only produced a couple of roach, 6 Perch and this surprising winter Rudd.

I was obviously overjoyed with this Rudd.

In need of a netfull of fish I decided to head down to Chelmsford, on Thursday, to a cracking swim just below the big weir in town. When I lived in Chelmsford years ago I had some great days fishing here with good sized Roach, Perch and Skimmers, such as this netfull from 2007.

A Chelmer catch from 2007.

I decided to bring the full set of match tackle, which rarely gets a run out these days, and I also decided to treat the day as if I was in a competition, setting myself a target for the non existant match of 10lb for a section win, 15lb to place and 20lb to win. (Does anyone else do this or am I a bit strange?) Sheena says….. !!!!

My plan of attack was to fish the stick float on the Centerpin at one rod length out, where the flow was strongest, feeding caster and tares for the better Roach and to feed a second swim at 2-3 Rod lengths with groundbait and fish the waggler and feeder for the Skimmers.

I arrived at 9am and set all three rods up, mixed the groundbait and fed the swims. 9.30am and the ‘All in’ sounded in my head and we (I) were off. I fished hard, very hard, concentration levels at max .Feed, cast, feed, cast. switching between the two lines to maximize the swim.

Three hours in and I was pretty certain where I was going to finish in my imaginary match as this was the contents of my net.

Thats right…….Naff all……. not one fish……. and more importaintly not a single solitary bite, not a slightest dip of the float or twitch on the tip of my Acolyte feeder rod.

I packed up early and headed home, consoling myself with the thought that the River must have suffered some hidious polution or such, because there is no way that an angler of my undoubted match fishing pedegree could fail to catch in that bit of river.

Two days later Bailey (The chap who runs this site) totally ignored my advice to fish below the weir and fished above the weir, a mere 50mtrs from where I had been, and caught some huge Roach like this, Just goes to show what I know!!

Check out Baileys blog to read how he caught this cracking 2lb Roach.

So week one of lockdown and my confidence is shot.

First job for next week is to catch fish… LOTS OF FISH !

Bring on week two.

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