Middy backed angler and TCF blogger Russ Evans reflects on a month that due to the weather has seen his plans frustratingly change!
As I type this blog the snow is coming down again and starting to settle over the previous days flurries that have gripped most parts of the country. Nearly everything I have planned for this month has been cancelled or re-arranged for another date, in fact as I type this I should have been on the banks at Bury Hill fishery guiding stand-up comedian Jonny Awsum on the delights of predator fishing with catching a zander the target, alas that will have to wait for another day.
Next week I have a feature planned with TCF’s sister magazine Pole Fishing as I go in search for some big perch with Craig Butterfield but at the moment that is 50/50 as the fishery is already iced up and a cold week is forecast. I have three guiding lessons booked for the month of February along with two silvers matches and other angling engagements, I am hoping by then the weather will be much kinder. Snow in the past has never stopped me fishing, if walking was the only means of transport and I remember walking a good 4-5 miles across Wanstead Park in East London on a few occasions so that I could get my fishing fix on the boating lake or perch ponds as it was often called. Maybe because of the intense weather conditions, my trips to a snow bound Wanstead Park were very enjoyable despite frozen toes as I always managed to find a sheltered part of the lake that was ice free. Some of my best roach sport came in those icy conditions as I presented my bait at least a foot or two over depth and then waited every 20-30 minutes as my quill float then dipped before sliding so very slowly and gently under the surface before I struck into some cracking plump roach. Those days seem a million years ago but the memories are still very clear in my mind and I cannot think of anything better then catching quality roach on very cold wintery conditions with just a flask to keep me warm as clothing in those days were not of the same calibre of today’s neoprene and fabrics.
I was hoping to fish Wanstead Park in one of the parts of my recent TCF ‘Boy To Man’ series which ends next month with a winter bream fest, but sadly the fishing is not the same and from feedback I have been given when researching old venues I used to fish as a nipper, it is not a place you would want to be on your own, which is very sad to hear as the boating lake and nearby ornamental waters were my main fishing training ground in my early days.
Winter fishing has been very rewarding to me over the years and many of my PB’s have come at this time of the season notably a Pike of 26lbs 6oz, Mirror Carp of 28lbs 2oz and Perch of 3lbs 3oz plus some quality roach. I have always said that if you can learn to catch quality fish in the cold months of the season then when the warmer months arrive it will be a doddle, but at the moment for me it would be nice just to be able to get on the bank side to wet a line at the very least. Hopefully next week onwards I will be able to start playing again so in the meantime, stay safe and remember snowed up lakes and icy rivers, more so at this time of the year need to be respected as the dangers of slipping and falling in are paramount as I have witnessed over the years.