This part of my fishing is probably what I have missed the most, those drives into the Suffolk and Norfolk fens in search of the most beautiful of all our summer targets, it can only be the Rudd. Large bars of gold, that glisten in the summer sun and watching those crimson fins cut through the surface of the water as they charge down the crust, what else could you possibly want to catch when these are available, if you can find them.
Elusive at times it can takes hours to find them, but with a boat to hand and pretty good knowledge of the waterways where I have dabbled in I do feel confident in finding some fish. So having picked Brian for this trip we left London at 0230 and headed north-east..ish some 96 miles to a location I'll refer to a base camp. Unfortunately it was where I'd learn that a large puncture would deem the boat out of service and HMS Rudd would have to watch from the sidelines as we both conceded to the fact we would spend the next two days on foot.
Not a great start. Knowing that we would be walking a lot we kept the gear to a minimum and did our best to find fish to begin with and once a couple of small fish were tempted I set about looking for something that would pull back a bit. Finding that something a bit bigger however was not proving to be an easy task. The lack of access to open water really limited us as to where we could target fish and even if we saw something decent the problem of landing potential fish was then assessed and often thought better of it, even with a 3m reach plus the net!
|Get me on the scoresheet.|
This was the sight I was met with when I put the rod down and composed myself.
|That 22'' landing net has seen some fish!|
|A big drain Rudd at 2lb 5oz. BOLM!|
Back to the drawing board again.
For around six hours I ended up walking a 3mile section backwards and forwards, armed with my bucket of bread and catapult loading up areas that looked good for a big fish and would watch the water to see what responded and it took most of the afternoon to find another good Rudd and this time Brian was on it, the presentation spot on, the timing just perfect and the Rudd could not resist, 1lb 14ozs of pure fenland drain gold was his and a new PB too.
Conditions however then began to dictate the direction our trip was heading and with storms skirting us for some three hours we finally came in the direct firing line of a fierce front where the pressure plummeted instantly and rumbling sheet of torrential rain headed straight for us, lightning and thunder filling the air we beat a hasty retreat to the car some half a mile away and we timed it almost to perfection as my back just started to get the first drops on it and Brian closed the boot and dived in the car as the heavens absolutely opened. At this point we had already decided to cut the trip short, A: The lack of boat was a severe disadvantage ( even given the fact we both caught good fish ) and B: The weather forecast was to predict heavy rain throughout the day in spells and in truth, that would take the shine off what was a very tough, but rewarding day on the drains.
We will be back soon, with a non-leaking boat.
|Oi! my prize, one last time :)|