Hello, my name is Ian Firkins and I am a very ordinary angler. If there was a school report for fishing, mine would read "tries hard, could do better"! See below my attempts to catch big fish (well, any fish!) of various species from the rivers Trent, Derwent, Dove and Soar.
Finished decorating another bedroom at the weekend, so promised myself some time off. Talk of the "last day of summer" had started me thinking about the predators again, so the perch gear was thrown together for a evening trip to the Trent near Swarkestone. Nearly didn't go as it absolutely chucked it down just as I was leaving the house, but I convinced myself it was only a shower and set off. Arrived to find a few changes since I was there last. The nettles were easily head high and virtually swamped the path. A group of game old ladies out for a ramble had warned me how bad they were as I was leaving the car, so I was glad I had the foresight to put full waterproofs on. The pegs weren't much better, in fact I got lost trying to find my first swim! There was some evidence that the peg had been fished, but not much. Also, the small bay to the left was now choked with arrowhead, rather than the thin floating weed that had been there before.
Got the float rod going anyway and was straight into perch, lots of them - unfortunately mostly around 2oz, although one of about 3/4lb gave me a good run around. The silver fish were noticeable by their absence so, after a couple of hours hard work, I had only managed to scrape together half a dozen useable bleak and roach. Got the paternoster rod out and dropped a bait into a gap in the arrowheads. Didn't have to wait long before the tip started banging and I struck into a good fish. Unfortunately it was of the green and spotty variety and made a point of visiting every corner of the swim before I got it into the net.
Thought a move was in order after that disturbance, so struggled down to the next swim. Managed to snag my centrepin on the nettles on the way, so a good 5 minutes was then spent recovering a 50 metre loop of line and getting well stung in the process! Eventually got the paternoster out into a gap under some trees. Had to wait a bit before the rod tip showed signs of interest and, after a particularly dithery take, struck into a perch.....all 1/2lb of it. Carried on until dark, but didn't trouble the scorer further. Oh well, can't catch 3lbers every trip can you?