As I write it’s only a matter of hours before we finish work for Christmas! I love this time of year, and I’ve got some pleasant festive sessions planned over the next week or so. It’s always nice to go pleasure fishing over the Christmas break, and although I’ve got the last rounds of winter leagues coming up, I’m really looking forward to a days pike fishing and a mornings grayling bashing! There's also a friendly little festival organized at Carr Vale Fishery which should be great, and somewhere in the mix I’m sure they’ll be a few jars of fine ale chucked about!
Last Saturday, I had a day off fishing and actually went shopping! I decided to get all the presents bought, so that I could get them sent to Santa in plenty of time. I must admit, the five hours spent walking round Meadowhall shopping centre with my Mum and Nan was surprisingly painless. Saturday evening was my first Chrismas party at DHP, which was brilliant, despite having to get up at five to travel to Thorne for the Individual League! Secret Santa was kind to me, and I'm looking forward to putting my 'Gingerbread House Kit' to good use! I wonder who could have got me that Jon Arthur?
The League is really tight now, and there are around six people within a few ounces of one another. I drew a peg that I’ve been intrigued about for years, Peg 218, right on the concrete in a narrow bridge channel. It’s a decent peg, and I was more than happy with it considering the canal has been fishing hard. It wasn’t until I began tackling up that I realized how much of a scary experience the day was going to be! The bridge is part of a busy railway network, and every time a train passed the whole bridge, stanchions and my box rattled! Moreover, despite the path going under the bridge some 13m behind me, every jogger and dog walker felt the need to pass under the bridge, right next to the canal, clambering around the back of my box!
It was an incredibly slow start to the match for everyone. I began by fishing 16m into the shallow water, but an hour passed before I had my first fish. Even then bites were hard to come by, and I could only catch one or two fish from a swim before having to move to another area. On the plus side, the fish were a good stamp, and well worth catching. In the last hour, I managed to get the feeding just right, topping up with joker more regular, and had a really good run of fish. My 8-8-8 was enough to clearly win the section, and keep me in contention for the league. Sean Ashby had tightened the narrow gap, by winning the match with 13lb. Lee Kerry made things even worse by finishing second with 11lb, so this week is going to be a real close battle.
Looking back at 2012, it’s been a long and eventful year. I’ve gone from being in full time education, to full time work, and fished all sorts of events from White Acres festivals, to Evesham events, and even a World Championship! It’s hard to believe that this time last year I was sat at the top of an arts tower, working on my university dissertation. One thing I can say is that I’ve enjoyed every minute of the year. Things are very hard for a lot of people at the minute, and the other day, Tom and myself had a long chat about how lucky some of us are. I’m lucky to have an amazing family, and the best friends anyone could ask for. It’s worth at least a thought that some families wont have presents to open on Christmas morning, and will wake up without the safety and happiness that many of us have. Lets appreciate what we’ve got, and have a think about how much of a worse position we could be in!
All the best for Christmas, have a fantastic time, and tight lines for the New Year!