Thursday, 4 February 2010

Can you troll for pike on a snowboard?

It's been another lean few weeks, angling-wise, for me.  I haven't fished for over a month now, but not out of choice.  I've been a little short on time, the weather's not been great (not that I'm a fine weather fisherman - not in the slightest - but during one of the warmest worldwide Januaries on record, we had one of the coldest on record!), etc. and I've also just returned from a week snowboarding at Les Arcs in the French Alps.  Plenty of snow, plenty of raclette cheese, plenty of overpriced beer and this year no injuries!  Unlike last years trip which left me with a permanently dislocated clavicle (collar bone) on my left shoulder, which (still) looks like this:

I also saw one of the best skiing/snowboarding shirts I've ever seen, which simply said on the front "Snow, Sex and Tartiflette"!

Back to fishing, I've been sent a few tackle bits & bobs to review, so expect to see those appearing on the website soon, and possibly on here too.  I've also just received a Korum latex spoon net, which on first impressions is absolutely brilliant for everything from bream, tench & carp fishing, right through to a roving net for barbel, pike & zander.  I can't believe how many leagues ahead of the pack the latex range of nets by Korum are!  It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago too, so I'm now the proud owner of a pair of the new Shimano 2500FA front-drag baitrunner reels, which I'm planning to use for fishing the lift method for tench & carp, and probably for the odd bit of close-range leger & feeder work come spring...

I'm hoping to get at least 3 full-day sessions in before the end of the river season in 6 weeks time.  I've been invited on a guided perch fishing trip on the River Kennet, with the goal of a fish over 3lb in weight.  I've never fished the Kennet, and it has great big perch pedigree, so it will be an honour to have a go for them.  Conditions permitting, this should happen in early March, so I'm really looking forward to (hopefully) finishing the season in style with a few Southern perch!

I see Robson Green's back for another series of lessons in what not to do to fish (if you have a humane bone in your body).  Great.  Although there's a part of me that's happy just to a fishing programme on a prime-time terrestrial slot.  According to a story I read in Anglers Mail a few weeks ago, the full-length versions of Jeremy Wade's River Monsters will be shown early this year on an ITV channel (the shows featured on ITV1 in late 2009 were condensed down from about 45 minutes to 30 minutes) and also Catching The Impossible (which I also got episodes 4-6 DVD for my birthday) should finally get a TV airing early this year.  So maybe there's a Robson Green knock-on effect which has opened the door for some "proper" fishing programmes featuring commited, talented anglers and (in the case of "...Impossible") directed by one of the finest in his field.

I happened upon a couple of fish-related stories on the BBC news website, which may be of interest to anyone who's into fish as much as I am.  The first is the discovery of how and why fish may have evolved gills (sorry creationists!), the second is some evidence to the intelligence of the humble stickleback!

Light shed on fish gill mystery

'Genius' claim for sticklebacks