I do like writing these blogs, but I am no writer, and I don’t pretend to be one. I do it purely because I enjoy it and try to have a little fun on the way. What is written may not be to everyone’s taste, something that may be inevitable. My advice to those people takes shape in two ways. Firstly, you don’t have to read all of it. You can scroll to the bits that you find more interesting. Secondly, you don’t have to read it at all… The blog is purely self-indulgent, and no apology is offered for that. Naturally, I would rather that you did read it so that I am not completely wasting my time. But, at the end of the day, you have all read at least one paragraph of inane drivel already. So, it can’t be that bad….
I jest, of course, and I will try to put a short cut link that will take you straight to ‘the meat’ in future to save you from the ‘What happened to the fat bloke this week’ bits…
This blog is an extra report about the evening that we hosted some students from Broadmayne Primary School. Every year I sent roughly forty-two emails out to all the local schools in the area to offer their students a couple of hours of fishy fun at a lake close to their location. I’ve been doing this for five years now, and still, I only get one or two replies. It’s kind of sad because of the fun these schools are missing out on.
But, on Monday evening, one of these schools came to Luckfield to see what it was all about.
We had five students to fish with, none of whom had ever fished before. Having said that, apparently one of them ‘might have fished before, but he wasn’t sure’… One would think one might know if one had gone fishing before, wouldn’t one? Anyway, that didn’t really matter, and I greeted them all in the car park as they arrived. You could feel an air of excitement as the big lad with the glasses droned on about things they should and shouldn’t do (H&S), which they would pretty much go on to completely ignore later on. In no particular order, your juniors for tonight were, Willow (9) Manu (8) Albie (8) Sonny (7) Ebonie (7)
Your cast of coaches for tonight were, Graham Howard – Danger Mouse Si Wagner – Penfold Jerry Bracey - Colonel K Chris Ward - Professor Squawkencluck Jon Bass - Nero (The furry Caterpillar) Professor Silas von Greenback – Steve Sudworth Scrumpy the Dog – As himself
We landed on our feet with the weather. It was a beautifully warm early summers evening, and ideal conditions to catch your first fish. The dampener on the occasion was the pesky willow fluff blowing around like lost snowflakes. The worst affected by this would be Jerry and Ebonie in peg one, and Jon and Albie in peg 10. The others would have an easier time of it.
None of the willow pollen seemed to bother Sir Scrumpy of Puddletown, who wasted not time in hurling himself into the lake for a swim. Not as fast as last time though. At Harbourbridge it only took him three seconds. This time it was more like 15 minutes. None of that would have been an issue had he been able to get out. A soggy black Labrador was heaved unceremoniously out of the water at a cost to Jerry of soaked through trousers. I swear they should have called him Torpedo or Depth Charge…
Manu on peg two with Chris got off to a less desirable start by trying to catch more trees than fish. Eventually he would find the wet wobbly bit where the fish live and caught lots of small silvers with maggots on a whip.
It was Ebonie on peg one with Jerry who drew first blood by catching the evenings first proper fish. A nice slippery Tench came to say hello and I think Ebonie was pleased to see her. She caught lots of Silverfish too, as did most of the others.
Sonny was round on peg 10 with Sir Jon and caught a nice net of silver bars. Jon was hoping for larger prey, but Albie was happy with his catch.
Si Wag was fishing with Albie round on peg 5 and getting plenty of Roach on the whip with maggots. His float was going in all directions as fish took the bait as soon as it hit the water. Willow came to play with the Roach when she had had enough of emptying the lake with Steve.
Steve had set up a proper pole on peg three and was using meat for bait. Being left-handed (Cack-handed), Steve was ideally suited to Willow who is also blighted by the same affliction. Steve said that as soon as Willow picked up the pole, she was handling it like a pro and looked very comfortable too. She caught a number of Tench before hooking into one of the lakes bigger inhabitants. Steve did have to take over and land the fish for Willow because she said that she had no experience of water skiing, and that was where it was heading. She hooked it fair and square, however, and the fish was deemed rightfully hers.
Willow’s mum, Lizzie, mentioned that she had never caught a fish before. So, that would be remedied tonight. After a long wait on Steve’s seat box, a small Carp threw itself at the hook and Lizzie's drought was ended. I think she was pleased to as she shouted "40 years I’ve waited for this moment!"… Fish always look a little startled, but the look of confusion on the little Carp’s face as it was held aloft in triumph was amusing. Of course, no harm was done, and the little fella was slipped into the keep net to join his friends. (**A discrete modesty panel has been used in this picture. Not that you would notice.** - JS)
Willow’s brother, the ever-present Basil, was keen to get in on the action. Steve let him ‘hold’ one of the Tench for a photo. I get the impression that it just wasn’t enough though because, after telling his mum that he ‘needed a wee-wee’, Basil dropped his short and pants right there in the car park before being scooped up by Lizzie and transported off to a location with a little more dignity. When you gotta go, you gotta go…
Two hours just flies by when you’re having this much fun and all too soon it was time to end.
The noise when I asked if they had enjoyed themselves told me that they had. So had we to be fair.
As usual the coaches were exceptional, and we all thanked Jon, Jerry, Chris, Si, and Steve for their help tonight.
Thanks to Lizzie and her group for making our evening so special and so much fun. If only more schools would take up the offer…
Until next time.