I can not even begin to express how good it felt to be back on the bank with our Juniors, my wonderful team of coaches and some dedicated parents. I needed no help in getting out of bed and was up way before the alarm was set to go off.
The lake looked calm and still when I arrived, only disturbed by the odd fish topping and
plenty of bubbles showing.
First job of the morning was to erect our brand new
loo tent. I'm conscious of the needs of the young ladies that attend our sessions. So I decided to buy a temporary facility for them to use when we are at venues without any.
So tent up. Facilities in place. It was time to welcome some early arrivals. Mostly the coaching team, but young Jack, keen as ever, couldn't help but snatch a couple of Roach for an used peg before the others arrived.
In accordance with of our COVID regs, pegs were drawn for our juniors as they arrived. So with Jack happy to be on 10 with Dave, Joseph and Tom on 7, Max with Si on 6, Ollie and Jerry on 5, Jake and Jon on 3 and Sophia with myself on 2, the session started where we left off with revisiting the Waggler set up which was started last year.
First blood came to Max on 6 with a well controlled fight against a feisty Carp that tried it's best to get to
the newly growing Lily Pads. The fish wasn't weighed but it was estimated to be in the 7 to 8lb bracket. Max played and landed the fish unaided to give himself a tick in his the level 1 coaching requirements.
I'm happy to say that throughout the day the weather held and it was even quite warm at times. The Juniors continued to catch Roach, Bream, Perch, Rudd and Tench virtually all day, some of them were reasonable specimens too.
During the Session the Juniors were interrupted by me asking them some easy questions about basic fish welfare, good fishing practices and fish species recognition. I'm delighted to say that they all passed with flying colours. I might have to make my questions harder in future...
Jack caught a nice little Carp late on, with the full support of his friends.
I am pleased beyond words that we managed to get 2021 off the ground at last and begin moving our Juniors forward once more to get back the momentum lost in 2020. There are always improvements to make. But the first session back after such a long lay off is not the time to be ultra critical. I am just happy to see my Juniors, happy to see my friends again and, most of all, happy to just be out at the waters edge doing what I love to do more than anything in the world.
Thank you to my superb coaching team for volunteering their time, to the parents for bringing their excited anglers along and to my Juniors who all make the last 18 months of waiting and planning worth while.
Our next event will be our first Junior match at Sharnhill on Saturday 24th April, details to follow soon....