I caught the 'big girl' at 27lb many years ago and never felt the need to go back. I didn’t have a camera with me and my phone didn’t have one back then either. (I know, shocking right?)
I took a long last look at her, the biggest fish I have ever caught.
I carried her to water and, quite emotionally I have to say, lowered her back to her home. After a while, she told me that she was ready to go with gentle movements of her big tail. As she moved forward and her tail slipped from my fingers, a voice behind me said,
”Alright mate, you catchin’?
My friend, Chris, had popped down for a chat, with his more modern phone complete with a camera.
I whipped my head round to see ‘Wally’ slowly swimming away sulkily. I contemplated jumping in to drag her out for that precious photograph, but I figured she had probably been through enough already. Chris did the right thing by stifling a smile as he realised what had just happened!
All that was 15 years ago now and, sadly, Wally passed away two years later.
But yesterday was my return to the shallow, weedy lake at the bottom of the hill at Osmington and much had changed. It was always in need of a good dredging, I have never seen a lake so shallow that wasn’t an ornamental pond or children’s paddling pool.
Not that fish cared much as we watched them effortlessly glide around the lake like slow motion ballerinas...
I had been invited by Tom to fish with him and his Dad, Andy, and good day was expected. Cooler, overcast and little wind, could only mean good fishing...
But fish had other ideas and the day became a frustrating one, especially as we could actually see all the fish we were trying to catch! The result was a real head scratcher, but an enjoy one because the company was very good.
We all had few fish, so no blanks. I only managed two, the biggest we thought went about 14 to 15lbs, but it looks bigger in the picture. We didn’t weigh it, so who knows. It doesn’t really matter when you’re at a quiet lake, lots of wildlife and good friends.