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Updated July 2017.

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Lets go Fishing Ladies!

 

Why don’t more women go fishing?  More often than not it’s probably because they never get asked.  It’s not something most women would even think about doing on their own, angling has always been a male orientated sport.  If ‘grandad’ or dad ever took anyone, it would be the boys, it is simply accepted that girls wouldnt like it.  On this page I intend to tell you about my own experience of fishing and hopefully encourage at least some of you to give it a go yourself, allow your relatives to take your daughters as well as your sons, or both.  With any luck it could become a family affair which I believe can be a real bonding experience for everyone involved but more importantly a whole lot of fun!

 

My first experience of fishing was well over 20 years ago. It was in Norfolk where the abundance of rivers and drains meant that no-one had to travel too far to throw a rod in the water.  Luckily for us we were on the edge of the Great Ouse and Pike, Zander, Eels and even the odd Salmon could be caught as well as many smaller silver fish.  All we had was an old rod and reel with a handful of tackle.  No flash pods, no alarms or specially designed clothing, not much at all really.  We just sat on the bank with a wonky rod rest and probably spent more time talking about what fish might be around and how to entice them onto the hook rather than actually doing anything.  I guess that was the appeal, sitting in the fresh air with your family and friends around, talking about fishing but also any other subject that cropped up and generally putting the world to rights.  I admit that back then it was handy to be so close to home, with a young baby on the bank, being able to go home whenever necessary to feed, change etc was an advantage and I was much more of an onlooker than an angler.  I can still remember taking the rod when offered though and enjoyed bringing in the odd fish.  At night, with baby asleep, (by our sides) the Eel catching came into its own.  There would be mad, frantic half hours where the Eels would be running and it was all hands on deck, naturally I always landed the biggest or at least that’s how I recall it (haha) and when we’d had enough of being ‘busy’ we could lay on the bank and drink our cans of White Lightning until it got too cold or we ran out of things to talk about.  Either way it was a nice way to spend an evening.

 

I really started to get more interested in what was actually going on when our daughter got a little older and hence not so demanding and needed less attention that she wasn’t going to kill herself by walking straight into whichever river or lake we happened to find ourselves beside or eating the bait!  We had moved to Devon and access was not as readily available as Norfolk but we still found a lovely reservoir only 10 minutes away.  The lake was and still is run by South West Lakes Trust and very poorly looked after.  It’s such a shame as the actual lake is in a beautiful spot.  We could go there on a sunny weekend afternoon and would be the only people there.  A forest is at the back of the lake and there is a small car park but as far as facilities go that's it!  Not so much as a portaloo!  Now I know men don’t mind wandering off into the bushes when nature calls but I would prefer not to and in all honesty I’m sure the men would also prefer not to if given a choice.  Anyhow, it was here that I began to catch fish on my own rod.  I would only have one rod but learnt to tackle it up myself.  Mainly using Sweetcorn (I’m such a wimp, don’t like those wriggly maggots) I learnt how to place the rod in just the right place to catch a few little ones.  There were plenty of Roach, Rudd, Perch etc to keep me busy.  I don’t want to be bringing the rod in every 5 seconds, that’s too much like hard work and I just want to relax.  Catching a fish of any size is fun, you just never know what is going to be on the end when you bring it in, it’s exciting.  Of course I got tangled all the time and my poor husband, Steve, spent more time looking after me than watching his own rods, but believe it or not ladies, if you try, you’ll find your husbands are quite willing to show you how to do things.  In fact, they enjoy it if you give them a chance.  I’m not saying you have to learn everything or get better at it than he is but if you at least show an interest then fishing can be a family sport.   Personally I get just as much pleasure from watching Steve bring in a fish as I do catching one myself.  He has spent so many years at it that you just know it’s going to be a nice fish, just how nice, is the question or rather how big!  It was mainly from watching him bring in Carp that I wanted to catch them as well.  They are such beautiful fish.  They fight to stay in open water, the stronger they are the longer they fight and strength does not necessarily mean bigger.  More important is the general health of the fish which relates to how well the whole environment is looked after and whether or not the water is regularly fished and hence produces boilie buckets which are so used to being caught, you could almost whistle them into the landing net.

 

My most rewarding time with Carp was early one morning on a very small lake/pond that was known to hold several Carp of various sizes.  Steve was after the Tench, another gorgeous fish that feels like velvet to the touch, so he was on one bank while I went to the other.  By this time I had my own set of three rods but this area was so small I only took one, and once I had decided where I was going to place it, I put it all together myself, attached the reels, threaded the line through and set up the end tackle.  I was using a boilie on a hair rig and had picked a spot where I only needed to do an underarm flick to place the bait where I wanted it.  It was a beautiful early morning in autumn and the mist was still laying on the water and the reeds where my bait was were only 10-15ft away.  It had only been 20 minutes or so until the line began to stream off.  It was wonderful.  I struck and felt the fish immediately, then it was just a matter of not losing the tension while I brought in a gorgeous clean mirror carp.  It’s so exciting when the rod first goes and then when you strike and know you actually have one on the hook, I just can’t wait to get it on the bank and see what it is.  All the time you have to keep concentrating on everything you’re doing to make sure you don’t lose it, it’s brilliant. Thankfully the Carp there were not too big and it didn’t take too long to bring it in, unhook it and put it in the keep net.  This particular morning I managed to catch another two in fairly quick succession which made the whole thing all the more enjoyable.  Steve came over every time to make sure I didn’t have any problems unhooking and after the three we took a photo and put them all back so as not to stress them too much by being kept in the net.  Since then I have caught several Carp of all different sizes and I get the same excitement every time.  I get so annoyed with myself if I do something wrong and lose one. 

 

So why is it that I hardly ever see another female on the bank?  Well it does take a lot of tolerance from whoever you are going with.  They need to be willing to show you everything to start with but it really is good fun.  The lack of facilities can make it difficult, but the more you get into it the more equipment you get hold of.  It’s not hard to take a stove so you can have a brew-up and chairs, tents even can be taken if you get hooked enough to want to stay for a long time.  To start with though just a flask, a sandwich and a blanket, there’s nothing like sitting out in the open and enjoying the peace and quiet.  No computers, no telephones, (put your mobile on silent), just your own thoughts and the wildlife if your lucky.  If you do some local research you will soon find a spot which provides the facilities you need.  Most venues now do provide toilets of some description.  I don’t like getting cold or wet, so pick the right time to go and watch the forecast.  Take the right clothing, it doesn’t have to be designer, just appropriate for the conditions.  Try just going and watching to start with.  Your partners will feel it’s their domain and want to look after you if you let them.  Take the kids, they will love it, boys and girls.  If we don’t start encouraging youngsters again, then before too long no-one will be left fishing at all.  Use the opportunity of being away from anything electrical to talk and appreciate the wonderful countryside we have in the UK.  Show your kids there is more to life than 'playstations' and ‘facebook’.

 

I hope I’ve encourage at least one person to give it a go, you never know you might actually like it!  I hope so.

 

If you would like to ask me anything please email me at jean@diobas.com and good luck!

 

On Another Subject.....

 

I will shortly be adding some information on How to Humanely Kill a Crab. There is a very simple way which even a child can do.  If we humans are going to eat everything we can lay our hands on, we should at least show some Compassion in the intended victims death..... be it bird, animal, fish, shellfish even human...... we all feel pain.

 

How to Kill a Crab Humanely.

 

You may wonder why you would need to kill it before cooking... surely being plunged into a boiling saucepan of water is a quick death. Yes it is quick but even quicker if done as stated here, also the Oceans all around the world are becoming more and more polluted every day.  We spend billions every year looking for ways to reach other planets and plunder them, yet our Oceans, which are vital to our survival are simply treated as a massive sewer and little research is carried out to protect the species within or look after the water or find what is there that still lies undiscovered and could be of huge benefit to us all if only we looked.  As a result of polluted waters then the shellfish on many coasts carry pollutants which can be harmful to us.  If we are going to kill something to eat, then be sure it is edible and not take its life simply to throw it away afterwards, as it doesn't taste good. That is simply a waste and an unnecessary death. Pointless.... I will tell you how in a day or two.

 

Hold the crab with it facing away from you. Holding the legs on each side with each hand, it cannot bite you.   Then tap hard on a sharp corner just under the front of the head between his eyes..... the whole top shell comes off in one piece.  The crab dies instantly.  Now the dead mans fingers can be removed before cooking, taking out the Toxins which can get in the meat. The shell can be put back and held in place with a rubber band or string during cooking. That's it.

 

 

 

 If you would like to ask me anything please email me at jean@diobas.com

 

Jean Marriot.

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