It’s been a long hard winter this year, with daytime temperatures rarely above 8c, and nights often dropping below zero. The cold north easterly had a bigger impact on Alton than I’d expected, and fish location was difficult to say the least. The best I had to show for my many 48-hour sessions were two or three winter weary bream.
However, this Sunday (9th April) it all changed. And boy did it change, with the midday sun bringing a scorching 25c. This – like many of us – was just what I was waiting for. With the dial reading 23c at 3pm (15:00), I headed for a shallow area I’d fancied for some time and arrived around 4pm on Sunday. With the nearest car park rammed, I made a quick check to see that my fancied – off the beaten track swim – was still free. It was, so I headed back to the car, loaded the barrow, and arrived in my swim at 4:30. With nearly 4 hours of light, I decided to have a good mark around (depth checking for those overseas unfamiliar with this term). From a couple of previous visits, I had a reasonable idea of the overall depth. However, having been plagued by tufted ducks munching their way through my baited area on my prior excursion, I fancied fishing closer in. One thing I have noticed with this species of duck is that although they seem to nonchalantly ignore us, while eating their way through our bait, they won’t come within 50 yards of the bank.