Popular Angler's Mail website blogger, Colin Mitchell, is back with another look into the coarse fishing scene and shares why those moments just before dusk can offer up the greatest rewards.

MOST people get out of bed, look out of the window, see the sun shining and think: yippee lovely day. I see the sun and think: ‘oh no, that limits my choices of where to go fishing and what I will catch.’

But having got my Fishing Mojo back (see last week’s blog) I wasn’t going to let the old yellow thing burning brightly and sending temperatures soaring between 24 and 30C put me off.

Most of us – especially match anglers – tend to fish at the worst possible times of the day, after breakfast and home for tea. Yet we all know that early morning and late evenings are best, especially when that currant bun is high in the sky at this time of the year.

Even in winter the extreme ends of the day can be best for fishing – especially that time just before it gets dark.

Out for fun with Music Mike

So it was a late lunch for me last week whilst Music Mike earned massive brownie points with his better half by taking her out for a bite to eat before we loaded the car with gear.

In fact we were in so little of a rush to get to the water that we didn’t even leave home until 4pm and didn’t expect to start until an hour later, not catch until around 7pm and then head for home when it got dark around 9pm.

Short, sharp but would it be a sweet session? It certainly was…

With temperatures high all day the day ticket anglers were struggling when we arrived and many had blanked (no surprise, although they did have rather nice lobster tans).

As we tackled up many of the anglers packed up and headed for the exit gates.Before we had our first bites we were virtually alone across three lakes!

lovely evening

Just as the shadows crept across the water Mike texted to say he had caught nothing and was about to move. I replied I’d missed two bites but was hopeful…Just as the message went the float slid away and a tench of 4lb battled like fury before slipping into the landing net.

A new message was duly dispatched – and brought an instant reply that Mike had just taken a tench of 3lb. I was happy. It was a lovely evening. I’d had a nice fish. There was time for more and it was just great sitting enjoying the scenery.

Fishing with the ‘new’ method of short rod, centrepin and pole float I looked away for split second only to see the float shoot from next to the rushes I was fishing against and a fish splash as it swam to freedom near the reeds to my left!

‘Oh dear’ I said to myself, or words to that effect. Ok, it wasn’t to myself either…

Smiling with 5 lb of green ‘un slime

Not long afterwards the tiny bit of float showing dipped slightly and I struck expecting a perch – but line shot out of the rod rings and I had to brake the pin with my fingers and hand to keep in touch.

I knew it wasn’t a carp but this felt like one mighty fish and, as you do, I started to wonder if I had hooked a catfish (there are none in the lake to my knowledge).

After an amazing fight I saw what looked like my best tench slip into the net and at a shade over 5lb I had a massive smile on my face!


A nice evening was complete – even thought I was yet to catch my third and final tench of the day, around 3lb, just as we packed up at near-darkness.

All had been caught on half a worm fished on a 16 hook over a stream of steadily loose fed 4mm pellets. The fish were bubbling as the rod went back into the ready bag – I know, should have got the torch out of the car and stayed on – but sometimes you don’t want to push your luck too far!

Mike was also happy as he had one fish more than me – and included a crucian (on hard days crucians are worth more points than any other fish during our little adventures).

I’m sitting here now typing with the temperature at 28C, it is 2.30pm and have just finished a late lunch. Sometime in the next three or even four hours there’s a swim with my name on it at a venue within a short drive!

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