Colin Mitchell, our popular weekly general coarse angling blogger, is back. Here he recounts extreme angling efforts that he - and others - go to in order to catch fish. He's not yet resorted to a step ladder like this (pictured)... but there's still time!
OUR quest to catch a fish – and not necessarily a record specimen – is often taken to extremes.
But I think that sometimes we don’t actually realise what we have put ourselves through for the sake of a catch.
I remember regularly cycling a 20-mile round trip with my rods strapped to my bike and a haversack on my back to fish a tiny stream in the middle of nowhere.
But you also had to have your waders with you for this adventure – because when the fish went off the feed you jumped in the water above where you were fishing, stirred up the mud and the extra colour got the fish going again!
Then there was the rather long journey across three fields, one containing a bull (well it might have been but we didn’t hang around to check it out when it started running at us) to reach the river…vaulting an electric fence in the process!
Then you had the choice of two swims. The first was sitting on a tree that had fallen over the river to form a big eddy behind it. Health and Safety would have had a field day!
Or you could walk yet another field, wade out to the middle of the river and sit on a giant rock to cast to the streamy water on the far side where the fish lived.
All that way…. for what?!
But that journey doesn’t compare to the one myself and two mates set out on a good few years back.
The plan was to drive from Teesside to Lochmaben in south west Scotland, a trip of probably 120 miles.
But when we got there things just weren’t right so we decided we should head back into England and the Lake District.
We were hoping for perch but when we couldn’t see any in the crystal clear water where I had spotted them on a previous trip we decided there was only one thing to do… head for our favourite River Trent.
So it was down the M6, cross the country and head for just outside Newark. You’ve probably guessed by now…
Nothing wrong with the river but we couldn’t get a B & B for the night so we decided to head back to Teesside.
Don’t ask me how many miles we covered. I don’t know, but it was a lot.
I can tell you we didn’t catch a thing. We didn’t even wet a line but we were still back to the local pub – on the same day – for last orders!
Why did I bother this time? Or that time?
I’ve gone a couple of times when the weather was so cold that the brass monkeys were extremely worried – and on more than one occasion found the ice so thick it couldn’t be broken!
Another time I actually had to cast over the ice to hit the free water. Why? I couldn’t have landed anything even if I had hooked a fish!
Then there was the sun-drenched session on the banks of the River Swale where I thought I was in the Sahara without a drink.
It was baking. My arms were burning and worse of all it was when I still suffered from hay fever.
To say I was wrecked would be like saying the Titanic had a minor disaster.
But it was worth it when my rod hooped round and I had a big single-figure barbel in the net, my best at the time.
Mind you, it was then time to head for shade and drink…
Now it’s your turn… let us know some of the strange, stupid and downright crazy things you have done in pursuit of fish! Let’s be hearing about the extreme angling you’ve done. Email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org – or post on the Angler’s Mail magazine Facebook page