Colin Mitchell, our popular weekly blogger, is back with his tales of the more interesting characters he runs into on the bank. If you like this blog, click the social media share buttons.
MY late dad had the uncanny knack of attracting the nutters – they’d sit next to him on the bus, talk to him in the street and often collared him in the pub.
I know I take after him in a lot of respects – but I didn’t think nutter-attraction was hereditary!
There I was set for a nice pleasant day in the sun at the lakeside and I chose a swim away from the other anglers so I could sit at peace with the world and have no worries, even if I couldn’t catch….
BANG, BANG, BANG!
Well there was the peace shattered as Timmy’s brother Smash Mallet decided to hammer his rod rests into the swim next to me!
As the ground shook around me I uttered words under my breath, something which I can’t repeat here, and I considered checking out the Richter Scale. I could actually see the bank of reeds between us vibrate as Mr Mallet whacked hell out of his banksticks.
Ok Col, just calm down I thought. He will finish soon and you can concentrate on the fishing. Well that was the plan…But this guy obviously knew of the Mitchell tradition and started to talk to me about his illnesses, problems, life history and pains.
Then he began chain smoking and with the wind blowing my way I did think about moving but I had a nice swim with good features, he would shut up soon (I hoped) and at least the spot the other side of me was vacant.
Right on one score… Mr Chatty Mallet did go quiet. Then Mr Deadly-but-Silent moved in the other side of me. Why do people do this when there are so many free spots on a lake? Must be something in my additive bag.
Anyway he said nothing – bonus! Although a ‘good morning’ would have been nice and that was something my dad would have prompted him to say!
Then it appeared an air strike had been launched onto the fishery as a huge Method feeder got heaved out, almost in my peg. Well I say into my peg although it ended up on the far bank almost in front of me (actually a small island just a short chuck away).
I don’t think he realised what he had done – even though I could see the line from his rod top stretching across the surface of the water and into foliage…
Anyway, a few minutes later there was the inevitable tug-of-war between his gear and some giant rushes and then the feeder came hurtling back to our bank like a Scud missile. I wanted to shout ‘incoming’ to see if I could get a laugh but thought it better to keep a low profile and ducked down fast.
Next up was the groundbaiting. He’d obviously read that you can’t catch a massive weight of fish from one tiny area so he spread the bait all over the place, including the edges of my swim, the one to his other side and even some on the island. Well you have heard how fish like to hug the far bank.
Not quite sure why but every ten minutes he got up, disappeared into the distance and then didn’t come back for a short time. Maybe it was a curry the night before? Mind you he must be a popular bloke because when he was in residence on his chair he had regular visitors. I know because I heard their boots clumping down the bank and then their banter – which wasn’t even that good!
Just for the record he caught nothing – which was less than Mr Mallet who had settled in quietly now although I knew he was still there from the smoke signals and the chatter he had started with the willing victim the other side of him. Now this was a bit more interesting, even if it was a load of rubbish. Let’s call the new guy Mr Knowitall – because every time Mallet revealed his biggest or best fish the other bloke could better it or have an improved story.
When one said he had several dozen rods the other revealed he had even more reels and so it went on. You just knew at this stage that someone was going to say something so stupid that you would have to bite your tongue when you hear it.
And one of them didn’t let me down! Knowitall said he’d landed a pike on 1lb line and a 20 hook. He wasn’t sure how much it weighed but it was around 15 lb. I’d believe something like that, well maybe if it wasn’t this bloke!
Mallet, of course, had to go one better – although there again we have no proof his story is not true! He’d hooked a 15 lb carp on 1 lb line and a 20 – which was taken on the way in by an even bigger pike and he managed to land them both! I wanted to say something, I really did. But sometimes you just have to keep quiet, don’t you?
Just as an aside – I did catch quite a few fish but have decided that from now on I am going to have some earplugs in my box and carry around a crash helmet.