I just love it when Christmas is finally over and done with. This year it went on much too long for my liking and all because New Years Day fell on a Friday therefore appending an extra two days to the fag end of festivities before we could resume la vie ordinaire. I do love a well crafted Christmas Day though
(very difficult to achieve) but after that I find I have to force myself to love any part of it and as for New Years Eve, well I got divorced from her many years ago.
However, the fishing challenge between myself, Keith, Danny and Pete, is actually one of the most interesting things I've ever had for Christmas. Quite how we arrived at the idea of trying to catch a bag of each species totting up to the British rod caught record for said species, I don't rightly know, but now that it's underway, I'm really warming to it.
Of course, some of the targets are ridiculously easy - roach for instance should give no-one the slightest trouble but I'd like to pass the roach mark with a brace of fish! I've already achieved dace but here's a species that actually could prove very difficult if you don't know exactly where they are on the day, them being one of the most nomadic of shoal fish, apparently. Rudd could also be very hard unless you went out to snatch blades from a heavily stocked lake - and I know where one is, but I wouldn't want to achieve the rudd target in such poor style - a couple of mid two pounders, oh yes, seventy ouncers, well no.
Pike: a stack of jacks or a couple of mid twenties? Doing the Zander is not a matter of finding enough fish to pass the record weight but one of hitting enough bites. Carp: umm, probably do-able over a long session, but grass carp? Whaa...! Eel. Hard inland but I do know of a place or two on the Essex coast where achieving 11lb 2oz is quite feasible and not in the sea because they would not count, but in ponds and brackish dykes within spitting distance of it. Grayling: Easy peasy in the right river. Bullhead: Only ever caught one on rod and line and I never saw the bite! Rock Hard. Wells catfish - impossible, probably...
As for the silver bream, I think a trip to a certain southern lake is in order. You can have them from the local cut but not in numbers, it seems. I have caught four or five on separate occasions, all on one particular bait and none on any other, but I'm not letting on!
If we had done this last year then I would have achieved a point for barbel with a six fish catch, could have easily achieved one for bleak on the Wye when Kev had loads but did I not fish for them, chub a number of times on the Upper Avon, a point for grayling on the Itchen and of course one for roach. I would not have quite hit the mark with perch which is odd because I caught so very many of them on the canal - however I doubt if any day's total actually exceeded five pounds in weight. Bream ditto - though an evening at Snitterfield may have got me near and the day I saw a huge pike on the canal whilst enjoying some frantic bream sport could have got me there if it hadn't been for the monster turning up.
I still hope that one of us does exceed the record weight of one species with just the one fish though, and I wouldn't even care if it was me...!