The girls had arranged a day out, a fishing picnic with the intention of Jessica and Emily fishing whilst Rob and I looked after them and Leanne and Corrinna chewed the fat sunbathing. We decided that Marsh Farm at Godalming would be a good place, well kept with clean toilet blocks and a shop if ice creams were required.
It was a glorious day, warm but not too hot, and with patchy clouds giving cover every so often. Showers threatened but never materialised. We met there at 11am and after buying a day ticket I began setting up on the little Hill Pond whilst we waited for the others to arrive.
Rob, Leanne, Emily and Freya weren’t too far behind us and soon we were unfolding chairs, unzipping cool bags and putting rods together, there was a lovely vibe and we couldn’t wait to get proceedings underway. I set up a ledger rod and a float rod. There would be some waiting between bites due to the fact we were fishing bigger baits for the tench and crucians. With this in mind we let the girls play close by when they got bored with watching float tips (Jessica is still 2 after all) and call them over to assist with reeling in, unhooking and of course, posing for the camera.
Rob and Emily were first to catch, a lovely small tench was soon laying upon the mat being observed, gawped at, stroked and admired. The tench was put back and we all got serious, the girls sat on our laps and watched the little brightly coloured float tips for any movement. It was slow, the sun shone and that certainly didn’t help with angling for tench and crucians, it was the wrong conditions and the wrong time of the day. After another 5 minutes the girls went off to play.
Around 15 minutes later the float dipped, Jessica was close by and I called her over just as it slid away. I struck and handed the rod to Jess, she did her best to wind the centrepin handle whilst I held the rod up. As the fish broke surface for the first time I took a deep breath and steadied my nerves, it was exactly what we’d come for, Jessica’s first crucian, and it was a good one too.
I reached out with the net as she wound down and soon the wonderful fish slipped nicely in, I scooped up our prize and cheered, Jessica followed suit. I placed the net on the bank and Jessica fell to her knees, Emily came to see too, they were both so very excited, but I think it was I who was the most overjoyed. We unhooked it and estimated the weight at somewhere around a pound and a half. Jessica was a little star when it came to the photographs; she held it gently but firmly and showed a smile that melted my heart. My life was complete. We said goodbye to that amazing fish, but not before she gave it a little peck.
The rest of the afternoon was also slow going with a few tench coming to the ledger rod but the floats remaining rather still. Jessica helped out whenever a fish was hooked, however busy she was playing nurses. She felt each one, said they were slippery but still insisted on kissing every single one before they went back.
Her concentration levels mean that she won’t sit still and fish for very long without getting up and wandering around looking for something or someone to terrorise, but just as soon as a fish is hooked she is helping, wanting to take over and she loves nurturing and caring for the fish. She respects them and is very gentle, I guess the first lesson we must teach them, so we’re certainly getting there.
Just today we visited Lakeside for half an hour, flicked out a ledger rod with a chunk of spam in the hope that we could get her a carp, but after picking nanny some flowers and the rod tip staying motionless we left and headed for MacDonalds instead, vowing to return another day when they were hungry.