Friday, 21 March 2008

A Time Away From Fishing

Assuming that I have any regular readers they will, no doubt, be wondering where I've been since November when I last posted. Perhaps some thought I had got bored with posting or maybe some were of the opinion that I was too much of a girl to brave the winter weather but in actual fact my absence was for much more dire reasons than either of these. A serious family crisis hit me in November, just after my last post, and I was forced to forget the fishing for a while and concentrate on other things much more important. That crisis, compounded with about five years of what was probably excessive work stress, took its toll on me and although things began to get back to normal in the new year it was too late to save me from a fall and I found myself in what I can only describe as a very dark and lonely place, accompanied only by a box of anti-depressants and a sick note, somewhere I never want to go again.

So why am I posting now? Well its not a fishing report because although some time off work has brought me slowly and steadily back into the light, to put it bluntly I haven't been fishing. But while I may have been in no state to fish, part of my therapy has still been fishing or rather thinking, planning and writing about fishing. Having taken the opportunity of three months off work to sort all my gear, fix rods and tie new rigs I then decided that this site needed a twin. Enter 'A Sea Angler's Reference Book', designed to provide a host of information that anglers from this part of the country will find useful. I eventually intend to provide step-by-step instructions in everything from rod building to reading tides but currently I only have the Galleries and the Minimum Fish Sizes up and running. Keep an eye on it though as I'm keeping up a steady pace and I have an awful lot of material for the site - another 6 to 9 months should have it finished!

At the same time I was asked to look into setting up a Sea Fishing forum for a number of my old friends from the website as they had been the victims of a round of banning by the administrator. After a little work 'The Sea Angler's Clubroom' went live on February 3rd and has been busy ever since. Anybody that fancies a chat can register for free and currently myself and my pal Stuartdv (who helps with the moderation) haven't needed to pass more than an occasional eye over it due to the fact that it seems to have nurtured a friendly atmosphere. Long may it stay that way.

One final part of my therapy was to do something I have been doing since I was a lad and have never grown out of; go tackle recovering at a local mark. As lads myself and my schoolmates would trudge about in the mud around a local mark to recover leads and tackle that we simply couldn't afford to buy but these days I really just do it for the fun of getting something for free. A couple of hours of slipping about in the mud gained me a good pile of leads (I have never paid money for a sea fishing lead in my life) and did the environment and the reputation of our pastime a favour by removing hundreds of yards of lost line. If you look at the picture to the left you can see the complete haul.

So that's it really, probably not what anyone was expecting. I suppose what I am trying to get across is that actually fishing is not by any means the be all and end all of this pastime, there is so much enjoyment to be had from the activities surrounding it and those activities in themselves can almost become pastimes in their own right. Roll on the Bass Season ...... the dog is back!