Weds 22nd May, 3.40pm:
Not being unable to fish when I suspect the bass will be switched on is always frustrating. It’s usually work that gets in the way; though getting my head down tends to be one of the better means of distracting me from thinking about far away shores. If however fishing buddies then start texting to update me on their successes, I invariably go to bits, and start giving serious consideration to running from work and heading with a rod to the coast. I know this well; as is happening to me right now!
For the past few hours at work I have sat here wondering how my regular partner in bass fishing, Julian, is getting on fishing a favourite shallow water boat mark. I have resisted the temptation to call, knowing it would only distract him from his fishing and me further from my patient discharge reports. Then a few minutes ago I received a text and my arm shot out and snatched the phone faster than a striking praying mantis. Years of experience informs me Julian invariably updates me on his progress when fishing 2 hours into a session and this message was bang on time. Surprisingly though the text revealed itself to be from my fellow BASS Blogger Si Lewis in Cape Cod – the other place I am somewhat unsuccessfully trying to keep from my mind at present, given this time last year I was there but this May I can’t afford to return:
“Bonjour. Weather is scorching hot. Landed 6 bass yesterday & some blues. The blues are getting through my s/p collection at an alarming rate. 3 bass this morning by 7.30. 1st cast of the morning produced a follow from about a 15 pounder on my slider. Just heading to the canal for my first play there.”
It was the last thing I needed. Then just as I finish banging off a quick congratulatory reply to Si and start dreaming of the places he might be fishing, Julian reports in. He is 3 minutes late:
“Already had 12 or so. Best 7 pound 12. Just had another 5 pounder. Mental!”
Now my mind is completely jiggered. Logic tells me my overwhelming desire to escape and join Julian is only marginally less feasible than heading straight for Boston to join Si, yet further work is now impossible. So instead of writing to GPs I am resorting to blogging about the torment of an angler unable to fish – something I suspect a fair few of you reading this will relate to -although publishing the texts from Si and Julian here are likely to be somewhat double edged to readers: driving up the optimism of those of you due to fish in the next few days, while driving to distraction those fighting to remain focused on their non-fishing lives.
I have in truth been losing the battle to stay focused on my “normal” life for years, and to date have barely managed to defeat the succession of overwhelming urges to abscond. So if one day you hear of my unexplained disappearance and you hear someone is looking for me, please try not to point them towards the coastlines I fish. And finally should one day you spot a deshevelled, bearded, wild eyed angler on the shore (thinking about it I have seen a few over the years!) you might now understand why they are there. Ask them no questions of them, and walk on by.
Author: Matt Spence