CHAPTER 5 – GOOD DAYS, BAD DAYS
The Secret Diary Of A Worm Only Club Member
The Worm Only Club (WOC) is a clandestine group who venture out of deepest Yorkshire once a year to go sea ﬁshing. Their ‘Worm only’ rule is strictly obeyed, but there are rumours that some use crab when the going gets tough. Perhaps in time they will be ‘Worm and Crab Only’ (WACO).
Wednesday 10th October
Packed the car and set off to meet Deep Pocket and Flatty Jefferson. There was gear all over the drive, it was amazing that it all went in. Looked everywhere to see the secret container that Flatty carries his sand in, but couldn’t ﬁnd it. He must have one because everywhere he goes there is always sand. Think he does it to annoy me but I won’t say anything just yet.
Stopped at Dun Laoghaire ferry port by a friendly local dressed in a full Anthrax suit who suspects that Flatty’s chest waders might be carrying Foot and Mouth disease. He proceeds to wage biological warfare by spraying them and everything else in the car with some noxious chemical. This clearly indicates the reason for his fancy dress costume. We leave, but can’t help thinking why it’s all right for us to sit in the fume-ﬁlled car not clad in similar fancy dress outﬁts.
Arrived at the B&B and dropped the stuff off in the room — nice to see that the Mister Men sheets are still on the beds, the way they have been for the last sixteen years. Must remember to check and see if the old line from last year is still stuffed down the back of the headboard.
Off to Tomasin’s Bar ……
Thursday 11th October
Woken by the sound of a bilious buffalo with severe wind in the next bed, but eventually realized it was Flatty. Deep Pocket is not on speaking terms with us over last night’s excesses in Tomasin’s bar — takes the role of ‘Kitty Manager’ too seriously if you ask me.
It’s dark outside and really early but we’re off to ﬁsh the hot spot at low water. We’ll see how things are in two hours ……
Hot spot not so hot for Flatty, and only lukewarm for Deep Pocket and me. Still, we’ve broken the ice and spirits are high as we’re off to dig some bait. Notice that there is a small pile of sand on Flatty’s seat — how does he do it?
Bait digging magniﬁcent, it’s the best bit of the holiday. Back to the B&B for breakfast — or is it brunch?
Afternoon ﬁshing and a night at Inch beach meant no time for tea, so The Deep Pocket Catering Company is commissioned to rustle up midnight corned beef and picalilli sarnies at the digs. His doorsteps look akin to something Sir Christopher Wren would have conjured up after smoking the wacky backy. Still, we munch on in an architectural sort of way ……
Friday 12th October
Sir Christopher Wren’s wildest dreams could not have included the noise emanating from the adjacent bed this morning. Deep Pocket looks well pleased with himself, possibly connected with the fact that he kept us out of the pub last night.
The hot spot is still only lukewarm but the digging is really exciting, and today’s winner is Deep Pocket who produces a skillful average of nearly 2 worms a minute. I can only marvel at his ability to extract half a worm every ﬁfteen seconds.
The ritual of the black pudding rears its head at brunch. Why does Flatty always break my egg with his slice of black pudding? He’s been doing it for years now and I know he wants me to ask why, but I won’t, so there.
The sand in the car is getting beyond a joke too.
Went to see the Irish Pixie in his caravan today. He makes the mistake of proudly showing us his bottle of Malt, and we make the mistake of drinking it. Still, the two rods I’m holding in both of my outstretched right arms at Fermoyle must increase my chances. They don’t ……
Back to Inch for the evening session. Bass, no pub, and The Deep Pocket Catering Company is triumphant again. We get back to the digs and I go to sleep dreading the early morning chorus from next door’s duvet.
Saturday 13th October
Dawn chorus of bubbling soup from next door, in G-major. Trail Of sand has now spread to the en-suite and the whole room has taken a strange odour. It’s time for the black pudding routine ……
Disaster, they have decided to ﬁsh Stradbally purely out of badness; they know I always blank on the ﬁrst session at Strad and the reason we’re going there is to hold me back. Devious so and so’s. I’ll show them this time ……
Typical, not a bloody thing other than the bumper catch enjoyed by my (former) best mates.
Mid-afternoon session at Fitzgerald’s will be regretted later when the Guinness percolates through. Throw caution to the wind and have the extra pint, conﬁdent that I will be able to ignore the bladder ache from deep within the chest waders whilst ﬁshing — a simple process of mind-over-matter.
Conclude that mind-over-matter simply doesn’t work, as Fitzgerald’s Revenge gets me on the second cast, and I have to rush out of the surf and up the beach an appropriate distance to get rid of the rod, bait bag and coat, and wrestle the chest waters down.
Have to repeat the above on cast four and ﬁve.
Rejected the Catering Company offer in favour of a curry at O’Shea’s Bar. It’s the usual — curry, rice and chips with a special order of square-cut bread (chip butties can’t be made with triangular cut bread).
Sunday 14th October
Wake during the night due to O’Shea’s Revenge. Sleep now no longer possible due to pig farm noise effects reverberating from the creature under the duvet next door.
Must have eventually dropped off, as the tuba ensemble rendition of ‘Blowing in the Wind’ from the next bed rouses me.
The car smells bad.
Revenge is sweet at Stradbally as fortunes are reversed. Ha. However, the decision to ﬁsh Inch in the evening is not one of our best as it’s unﬁshable due to weed. Return to Stradbally missing the low water, which costs us dear, as it’s ﬁsh straight away then …… nowt.
Met a Welsh John Cleese lookalike at O’Shea’s, complete with cravat. Something to do with the B.A.S.S committee. Must be very important as the little Irish Pixie from the caravan kept sucking up to him. Deep Pocket has him down as an electrician, as he eavesdrops a conversation about plugs.
Monday 15th October
Test ﬁring of Saturn 5 rocket under duvet in adjacent bed. Discover sand in wash bag and can’t begin to think what the car will be like. The strange odour in the room persists and the air has taken on a yellow/brownish tinge. It must be the peat.
Force ten wind and rain outside look really inviting, particularly for digging. Distracted by the climatic conditions I miss the breaking of the egg, but Flatty looks well pleased with himself.
The hot spot doesn’t ﬁsh, which is not a surprise as it’s impossible to stand up due to the wind. Battled against the elements for more worms, before a team-decision to try Fitzgerald’s Bar for the early ﬂood. Standing up in Fitzgerald’s Bar proves to be less strenuous so we move to the lounge for high water. Deep pocket is going to regret this, as the kitty takes a severe pounding.
Bored with the lounge, a change of venue to O’Shea’s for the last of the ebb is eagerly agreed. On entering, we notice that Welsh John Cleese has developed a limp — seems he fell or was pushed off a rock. My, how we laughed.
Tuesday 16th October
Sleep difﬁcult as O’Shea’s battles it out with Fitzgerald’s in the bursting bladder revenge stakes. The dawn chorus was not to be missed, not that you could anyway. It’s now possible to taste the air in the room and it’s deﬁnitely not peat.
Outside, the wind remains the same, as does the rain. Went to the hot spot and gave it our best shot for a meager return, together with a half-hearted session at BallyBollocks.
The Irish Pixie demands to be picked up from his caravan and transported to O’Shea’s for the evening entertainment. The bar is full when we notice John Cleese complete with a fellow electrician wearing thigh waders. I can only surmise he must have been rewiring a very damp house and called in on his way home.
On the drive back I can’t help noticing that the ashtrays have sand in.
Wednesday 17th October
The last day and my neighbour blows a magniﬁcent trumpet solo. Deep Pocket looks concerned over the state of the budget deﬁcit. The breaking of the egg backﬁres on Flatty when he gets a bad splashback on his cuff. Outside the weather remains the same and we give it our best at Stradbally. We come off second best.
The ﬁnal night is spent in O’Shea’s with yet more electricians, one of whom is still wearing thigh waders. Maybe they are his going-out boots.
Finally it’s back to the digs to pack. Deep Pocket takes an age, scrunching up sufﬁcient underpants to convince ‘her indoors’ that he must have had a clean pair on every day. Flatty stuffs some more line down the back of the headboard, alongside last year’s, because “It’s traditional”.
I empty the sand out of my shaver and say goodbye to Mister Men for another year.
Author: Dave Corfield
Historical note: This article first appeared in BASS magazine no.100 Winter 2001.
© Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society 2008