To angle with a porcupine quill

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Porcupine quill float

What pastime lifts the hart more than to angle with a porcupine quill on a warm summers evening. My favourite spot is a lake close to me that has clear, shallow water, where fish can be easily seen if one approaches undetected.

Although most of my equipment be contrived, my float was grown and for some reason I feel more connected to it because of that. An organic link in the chain from hand to hook.

Sun or shade

On the side of the lake nearest the car park, the sun would shine on me all afternoon. I can sit broiling in the sun until dusk, when the trees on the far bank finally shade my skin and eyes. Or I can trek to the far side right from the off. Sit under the trees in comfort without the need of coconut stinking sunblock.

I opt for my own comfort and hope the fish feel the same, but there is advantage in being on the far side. I am in the shade with the light behind me. In the early afternoon my float is illuminated so well, that every little movement is reported. As the sun moves round and the shade creeps across the water, the Rudd in particular begin to feed boldly breaking the surface.

A slow sinking bait is killing at this time, so I fish my porky close and light, with feed to keep the fish in reach. This result is dozens of Rudd and Roach. Sometimes with individuals of up to a pound in weight, coming to the net.

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As the shadows grow longer, I can see Carp feeding at the surface on the car park side. All afternoon they have basked in the sunshine. I could have watched them ignoring my bait whilst I cooked, but instead I chose the shady side and to actively catch fish. Have I missed a trick, no not at all. The Carp don’t just start feeding at dusk on the car park side. The Carp on my side begin to feed too, but on the bottom.

Fishing in the shade
Fishing in the shade

To fly in the face of modern trend, I re-rig the one rod I have with me. I change the hook, line and sinkers to a size and strength more suited to the five to ten pound Carp that call this water home. Using a slightly larger porky, I fish laying on with corn on an 18 inch tail.

Sentimental me

There is no doubt that knowing and understanding the natural rhythms of a water is as important as knowing how to fish. I may be overly sentimental, but I like balsa, cork, reed and quill. I’m not sure if they are any better than a clear plastic waggler. But I fish for pleasure and it pleases me to use a natural float like a porky. But what if it’s more than that, what if the fish are more comfortable, with a natural material hanging down in the water, rather than plastic and polystyrene?

Best of luck.

Float fishing – A great way to catch fish

Handmade float set for rivers

Float fishing for winter Roach – lake

Float fishing for perch by laying on

Handmade fishing floats

My local fishing club Hassocks Angling