Back to school

The work I will be doing over the next year with the Behavior Support Service in Slough will involve using angling as a means to improve literacy and numeracy amongst young people. Dave and Annie Higham of Oham Lakes have been doing something similar with their local education authoriity for some time now so I rang Dave to pick his brains. The result was an invitation to go up to Lincolnshire for a couple of days to see what they did. There was an empty caravan for the rest of the week and Jan and the dog were invited too.

On Wednesday morning I packed my pole fishing gear (Dave is an excellent pole angler and I never miss the chance for some good coaching, even at my age) and we drove up to the East Midlands. We were met with a wonderful welcome and the caravan was an angler’s dream.

the view from the caravan

The view from the caravan

The lakes hold most species of coarse fish with exception of pike, catfish and zander and I was able to fish ten yards from the caravan door and leave my box set up on the peg all the time we were there. All I had to do was get the ready set up pole sections out of the car and start fishing.

pole fishing

I picked up some good tips on fishing with paste in very shallow water from Dave and caught a few of his carp.

oham lakes carp

Second oham lakes carp

I also caught lots of good quality roach to about a pound, some rudd and their amazing bionic bream. These fish were bronze bream up to about two pounds in weight that as soon as they were hooked leapt clear of the water by at least eighteen inches, landed on their sides and then went jumping across the surface of the lake like marlin for at least fifteen feet. Nearly frightened Jan to death when she hooked one.

I was able to discuss their teaching syllabus with Annie and I came away with some excellent ideas to share with the team at Slough in the new term.

There is also a very well stocked tackle shop on the site with a comprehensive range of tackle on sale as well as bait and on Friday morning I was invited to accompany Dave to the maggot farm to replenish their stock. This was to be the most appalling experience I have had since leaving the Police. The smell still lingers in my nostrils as I write. I have a strong stomach but I could not stay inside this place and this photograph was taken by Dave.

Hell on earth

Next time I hear someone complaining about the price of maggots they are liable to get the full story!

We stayed until late Saturday and had a wonderful stress free break, ending the holiday with a fish and chip supper on the beach with the family.