I’ve never actually achieved a comfortable overnighter in all my years of fishing and so I’ve kept away from them to some extent. I don’t like bivvies per se, preferring open fronted shelters because I don’t like the seemingly total detachment from fishing that close fronted bivvies provide. I’ve never worked out how to sleep comfortably whilst fishing and get up the next morning without feeling like death warmed over.
There’s a trick to it all you see and I’ve missed that trick right up until last night. You just need the right stuff but you need to use it the right way. For example: you don’t sleep in a sleeping bag, you sleep on it! That way a bed chair is infinitely more comfortable and with a Trakker Sleeping Bag cover over the top, there is absolutely no need to sleep in winter bib and brace and winter jacket. Therefore sleeping is easier. The other option previously was to try to sleep without wearing winter clothes but freeze to death; those days are over now. Last night I was snug and warm for the first time, and although the bream didn’t let me get much sleep, it was much much better than previously. The other plus, of course, is that if you sleep in a sleeping bag, the getting out of it can be a nightmare when you’re in a hurry. With the Trakker cover, you just shrug it aside and jump out. Well, perhaps not jump…
I decided on the F*x Evolution Brollie X with groundsheet and winter wrap. Lumby had mentioned the Aqua Brollie System, but I think I wanted something a little more substantial and something that could be used for a couple of nights, if necessary. I also wanted some thing that was quick to erect, and a brollie would have achieved that, but the Evo is pretty fast when you get the hang of it. It’s light to carry and open fronted. I haven’t tried the wrap for it yet, and there was no need for it last night. The temperature dropped after dark, as the sky cleared after a grey, windy day, but I was warm under the Trakker. All I could catch over the twenty-seven or so hours I fished were bream. Most were around the three pound mark, with the biggest at about 4 and a half. I caught them on boilies, pellets and plastic corn (a first), but of the Tench, nothing was seen. If I tried maggots, I couldn’t get away from the small rudd. I used my usual simple rig – through bomb and short kryston hair rig – as casting is only short distance here, and put one in the middle near the pads and one fairly close-in to the margins. I used goodie bags filled with pellets and boilies and fired a few freebie bags to the longer-range rig and threw in a few handfuls for the nearer rig.
The average size of the bream in the past has been around five pounds, but these larger fish didn’t show at all. Just the small ones – at ten to two in the morning and a rude awakening at quarter to five, as well as at all other times!