Sunday, 25 February 2018

Fishing Session on The River Darent, Dartford, thing's that go bump in the night


The River Darent is another river plan to fish from start to finish. Will add much more to this post soon.

The Darent is a Kentish tributary of the River Thames and takes the waters of the River Cray as a tributary in the tidal portion of the Darent near Crayford, as illustrated by the adjacent photograph, snapped at high tide. Wikipedia

Length: 32 km

Source: Westerham

River Darent, Dartford 14/03/18
Last Day of Season, First Session on The River Darent
(back of Brookland Lake/s Central Park)

DAY 1 OF 32 Kms 🀣

Unknown at Time: Swim nicknamed: Spooky Corner a haunted swim a lady in white is said to roam the picnic area.

After the last couple of weeks of Fantastic fishing sadly The River Coarse Angling Season comes to a close. Would normally book the final day of River Season as a day off work. Unfortunately was at work and delayed getting home. Almost writing this session off,  but determined to wet a line for one last time. The time was now really getting on when finally left home. Headed out the door, then suddenly realised had left worms behind had dug earlier in day whilst gardening. Damn ! rushed back to get them. A good natural bait confident would entice a bite. Rushed back out the front door ariund the corner to see my first bus missed going up the hill in the distance. Damn ! Not a good start if only still had a motor. But then this is my quest to explore without regardless if having wheels. Di now have rhe thought of getting the pushbike out again but not until the weather warms up s bit. So not wanting to wait ages for the next small bus headed off walking to top of Shooters Hill to wait for the first bus to get me to Welling in Kent, then tranfer to pick up a 96 to Dartford.

Finally arrived at Destination in Dartford, Kent and got off 96 heading to Central Gardens where had recently visited to explore for signs of fish, potential future swims. Unfortunately there is a 'NO FISHING' policy in the park especially unfortunate as spotted some lovely swims with signs of big fish movements. More than likely Chub present.

Departed the 96 bus at Home Gardens along a stretch of The River Darent remember very well as holding trout many moons ago. Not that found the time to fish back then, although on my to fish list. For all know this stretch may still hold trout, many species of fish. However although a pleasant looking stretch, always been put off by the in accessibility, steep overgrown banks and shear backside drop to water level. Not comfortable or safe, and largely discouraged not forgetting to mention the amount of rubbish present on the banks. One can only imagine the amount of snags and terminal tackle would loose in a session. Shame, such a shame that a river can become so ugly with inconsiderate people's waste. Dumped in our waterways it sickens me so. Take your rubbish to the dump ! Stop Polluting Our Waterways πŸ˜“

Walked across a busy mainroad past St Saviour's Walk. Here there is a small shallow stretch of The River Derwent remember many years back witnessing fly fisherman catching trout. Now Heading past Dartford Borough Museum before arriving at Central Gardens. Damn ! The gates are locked thats just typical of my exploits. Bad timing now for a long walk, thank God for Google Maps. Current location found pinpoint final destination with an arrow where intend to fish. On route passing a rather run down part of town where many years ago used to visit a tackle shop called Dartford Angling. Sadly a long time since closing down. Like many tackle shops that have long since vanished from our High Streets. Such a crying shame.

Past an interesting piece of urban street art πŸ‘

All entrances to Central Gardens and side entrance to Brooklands Lakes closed so continue long walk down Lowfield Road A225, turning left walking up a long road before crossing main road then walking down a dark eerie lane towards the lakes and river.

A recent picture of a day evening walk Brooklands Lakes Dartford

Finally arrived and within seconds ready to put a nice juicy worm on a hair rigged hook as bait. Travelling lighter than ever all set up with my brand new recently purchased Okuma 8ft Carbonite Slim Match. Hoping to christen with at least a fish or two. First cast into the current hoping and waiting patiently for a bite. Bang ! Get to test the new rods strength on half a tree coming through the swim. Nice bend in rod confident this has enough beef to handle a fish of reasonable size. Bang ! in again more tree branches. After finally finding a spot to cast clear of debris came to the sudden conclusion that this swim had no fish present or at least where not biting. Later to learn that it's got some huge Chub and bream present. After several more stick fish moved on hoping to catch at least one or if only to get a bite. But with no joy.

Glad in hindsight to wind line in early. Had no idea of this spot being haunted although it felt like a very eerie atmosphere. Strange in hindsight you could almost write a play here. Dark, cold, barren, plain eerie. Who knows just what would have happened come the midnight hour ? Could have witnessed this Lady in white coming towards me.  Would have froze with fright and fallen down the steep walls to the cold dark black water below. Accident plain and simple. Then woke up from my dream. But who's to know ? Checked the internet for stories of this mysterious ghost. But no joy of research resulting in any findings of this local tale. Who was She this Mysterious Girl this Woman in White ? Intrigued to find out/ learn more. Maybe she had drowned in the river perhaps, will never know or have the bottle to visit again. Something deep inside says forget The Massive Chub and Bream present. Rather be thankful lived another day to tell the tale. But maybe just maybe this is an Anglers Story like many heard other the years to keep other Fisherman well away from this local fishing haunt. Maybe just maybe will venture here again one day just for the shear adrenaline rush in the middle of the night. Certain it wont be a fish pulling my line more a heart attack case of ghost appearing. Not talking of The Ghost Carp variety.

There are certainly enough tail tell signs of fishing taking place. And unfortunately especially in free and day ticket watwr open ro the public. Onw witnesses the usual litter, hooks, and discarded fishing line. Careless and inconsiderate litter bugs bringing Angling into dispute once more when wild foul, nature, or a family pet dog gets a hook in paw or down throat. This appalling Act has always been there. And 9 times out of 10 it's just a few careless individuals who ruin fishing for the decent Anglers who care for their environment by taking litter home.

On a serious note I often wonder what sort of situations put myself in. Always good when venturing out alone to have a good idea of area visiting and what you maybe letting yourself in for. Would go as far as saying always tell a Loved one, Family Member or Friend where your going fishing. And always take a mobile phone with you just in case of emergency. One can never be 100% sure how safe some venues maybe. Walked through a Gypsy Site once on The River Lea in London, was scared beyond belief. Confronted by some big ugly Brutes phew thats a moment gladly forget in a hurry. So back at Spooky Corner, had no idea beforehand until after fishing this stretch of river until warned this area is dangerous. Putting Spooky Corner behind me, people are more dangerous than old stories of haunted sites, demons, ghosts, undead things that go bump in the night. This area fished turns out is a common place for couples dogging in cars on warmer nights. More frightening is the crackheads off their crazy filled heads roaming around late at night. Not a place would recommend fishing on your own. My advice is keep well clear of such venues especially late at night. If you do have an urge to fish such venues, don't go alone. Especially this day and age who knows ? you could be stabbed by some crazy drugged out lunatics. Not that I'm here to run down this stretch of river. The fact remains it doesn't matter where you may fish these days, trouble could always be just around the corner  Urban angling especially on free stretches open to the public can be very daunting, one must remain vigilant at all times. Such waters are not Bailiffed, often dimly lit if lit at all, with no camera's. Try to be aware of your surroundings especially in the dark. Try to be familiar with your exit route useful in times of a quick get away.

My strong advice is "Don't Trouble Trouble Till Trouble Troubles You"
Try to keep torch light and your presence to a minimum when fishing not only is this beneficial in catching fish. Don't want to attract any undue attention to yourself. It could be said a cowards approach is to move on if you hear signs of people especially loud, drunk, drugged and disorderly. However believe it's a sensible move not to hang around in the dark in the middle of nowhere and put your life in danger. Strongly Advise and Encourage to think about Your Fishing Location.

So at the end of a very quick session. Decided enough was enough. First time bought line in early at the end of the coarse river season. Next year must make sure pick a decent location to finish off the season with a bang. But unfortunately time was short this evening after work so headed out on a short bus ride to Dartford on The River Darent. Tried various baits lobworms, brandlings, bread, luncheon meat and cheese. Walked fishing several different swims. Not a single bite.

Goodbye Coarse Fishing River Season. Time to sort sea tackle out ready for tomorrow evening. Bye for now. Tight Lines πŸ‘πŸ˜ŽπŸŽ£

Further pictures from day/evening walk

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