Thanks to Chris Shute of Team Pallatrax for sharing his Crabtree Moment with us…
I decided this year would be the year to give my eldest son, Alexander, his first taste of angling. I’m fortunate enough to run my own syndicate lake which contains some stunning Roach, Rudd and Perch, offering him the perfect chance of catching his very first fish.
It couldn’t have been any more perfect for his first trip, from the moment we went to the tackle shop to pick him up some maggots to the glorious sunshine we are experiencing at the moment. Upon arriving I gave him my lucky Pallatrax hat and a pair of polarised glasses, allowing him to witness the shoal of very large Carp sunning themselves in the shallow water and baking sun. His face was a picture; he couldn’t believe what he was seeing which added to the excitement and anticipation.
Not wanting to keep him waiting any longer, we quickly made our way to the swim where I couldn’t wait for him to be connected to his first fish. First I went through the tackle with him, explaining what the float does and what to look out for when a fish has nibbled our bait. Introducing a couple of small balls of Pallatrax Bloodworm and Maggot crush groundbait and a gentle spread of maggots, I thought I would try and catch us a fish so he could get a feel for what it is like.
Having managed to land the first small Roach of the afternoon, Alexander was soon itching to do it himself, and the time was right for him to have a go. First things first, and to truly make it his own fish, he needed to learn how to hold the maggots and bait the hook. Now for a three year old this was something I didn’t expect him to do; holding a maggot between thumb and forefinger, explaining to him why we do this, I slipped the small hook through the maggot. In unexpected fashion, he loved it and wanted to put on another, then another, following by another. With four maggots on the hook, another spread of maggots to “feed the fish” he was ready to catch himself his first fish.
With the float starting to wobble as we attracted interest, one hand on the rod and the other on the pin, he was ready to pounce and couldn’t wait for the float to slide under to signal a take. In true fashion his first couple of chances were missed as, in the words of Alexander, they let go. He didn’t have to wait long however, as I looked away to introduce another handful of maggots I soon heard him screaming with delight that the float had gone.
Lifting the rod he was soon reeling in and playing his very first fish, he couldn’t wait to get it in and the excitement in his voice as this little fish darted up and down giving him a good run around. The fish was soon guided into my waiting hand, unhooked and he was beaming from ear to ear as he held and posed for a photo of that life changing moment; another angler has been born!