Quack off! The curse of ducks on your fishing swim…

Problem ducks
Problem ducks (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

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Many anglers love ducks and other birds. One of my fishing mates is a noted ornithologist and I even have three feeders and a bird bath in the garden. But after the past two weeks on the bank I’m thinking seriously about withdrawing those bonus nuts, seeds and suet balls.

Various birds have got me spitting feathers. They just won’t leave me alone and it’s doing my head in!

It all started with a heron perching on a tree opposite me. That is quite an impressive sight… until the giant predator dives in and comes up with a nice bream in its mouth! Fair enough, nice catch fella. And he did leave with his food to go and eat it elsewhere and let me get back to the job of feeding my swim and getting the fish in a feeding mood.

I’d just managed that when one of those punk ducks – you know the diving ones with the Mohican head gear – decided to go and have a look around the water in my peg. Of course I welcomed our feathered friend, although the words would not have been suitable for TV viewing before 9pm.

Problem ducks

When the evening is like this you just have to get on to the bank! (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

Ducking marvellous… more of them!

That visit was, of course, the end of my fishing for some time. In fact I had just got the fish back by feeding closer in when I noticed something nudging the bankside foliage. My first thoughts were of a nice tench – but then I realised tench do not have webbed feet! Yep the punk duck was rattling the reeds and roots and sending a cloud of mud around my nearside swim!

A few other assorted ducks and birds later, most of them divers, I decided to call it a day but then had to chase away an angry looking Canada goose that thought it should have my left over bait. The short walk back to the car park also saw me having to face off against a normal goose – well not that normal as it was hissing more than a giant snake!

Next venue is one not noted for birds, just the usual assortment of a few ducks and the odd swan. I can live with that. Or at least I thought I could…

I found a nice swim that offered open water and also a lovely overhanging tree that looked a banker area for a few fish. Out went a feeder to distance and steady feeding by hand started against the tree with my hook bait just underhanded into the area.

After about half an hour I thought I might see some signs of action next to those branches. I certainly did… from the ducks!

Now these were not diving ducks but the usual ones you see down the park lake eating bread. Except these got a taste for pellets. And they are the first ducks I have ever seen that could dive down six feet! No kidding. I started to get line bites as they hit my line and reeled in fast before they grabbed my hook bait.

Problem ducks

My mates the ducks – always ready to clear up left-over bait (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

Early evening session with a Mohican punk!

Last week when the sun shone and the wind blew I knew the conditions were bang-on for a quick early evening session after a few bream and maybe tench at a shallow local venue.

I actually got a swim I fancied despite a few other anglers already in place and heaved out a giant frame feeder stuffed with pellets with a nice tuna boilie on the hook aimed at bream.

But there were some nice rushes to my right, in shallow water, which I fed by hand for a little later and where my second rod would be placed as the sun faded. No sooner had I sat down than I saw a bream roll. Well I should say I thought I saw a bream roll… until a Mohican punk surfaced! Not again!!!!

Well he hung about for a time but on this vast expanse of water he soon disappeared to search out every other peg. But the ‘normal’ ducks appeared bobbing about my swim and diving down the short distance to the bottom to clear up any pellets that I had dropped into the margins.

Problem ducks

(Image credit: Angler's Mail)

Oh well, at least they didn’t interfere with my distance swim and I managed to extract five bream between 4lb 8 oz and 6lb, all ready to spawn as they were covered in tubercles.

I was enjoying catching these slabs and floating away in the evening sun when a sudden commotion behind me almost led to a change of pants – a duck came hurtling down the bank and shot past me like a rocket. I’m not sure if that was an accident of aimed at scaring me into giving more freebies. But it sure did scare me!

Next planned trip should solve the bird problems – I’m off in search of catfish. Honest!