He tells me he threw a chair at a teacher and that’s why he has to go to ‘naughty school’. I tell him that I wished I would have had the balls to throw a chair at a teacher when I was at school. We are waiting on rods; I have a feeder rod set up with a pellet feeder lying just off the edge of the reeds. I have lent the kid a pellet feeder and a banded pellet hook length and cast them out a little way; even on his less sensitive carp rod this is a no brainer technique hopefully if he can get to the rod in time he will catch. To up the stakes I have told him I will give him my spare feeder rod if he catches a fish. The spare rod was given to me by the tackle shop owner as it needed a repair which was just a case of replacing the tip.
I ask if the reason he doesn’t own a fishing chair is because he threw it at someone, he doesn’t see the joke and continues to pace while I find myself watching two rod tips. I tell him if he catches a fish before me I will be pissed. Yesterday I had pulled out big slabs of bream one after the other as if they were offered up to me, today is obviously another day and the first fish is the most important omen. He asks me about the fish I caught yesterday; he had been watching from the far side of the lake. I tell him I don’t know how many I caught and that I do not weigh fish as I don’t work in a fishmonger’s.
While we wait I remember school and the seemingly unending boredom of it, I have never been to prison I think school was close enough for me. It has been ten minutes and the tip of my rod is knocking slightly as a fish or fish bump my feeder. He is bent over messing with the undergrowth and I tell him unless he has eyes on his arse he cannot see his rod tip.
As if responding to my assertion his rod tip bounces and the line slackens a little as the hooked fish moves the feeder toward the rod a little, I tell him he has fish and not to rip its head off but just lift the rod and wind. It is a medium sized roach and I show him how to unhook it and then I am forced to take pictures of him with his mobile phone, mock kissing the fish. I ask him when the last time he had caught a fish before this one was and he gives me some kind of bullshit answer that tells me it was either a long time ago or he once got lucky or maybe never at all.
He asks if I will look after his fishing tackle while he goes to the shop and then not waiting for a reply he disappears. I am left with the lake to myself; there are no dog walkers or strays of any type only the fish, reeds and the water.