Saturday, 24 March 2018

Closed Season Canal Zander Quest PT71 – Buckfast and Battlers

For this early morning session I was at the Laryngeal Prominence an area I’d fished quite a few times but it hadn’t really hadn’t lived up to its promise. There were fish here for sure, but the standard schoolies fare can get tiresome after a while but a snippet of information shared it appeared on my radar again. The promise you see often fell flat and as this area sees a little foot traffic from gongoozlers, towpath stompers and black bauble bag swingers it’s not the sort of venue I prefer to frequent.

I like the less trodden areas you see, and the larger specimens I’ve caught seem to share the same utopia as I do. But then from time to time such as my yearly pilgrimage to the White Island to seek those repetitive beats that tickle the dopamines in ones dorsal and ventral striatum’s.

Arouse those neurons, happiness begins, maybe there were a few old swingers like me hanging around to relive a big part of one’s life.

Now talking about dopamine those Buckfast drinkers in Scotland seem to love their fix and its mesolimbic reward pathway and the fact that the caffeine loaded tonic wine tweak the opioid cells that release endorphins. Both produce feelings of joy, pleasure, euphoria, depending on the type of activation. That's why drinking can be so pleasurable, but Buckfast appears to have a rather unwanted side effect, if you believe any of the recent press on the NED juice.

A prominent Scottish Nationalist has urged the BBC to abandon a forthcoming edition of The Antiques Roadshow. Yes, you did read that correctly. The offending broadcast, planned for later this year, will celebrate 1,000 years of Devon’s Buckfast Abbey, which describes itself as a ‘spiritual haven’.

In Scotland, however, the monastery’s eponymous tonic wine is not known for producing serenity: on the contrary, the highly caffeinated alcoholic drink is notorious for having ‘almost supernatural powers of destruction’, not only upon its consumers but also for anyone unfortunate to encounter those under its influence.

Alex Neil if you hadn’t guessed, who looks like he’s had a life time on it, wrote to the director general of the BBC: ‘For many years there has been great concern in Scotland about the sale of Buckfast and its adverse impact on the behaviour of those who drink it . . . a lot of anti-social behaviour is caused by the use of this drink.’

Of that there is little argument: in 2015, the Scottish Prison Service reported that 43 per cent of inmates had consumed Buckfast before their last offence. Given that a high proportion of the consumption is concentrated in a relatively small geographic area knows as the ‘Buckfast Triangle’, this is an extraordinary and scary statistic.

Buckie is a dark brown "tonic wine" created in the 1880s by Benedictine monks who, fleeing persecution in France, came to Buckfast Abbey in Devon. It’s changed somewhat over the years and the modern drink now contains various flavourings, preservatives and a large dose of caffeine. I’ve read claims that it’s the chemicals in Buckfast, sodium glycerophosphate, dipotassium phosphate and disodium phosphate, that cause the special effects.

Now oddly my local village shop has it on the shelf it, yes really, as shop usually frequented by farmers, wags and rich coffin dodgers .

“Bal, you sell much of that Buckfast....?”

“Yes, we do, it’s a quite a good seller”

Hmmm, maybe in safety of ones four walls, I might give it a bash, maybe I’m missing something…..

I've bought a bottle anyway especially after Mike Graham of the Two Mikes drank a bottle of it live on air and praised its effects.

Talking of four walls, well three in fact, the monks sell a sizeable chunk of their brew in the Buckfast Triangle as mentioned above, where whole communities disappear – Coatbridge alone, with its population of 40,000 people, is said to account for 10% of the drink sales.

Drunk by noon and handcuffed by midnight, a drink with unparalleled ability to start fights….

Corner a Zed like you would a Buckied up angry ned, you will provoke a reaction, and that’s why I was here. You see I could now see despite the average results on this section thus far.

There were plenty of angry little whippersnappers ready to do battle and put the world to rights without thought for the elderly who are happy to mosey on around unnoticed as it makes them feel you, but then the wise head is screwed on from time to time, when things get out of hand.

They properly nailed the lure and through the braid it’s a sensation that’s hard to describe. It can be quite addictive you see. Sadly I’ve never banked any canal Zander bigger than 5lb on a lure, not sure what, just the way it is.

So lures had no place here, thankfully it was back out with the deads again….

So the plan as per the usual, leapfrog some thick cover to try and find a voyeuristic specimen holding up to try and put a bag of popcorn right in front of him, so it can get back to the perving.

I need to battle on with the Zander challenge of mine, likely to never succeed….

So it was a bit of a cold miserable day, drizzle and damp and generally not very nice. The first fish came pretty quick, a small fish that thought he was Linford Christie the way it went off after it was hooked, but then despite fishing probably 10 difference swims over a mile and a bit and back again that was the only bite.

Not a blank but certainly tough going....

It didn't end well either, as I was trudging back to the car 3 three barges I passed was now 1. But the first barge I decided to leave me a little present on the towpath.

Thanks, you utter pond life....

1 comment:

  1. They must be the lowest of the low Mick to leave those on the towpath, I mean there's plenty of trees to hang them on. Went out Friday and fished the big E, after coming back I read your Friday article and couldn't believe it when I saw the photo of the blue flowers as I had seen the row of them and thought at the time if Mick was here he'd take a photo of them. Thinking I was well tuned with the power of thought I raced round to the shop and bought a euro lottery ticket full well in thinking a drink for you must be on the cards out of the win but alas it wasn't to be. On a good note I had doubled my normal 2018 outings quota with 2 fish. Next outing probably to see your least favourite landlady. Keep at it.


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