It had been a long while since I had been coarse fishing, and although I would periodically check that all my fishing gear was still in one place, I hadn’t thoroughly looked through it for a while to make sure everything was as pristine as I had left it. Moving house meant that various items were bagged up and stored away, and for obvious (and smelly) reasons my water proofs and nets were all bagged up and left quietly in the shed. You can see where this is going…
The weather had been horrible for the best part of 6 weeks (you may have seen Somerset on the news), with absolutely no fishing! So mid week, when I noticed that Sunday’s forecast wasn’t going to be as awful as it had been recently, I started getting excited. I was finally going to get out there and try some new venues! Fishing new venues is a great experience and I was always told that fishing a multitude of different venues helped you becoming a well rounded angler. With the weekend approaching I decided to go and have a look at how many rigs I had, and what I would need to buy on my next visit to the tackle shop.
I should have realised when I saw a few (lots of) small brown pellets on top of my carryall. Checking it over and seeing no glaringly obvious holes, I had a quick look inside to find that everything was how I had left it. It was the same for the rod bag and Boss box. Phew!
As a last minute precaution “just in case it rains” I decided to dig out the waterproofs and check them over. The first thing that hit me was the smell. Poop in that quantity sure does stink. They had nibbled through the plastic bag and straight through the coat lining into the fleece. From the smell I can only assume this is where the little buggers snuggled down for the winter. From wearing that coat several times I can attest to the quality of the fleece, it’s mighty warm.
For whatever reason, they gave up on the trousers, and although I have 2 holes on the legs and 1 on the bum, they are salvageable. Then I thought, “hmmm… what else have I got in here that mice would eat???” Bye bye groundbait. They had eaten their way through half a bag of VDE Secret, half a bag of Maize and countless micro pellets. They did at least leave all the halibut and krill pellets. Just so you know, all the groundbait was in sealed bags, in stacked buckets.
So I came to the conclusion not only did I provide them with bedding but I also gave them an obstacle course for an all you can eat buffet! Having lived in what I thought was the Welsh countryside for the best of 17 years and never really had any trouble with mice, I made the terrible assumption that the mice from the fields of Somerset would follow suit and not … eat my waterproof suit!
On further inspection they had also munched their way straight through one of my silver fish keepnets. I don’t usually use keepnets, but I’ll certainly need to buy another one before I consider entering any matches.
I have now bought a large sealed, lockable plastic chest in which I have placed my thermal wellingtons and the remainder of my uneaten groundbait. I have also started hanging things from the ceiling, although I’m not sure that is much of a deterrent, but more of a challenge to these mice ninjas! I have been told that the fields around here are rife with mice, and they unfortunately frequent everyone’s sheds. It’s possible the floods had left them fleeing for a dry refuge. With the number of cats (including our own) I thought there would be less of a mice issue. Sadly not.
If anyone could please advise me on how to rid myself of this mouse problem without using inhumane traps, it would be greatly appreciated, as I can’t afford the buy several sets of replacement waterproofs!
The best advice I’ve had from my Biologist other half is “Just don’t offer up a warm bed and a easy buffet”.