Saturday, 3 March 2012

Saturday piking


I laid in bed most of the night tossing and turning, temperature going crazy one minute frozen the next I'm at boiling point. I was due a lay in after a week of getting up at 5am but at 6am I was awake and my mouth felt as if I'd been sucking on the Sahara desert all night. As I got out of bed the wife asked me what the hell I was doing. I needed a massive pot of tea to cure my dehydration and something to get rid of this temperature. I had to have an hour or so chilling out watching the TV before I decided what to do next, but I did know all along what the outcome would be.

As I drove to the river a solitary magpie flew across the road in front of me. I convinced myself that since this magpie was no where near the river that it meant nothing. The river looked low, pretty much as low as it does in the warmest months of the summer. The photo shows my swim and the foam on the far side of the river shows you the main flow. Because the river was so low today this slack pool was even bigger with the current only really hugging the far bank. This should give me a chance of a fish chilling out in the pool at least. I stuck on the usual rainbow and did my usual of trying close in, all the margins and then further out virtually right across the river. Often you get a take by this point but I had no luck. As I was retrieving I slowed the lure right up as I came close to the edge just to see if anything was following like I normally do. I then spotted the head of a pike slowly emerging from the depths of the murky river. But then I realised it wasn't the head of a pike but actually the full body of a stripy perch. eyes bigger than it's belly of course because the 19cm lip lure was far too big for it, I'd say it was about 3/4 of a pound. So do I stick with the lip lure or try some smaller lures and go for the perch? Both, I gave them both a fair crack but nothing. I then got a phone call from one of the lads at work. They were making a full English breakfast and there was a spare seat if I wanted it. My oh my, what a decision to have to make.

I chose the fishing. As nice as that cooked breakfast sounded I was here for the fishing. I could have as many cooked breakfasts as I wanted once the closed season was here. I cracked on and it wasn't long before I spotted another predator following in the murky water. This was a decent pike but it remained a good few feet behind my lure and never came close enough to even get my nerves going. Still, it made me smile. At least I know there are pike in the area. I thought about changing lures but decided to stick with it and not long after I felt the familiar thump on the rod as a pike hit my lure somewhere out in the river. Now the last two fish I'd hooked recently, both times the hook came out while playing the fish so this time I was even more on edge. I thought about giving the rod another yank to help set the hooks again but if my hooks were already set I could run the risk of pulling the hooks free or even damaging the fish. "Just play the fish like you normally do" I thought to myself. I possibly was even less harsh on the fish than normal and every time it made a dash I let it, before finally I was able to chin the pike out.

 I quickly got the hooks out as they weren't in too much of a tricky spot.I guessed the fish was probably about 9 or 10lb but decided to weigh it anyway and to my surprise it went twelve pound. It was a fat fish like most recently but I did still check my scales when I got home. Then came the self take photograph. I'm getting the hang of it now but someone didn't tell the fish to behave. Just as the timer had counted down it flipped wildly. Somehow I managed to hold on to it but at a bit of a cost. I felt a little pain as one of the teeth dug in. Nothing major but it always looks like some kind of scene from a horror film. Second attempt and I got the picture I wanted and slipped the pike back and then attempted to sort out my cut. 

DIY first aid
How DIY first aid should look
The river bank isn't exactly the cleanest of places but I'd still not got around to sorting a mini first aid kit for my pike bag. I had however stuck a few antiseptic wipes into my camera case so grabbed one and cleaned up the area around my cut. I then tied it on with a bit of old braid I had in my pocket and got back to fishing. Well it's surprising how cold one finger becomes when it's got a soggy tissue tied to it and a cold breeze blowing against it. I had to come up with a better solution. I nipped back to the car where I found some tissue and some rubber gloves. Isn't that what most people have in a cars glove box? By simply cutting one finger off the glove it made a perfect water proof case for the bit of tissue stuck to the end of my finger. I think I need to patent that idea quick!

I fished on with no more success. I did have another pike follow and that too was a good few feet away from the lure. The sight of a pike following gave me a boost but all it did in the long run was have me stood on the bank even longer, trying this, trying that. Having eaten their full English, the lads at work felt pity on me and brought me down a brew. We had a brief chat talking about our team losing the night before and I tried in vein to catch them a fish to prove I don't just stand on the side of the river doing nothing. The cold had finally got through to me, at least my temperature wasn't sky high any more. So I decided to get myself off home having had my fix of lure fishing for the day. As yet I've no idea if I'm off fishing on Sunday morning or not but if I find myself awake at stupid o'clock tossing and turning again then I wouldn't be surprised if I do.

2012 pike tally
 Doubles 7
Total 17
Largest 17lb

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