Thursday, 28 June 2012

Turn off the soaps

Since my last blog i've been sulking. I managed to hook and lose a twenty pounder. What more can I say on it? I'm nearly over it now, but it was a bit gutting having played the fish for a while and then the hook just coming free. Just one of those things and all part of fishing. I wasn't chasing a monster, but when you have one and lose it it hurts.

The fishing Gods then dealt me a further blow. The river had not long been open and had just settled down to a good level with the fish responding and me having plenty of action. Until that is the heavens opened again and it lashed it down all over the country, causing my river to reach it's highest level for five years and bursting it's banks in plenty of places. The river came up lightening fast with a tremendous amount of water it really was a sight. Not so good for the homes flooded or for the farmers who's crops were now underwater.
Picture doesn't show the true extent of the floods
I turned to my back up canal where I proceeded to pass on some time having fun catching two or three pike per couple hour session. I've not had anything substantial yet and I'm still working out what makes it tick. Sometimes you can get a couple of fish lightening fast in a peg other times nothing, everywhere is dead. It's my chill out spot though, away from everyone, away from all the noise of life.

Awesome sunset (no photo enhancing this was real)

The river became fish able again a few days ago and I've managed to get in an hour or two either before or after work. I seem to have found out where the pike are coming to feed and when they are there I can pick up five or six pike in an hour from one spot, with everywhere else not producing anything. I think I've worked it out and the pike are feeding just off the main flow. I'm not sure if they're feeding on the smaller fish who are feeding off the millions of tiny fry in the edge, or if they are just waiting off the main current for fish in the fast water coming out. Whatever, this is the bit of river that needs to be fished. I've not managed to pull out anything of note, but had some great fun. The fish are hitting the lures hard and fighting even harder. I had a fish of just over five pound tonight which just wouldn't come in. One fish thrashed out of the water shaking it's head and wouldn't stop, defying gravity for an age. I've had a fish chase the lure right in to the shallows and practically beach itself, I had to look closely to make sure it wasn't a killer whale chasing seal pups. I've also had a good helping of lost fish, missed takes and fish following and giving my nerves a nudge. I've notched up around twenty pike from one spot in less than eight hours fishing. I haven't really taken many photos though so not much to show off. Most fish have been around the seven to nine pound mark, largest fish was twelve pound but it was absolutely chucking it down when that one came in so I just popped it straight back before we both got caked in mud. Similarly many fish have been put back sharpish, often unhooked in the water because when it hasn't been raining it's been quite hot at times.

I love a good action shot. Not always easy to get when you're on your own and sometimes they turn out rubbish when you get home and have a look. I'm happy with this one though so thought I'd share. For the curious, that's a chunky titanium trace made by Chicoslures who you can't beat for quality and service and of course that's the ever reliable Savage Gear rainbow lip lure.

Another reason I haven't taken too many photos or messed about with the fish is that many of them are suffering a few bumps and bruises. Many have decent gashes on them. One nine pound pike looked like it had been held by a much larger pike and others seem to have teeth marks while other times I look at the gashes and wonder if they are from spawning or even other predators such as otters. Anyone who can add anything similar or definite answer give me a nudge. The photo below gives you an idea but some of them have been far worse than this example.

11.5lb showing damage

Apart from the fishing, which has been fabulous when I've been able to get out the wildlife hasn't been bad either so whenever I was quick enough I snapped at anything that moved. Three times these swans nearly took my head off trying to take off before I finally managed to get the camera out just in time to get a shot of them going over my head. I felt like I was stood by the fence watching the planes take off at the airport. I managed to miss a barn owl come within twenty feet of me, twice. It came in low and silent and it was gone before I could picture it. That really would have made a fantastic photo had I caught it.

This giant was much easier to capture. I've no idea what particular type of arachnid it is, but it's pretty stunning close up.

Dragons flies are always great to photo if you can find one willing to chill out for a minute or two. This beast was about six inches long and I'm sure it actually had to have had an engine to power those wings.

Most of my fishing has been while the majority of the country are sat watching Emmerdale, Eastenders and Coronation Street. Those people don't know what they are missing.

2012 pike tally
 Doubles 17
Total 93
Largest 22.5lb
Bonus Perch 2

1 comment:

  1. Fishing and departure to the nature - favorite activity of my husband. How he loves it! Always comes back full of energy and very happy. He has a whole arsenal of things that he takes with him: fishing gear, some strange Fly Rods, nice big chair like this and many others.