Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A hard earned fish

I managed to nip out Tuesday for an evening session of about two hours. I managed to blank. If you want the details, the rivers were in flood and full of colour, the ponds were full of summer weed and the canal didn't produce. I first of all tried to fish a pond but the weed was just too much. I had a few small tiny pike charge at the lures which were as big as them. I gave it up. I then had a chuck in a canal I'd not fished before. It looked the part but I couldn't manage to wangle anything out in the half hour I was there. I did see signs of promise though as I had one jack follow and then strike the lure as I lifted out of the water. A combination of failing light and murky water meant I never even saw it, that could have been a blank saver had I had visibility a little more in my favour. Finally I tested my luck in a bit of river I've never fished. It was murky as hell, carrying water and I saw nothing. A chat with an old fellow walking his dog told me that there were some good perch coming out and a 22lb pike had been banked recently. Nothing I didn't already know even though I've never fished here, but it's the same river I've fished higher up and lower down with same results so stands to be the same here.

Wednesday I watched as the rain came down all day long. I awoke at 6am, checked out the curtains and then got back in bed. I sat bored all day until I managed to catch up on a stack of fishing programs. The Fishing Adventurer, Cyril Chauquet lives a lure anglers dream fishing all over the world for all kinds of predators. It passed my rainy afternoon on but it also fuelled the fire inside me and made me want to fish even more. It was still raining, very very fast.

I was in my lads bedroom looking for an advantage. He's in the loft conversion and has a window on the north and south side of the house from which I can see for some distance. I spotted in the far, far distance a break in the clouds and one that looked like the calm after the storm. I went down and got my waterproofs on and set off, wife and kids looking at me as if I was some kind of lunatic. I think fishing is turning me in to some kind of lunatic to be honest.

As I got out of the car the sun came out and it was like being somewhere other than England. I went back to the canal I'd tried yesterday but after 45 minutes I'd not seen a sign of a fish. I then moved up to the river but before I could manage a cast I was greeted by an old chap asking for my permit. I didn't even realise this bit of water had a club running it and after a brief chat with the nice old lad off I went. I'd passed a small cut thousands of times and often figured it would hold a fish or two, because when the river comes up the whole area is flooded and then when it subsides the cut is all that's left. It was surrounded by a jungle of nettles and thorny bushes. I managed to have about a dozen casts in two very awkward spots but I gave it up. The water was crystal clear and I never saw anything follow. A pike laying wait in this water would have spotted my lure the moment it hit the water.

I trundled back to the car with my tail between my legs. My car was pointing home and there wasn't much water in my way. There was no where to cast a line except for the flooded river. Only problem being this bit of river has never produced for me in the half dozen times i've tried it. I quoted my only rule in fishing, and that is you won't catch if you don't fish. I parked up and grabbed the bare minimum and trundled down to the waters edge to find the bit I was expecting to fish from under about a foot of water. I managed to hop, skip and jump across a few boulders and grass sods to within fish landing distance. This was one final shot at a fish, a small slack pool right after some fast water.

I cast in and started to retrieve the rainbow. I've hooked fish here before but lost every single one of them, so as I was winding in that thought was in my head. I then saw a swirl right behind my lure. A pike had had a lunge at my lure but I can only assume that with the dark, murky water and low light the pike had got it's bearings wrong. I gave the lure a sharp flick to make as much vibration as possible and kept the retrieve going and then "Fish on" said Cyril. It gave a good fight but I always had the upper hand and quickly got it in to the flooded shallows, weaving through the grass and then safely chinned out. The hook up was a complicated one but I managed to get them out only later to realise I'd had a close scrape as the pike had flipped. A flying treble had nicked my wrist, it was a small cut but was so close to being a nightmare scenario. The fish was still attached to the hook at that time so a treble in my wrist would have been fun. A quick blog photo and back it went. I had a few more casts and then decided to leg it home and get a brew down my neck.

2012 pike tally 
Doubles 28
Total 171
Largest 22.5lb
Twenties - 2
Bonus Perch 8

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