Friday, 21 June 2013

Sharing the wealth

I've wanted to get a few fishing buddies on to some of my favourites spots, but with shift patterns getting in the way and horrendous flooding it never really happened. So the plan this season is to get a few of them on so that they can have a bit of fun on my spot. You can't guarantee a river monster every time, but there's often a fish or two to be caught and that's all we want. The thought of a river twenty or even a new pb is in the mind of anyone fishing with me on my pegs, as much as they try not to think about it. One thing that has been missing from my fishing has been sharing the fun and sharing the big captures. It's only happened once for me with a big fish and that was when Woody took me on his boat and he plonked me on a river twenty, but I've not returned the favour for him or any of my other buddies.

Last year Neil only managed one effort with me on my bit of water and we had a blank. He had one fish roll on the lure but it managed to stay out of sight, though Neil still felt it was at least a decent fish and it has had him thinking of coming back for some time. We never managed to follow it up until this week when our shifts were spot on, the river was calm and we could get out and chuck some lures. I pointed him at a few spots, told him the snags and where the fish show and then sat and watched him throw lure after lure, again with no joy. Sometimes my water is like this and those are the days I rarely blog about. Blanks aren't that exciting. But at least this session wasn't destined for a blank. We came to the last swim and after a few casts Neil finally had a hit to which he struck and hooked in to what at first seemed to be a good sized fish. The head was a decent one, but when we got it on the bank it only went 13lb which was a shame as this fish clearly was a much bigger specimen before spawn. At least Neil was off the mark and though nothing else was landed we were already planning another trip.

Thursday we got the nod from the WAGs that we could get out and we were on the bank for just before 6pm. Again I let Neil have the run of the water and beckoned him to get some casts in. If there was just the odd fish to be caught then again I wanted him to have that chance. Neil loves his jerk baits and opted for one of his Cobbs Countdown, launching it out for the first cast. No luck there so again he hurls the Cobbs out in search of a fish. As he starts the retrieve, all of a sudden there's a boil in the water, and as it gets wider and wider we both realise a pike has just had a go at, and missed the lure. He keeps up the retrieve and then suddenly he's in. Failing with the first attempt the pike must have followed and then taken it on the second attempt. I see his rod bent but on a stiff jerkbait set up it was tough to call what the fish was like and I just grabbed the net just in case. First glance and I'm happy it's a least a double and hopefully pushing at least high figures. I didn't really concentrate much on the fish, just where my net was. I've not netted much for others and it's actually quite nervous times. For Gods sake Paul don't fluff your lines here. As the fish comes closer Neil explains only one hook is hanging on. I tell him not to heave too hard and think to myself that I'm netting it as soon as possible. Neil has the fish under control and guiding it in but it still has a bit of a scrap and gives us a bit of a nervy moment or two. As he pulls the fish towards me I quickly slip the net under and then up and the fish is safe. I ask him what his pb is.

On the matt Neil is quizzing my thoughts on size as anglers always do with each other. My first thoughts are to get the hooks safe and then us two and the fish won't come to any harm. It is only then that I see this fish has a head on it, it might actually be a bit bigger than I first thought. As we lift the fish to weigh it the scales go past twenty and Neil's face is just one big smile. I tell Neil to get hold of the fish for some trophy shots, and only then is it that I realise he's caught the same fish I caught on the opening day of the season. Bloody fantastic stuff. So here she is, Neil's first twenty and a new pb. I'm so pleased I could be part of the moment, both giving him the chance to fish my bit of water and being there for a mate when he catches a special fish.

Read on for the story as told by the captor himself.

Neil wrote.

right! (deep breath)

been out for a short session with Marshman tonight, we went back to his spot on the river and after Mondays 13lber I was keen to get into some more pike.  Paul said it was just a matter of hitting the river as often as possible in different conditions until one of the big girls came out to play.

How right he was!!  We arrived at the first peg and marshy said "get casting" as he set up the net. I clipped on a Cobbs Countdown and made a first chuck straight to the middle of the river, its been a while since I cast this particular lure and as I worked it back into the margin I saw it was almost breaking the surface because I was working it too fast. next cast was just off centre to the left and after a few jerks I see a the surface break again, still too fast I think but the boil gets bigger and marshy spots it too "was that a fish?" it must have been and within a few more jerks we find out as it all goes solid!

I feel the weight and then I get feedback through the rod FISH ON!! It comes in quite easy to start and breaks the surface 20 feet or so out, "its a double" I say. As it gets nearer marshy says "its a good double!" the fish just seems to get bigger and goes nuts once its under the rod tip.  I notice its only on by one treble and I tell marshy to be careful still not sure on the size, Paul is spot on with the net and casually asks about my PB as he carries it to the waiting mat. As we unfold the net the first thing we see is a huge head then the length of the fish, its bigger than we thought we agree.

Hooks out and back for a bit of water then onto the scales, it pulls round to 21lb less Pauls net its confirmed - my first 20!!! a scraper lol right on the button. I don't really know what to say at this point, it all seemed to happen so fast lol
ill let the pics do the talking

Paul identifys the fish as the one he had at 25lb in February, I don't mind sharing at all lol

many things I'm so happy with about this fish, firstly its my first twenty!, then the venue - i've travelled the country in search of pike from Windemere to Chew but to have a 20 on one of my local venues is top of the tree for me.  Finally the bait - the cobbs countdown - one of my favourite jerkbaits and a joy to fish.


  1. Great report Paul and what a cracking fish for Neil! Well done boys!


  2. Nice one lads, fantastic fish, that's one reliable spot Paul.

  3. Cheers boys. It's a tough spot Lee. Only done four fish this week. Two at 13 and two at 20. lol

  4. Great stuff Paul, sharing the wealth- its the way forward !

    1. cheers Mark. I knew there was always a chance of a big fish for Neil but didn't expect a twenty so soon. Over the moon for him.