Sunday, 14 July 2013

Sunny Sunday afloat

It's a bit warm out there. What better way to make the most of the sun than a day afloat on Woody's boat. We didn't expect a bumper day, often the clear skies and bright sunshine, together with some clear water isn't always the best. But we were still confident of a few fish and we just wanted to get out and have a good day enjoying the sun while it is here to stay it seems. It's work tomorrow again after all. Driving to the river it was pretty dull and overcast with some mist in the air and we were hopeful it might hold and give us some cover though we both knew that the late morning sun would quickly burn off the clouds, and it did.

The engine was fired up and we were soon moving off from the launch. It was about 6:30am and we'd just managed to get on to the river before another fishing boat. Their choice of boat was an old speed boat, so not the best but at least they were going to be out on a nice day. A few words of advice from Woody to help them grab a few fish, as a brief chat found that they normally struggle to catch, in large numbers at least. I'd not even flicked my lure in to the water, we'd not moved more than fifteen feet and Woody was in to a perch. A quick unhook and then back in went the lure and within another thirty metres Woody had another perch. We were off to a great start. It then went tits up. As the boat was manoeuvred to make a U turn, the engine cut out. We started to slowly drift as he tried to get it running again. The engine fired and then died again. Fired and died. It seemed to be cutting out on low revs. After a faff, a head scratch and few bangs the decision was made to tank it up river. Maybe there was some shit or other blocking something or other. It seemed a good conclusion and so off we went.

We knew we'd missed out on a few fish and a decent bit of water which often bags us a all sorts but we had to make sure the engine was right and by now it seemed it was doing fine. We could lower the revs and tick along at a nice trolling speed without it cutting out. We started to pick up a few fish on the troll and stopped off at a bridge to check out the structure and see what was lurking. After the first pass on the troll produced a lost perch which Woody felt wasn't too bad in size we had to take a closer look. Jigging around we could see the fry, we could see other silvers including some small chub which were hammering those fry. Woody bagged a nice perch pushing a pound, I think on his first jig and then I hooked something bigger which I at first thought was a big perch. As it came up it realised it was hooked and turned in to an angry pike of around three or four pound. Nothing much more happened so we got a move on, trolling up to the next likely looking jigging spot.

Tike knew where the fish were
Repeating this up the river we slowly and steadily picked up fish. Some times we'd get nothing for a while then we'd get a couple in quick succession, both trolling and jigging. We also picked up fish as we targeted the weed which by now had got a good hold of the edge of the river in many places. The weed was stacked with fry and we knew there would be perch and pike around, we just didn't quite get as many as we thought, though it's always pleasing to spot a place where you think a fish should be, and then catch from it. In fact it was along this stretch of weed where Woody proclaimed, "if we don't catch a fish off this I will be fecking gob smacked" and no joke, as the last bit of the word "gob smacked" left his lips his rod was bent and tapping away. Needless to say that whenever we passed a similar looking spot and it didn't produce, we were fecking gob smacked!

We didn't really catch anything of size. Some of the perch were around the one pound mark with the odd one pushing a shade more. It would have been nice to have picked up the odd two pounder as they add a bit of something to the day. Similarly a nice pike pushing the eight pound mark is a good bit of fun but we didn't drop on any of those either. In total we managed 45 fish to the boat which isn't a bad day and something not to be scoffed at. As always, a few fish and a bit of banter while chilling on a nice cruise along the river takes some beating for a day out. As usual we seemed to catch on whatever lure we used, though the lures were chosen to suit depths of the river so we can take some credit on selection. But we did have a bit of success at one point switching lures to slightly smaller 4cm plugs. I pulled one out which I'd dropped on in the second hand tackle shop for a couple of quid. In no time it had a couple of perch and so Woody switched to something similar, and he picked up a pike and then some perch. I'd no idea what the lure was called but from now on it is know as the chubby little fat fecker. Just ask in your local tackle shop for it, I'm sure he'll know which one it is.

chubby little fat feckers

Here's a few fishy photos just to add some colour to the blog. I take my camera and love to take photos but for some reason, even though you can be out hours on the boat I always feel as though I haven't got time for the camera. Either we're bagging up and so we're wasting time taking photos when there's more fish to be caught. Or we're wasting time when it's slow and we really should be trying to catch more fish. No idea why it feels like that but it does sometimes. Plus I also just forget!

Woody bags up on this lure

Me and my firetiger

Woody doing the honours for me.

About as big as they got today

As usual Tike enjoyed himself. He's a crowd pleaser and gets all the attention from the girls as they pass, giving him a little wave and even taking photos. Woody thinks most of the girls are waving at him mind you, I dare not break his little heart.

Tike thinking about having a go at the swans

Enjoying the cool breeze

We got to the furthest part upstream as we'd planned, even bagging a couple of fish here to please the onlookers wondering what two crazy people were doing in their swimming area. We'd not done bad, steady at times with the odd flurry of fish but in all a good run. The plan would have been to hit a few spots on the way back. Troll and jig some places we'd piked up fish on the way up. However Woody had got a bit of a stinking head ache, despite his super hat, despite the sun cream and despite plenty of fluids. I wondered if it was a bit too much sun this weekend as he was at a wedding do yesterday. We tanked it back down stream, pretty much missing out the whole river. We got stuck at one point behind a barge and a cruiser and with all the debris they were churning up it didn't seem worth the effort to fish, especially as Woody wasn't doing so good. At least back at the boat launch I knew what to do and we were on our way home. A couple of downers with the engine and the bad head burt those aside it was another great day out.

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