Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The biggest fish in the pond

I found a small water and decided to give it a go. I'd got no idea what was in it and I'd not even set eyes on it before. I've seen cars parked near it over the years, heard of folk fishing it and decided there was only one way to find out for myself what was in it. I parked up and looked for a path through to the pond as I didn't even know how to get to it or if I could get to fish. I spotted my path  and saw there was room to get to the waters edge and so toddled back for the gear, taking just my light rod and a bunch of kopytos. No point chucking large lures about, there might not be any pike in but if there's one fish going to be in any bit of water it has to be a perch, and a kopyto will have a bunch of tiddlers at least chasing after it. While I'm there I can watch for other signs of fish activity, bird life and what not then take it from there.

The water was crystal clear and I could see the bottom, apart from when the wind was rushing across the surface causing a ripple and spoiling my view of the empty bottom. The shiny white two and half inch kopyto could be seen at full cast and I watched it closely for anything following. First few casts and nothing, first few minutes and nothing and before long I've leapfrogged to virtually every spot I could get a cast in, but still not a perch or anything spotted. One solitary swan was the only sign of life on the water for the most part and it slowly cruised across the water, keeping at distance any time I ventured closer to it. By now I was starting to think of plan B, where to go in the next five minutes or so if nothing happens here. There were still a couple of spots I thought I could get my rod in so I decided I'd at least stick it out a while longer.

I flicked out the lure in to a new swim. I could have easily launched it to the other side from here but I like to fish the first ten or fifteen feet in front of me. The idea being I don't want to drag a fish from 50 yards away through an area that had fish in and scare them off. Catch the fish near to me first, then target the furthest spots after that. Probably a pointless exercise on a water with no fish in but I did it anyway. First cast nothing, second cast nothing, third cast....wait, what?!

As my tiny kopyto comes towards me it is dwarfed by a long shadowy figure and before I know it that shadowy figure is in clear sight. A massive pike is slowly following my lure. I have to think quick here and way up the options. I'm in my green camo, but I stick out like a sore thumb against the yellowing dry grasses behind me, and add to that the crystal clear water. If the lure gets close to me, and the pike does too then any movement on my part will have the pike about turning and with one giant tail swipe it'll be gone. Pike have cracking eye sight and many times when I've felt happy I'm out of sight I've seen them turn away as they somehow spot me on the bank.

The water is shallowing up too, so I quickly decide to let the lure sink to the bottom. The pike clearly wasn't going to take the lure any time soon in my opinion anyway. The pike slows down and stops a foot short of the lure. This is ace. I'm beaming now, I can see the pike perfectly and I'm shitting myself in case something I do scares it off. Jeez it's a long fish. I give the lure a twitch, the smallest twitch on earth so that nothing on me moves, just my wrist and the rod ever so slightly and the pike twitches. Another twitch, the kopyto moves again, not even a centimetre and the pike sees it, and again it's just a twitch from the hunter. Each time I make the lure move just a touch, the pike just hovering short of it, moves a tiny bit more.

How long will this go on for? How much dare I move? I'm positive the pike should be able to see me but it seems so fixated on the lure. I've probably got five feet of water in front of me, to a depth of two to three feet and then it's lure and pike. I can't bring it in much further, as for a start I'd have to move my arm and rod too much and also there's a load of debris in the water, so I've now got less than two feet of twiching to go at before it's game over and I mess it up completely. This is fantastic! It's nerve wrecking stuff which will either end in miserable failure or a super success.

Twitch....wait....twitch...wait, versus Who is going to give first? It seems as though this has gone on for an age now and I can't believe I haven't been rumbled. However my patience is being tested and I'm getting close to having a lure in the grassy debris. I reckon a decent twitch would have the pikes attention more and it maybe would strike or suck it in. Leaving the lure on the bottom just has it staring at it. I grow some balls and go for it. A quick half flick and the lure shoots up and the pike responds by charging closer, she still doesn't take it though. Another twitch and the pike is moving again but this time the pike slides right on past the lure, towards me and towards the debris. Aargh feck this is nearly game over. I let the lure dance a little to the side to see if the pike will spin around but it doesn't It must be visible at least by one eye but there's no movement. Shit or bust time and now I dance the lure right past her nose and it drops six inch in front, right in front of the debris, in fact I can't see the lure now because of the debris. The pike shuffles a little, a few back strokes and then the nose goes down and the tail comes up to the surface, half flapping about in the air. Something is happening, but shit, I can't see my lure.

The gills flare briefly, like lightening it could easily be missed by anyone who hasn't seen it happen before. I reckon that's my lure in it's mouth so I lift up the rod tip and it's solid, fish on. The pike doesn't even know what has happened and it rolls a little and flaps in the debris. A stupid attempt to net the fish sees me scoop up a load of grass and poke the pike a few times while it roles on it's side. Finally getting it's bearings again it turns to face the open water and then with no time to react the fish charges out, line ripping off the real and me hanging on...... Ha ha, i've just remembered what I said at that point. "You've fucked it up now Paul". Ha ha, I'd made the fish angry and me and my little Greys G lite rod couldn't do anything about it. So we just let it run and off it went. Once the first big surge was over I turned it around and started to get some line in. Luckily it gave a few more swipes of the tail and came back straight towards me to be greeted with my net. Even though I hadn't figured on a good pike in this water I'd still decided to bring the pike net rather than my smaller rubber perch net, smart move.

With the pike in the net I quickly get out the tools and camera and take a few photos. The hook is nice, just on the outside of the mouth by now and I leave it in for the photo then whip it out easily with my finger and thumb. The fish looked perfect, probably never been caught before either as there was nothing to say it had. A look down its throat and it was spotless, no traces or anything. No need to do anything else now but put it back in the water and get some oxygen back in to it's body. Grabbing the camera again I take a couple of photos before setting her on the way. What a fantastic looking fish.

Relax Kopyto Shad

Relax Kopyto Shad


  1. A cracking read, and a cracking fish Paul , nice one mate !

  2. Great litle read that paul, top stuff....... Nothing like lure fishing in crystal clear water watching everything unfold right in front of your eyes. I was pumped just reading this. Ha. Good times