Friday, 25 February 2011

Out With A Whimper

Ok so I've had a quiet time just lately. Mrs Edwards was off work for a while and I took the opportunity to spend a little time in her company then I planned to get stuck right in to the piking.

"This is it." I told her, "The big push, I'm taking the boat out and I won't be back until I've caught something whorthwhile." I couldn't be sure that I didn't detect a little smirk on her face as I said this, maybe she was happy that I'd ventured forth to discover my Nirvana or maybe it was something else. I went to bed early, car already packed with gear and boat primed at the ready.

I woke at stupid o'clock, dragged my weary body down the stairs and pulled on the obligatory layer-after-layer of high tech thermal gear before stepping out into the night. It was still and misty but cold nonetheless and at such an hour, the streets were mine alone. I hitched up the boat and set off on the lonely roads - I had a long way to go.

I passed through the suburbs and a short stretch of countryside until I reached the motorway where I knew I could relax. I joined the little traffic that there was, almost all of it heavy goods, switched on the cruise control and radio and settled back into my seat, bliss!

Ten minutes later my heart leapt as I was catapulted out of my comfort zone by the dreadful sight of showers of sparks in the rear view mirror. I signalled and drifted across to the hard shoulder and getting out, I discovered the source of the problem. The trailer lighting board had come adrift so that one of the metal arms which had held it in place was dragging along the tarmac - hence the sparks.

I shoved it back into place and screwed down the holding bolt as tight as I could before testing the lights - nothing. AARRGGH, now what? I fiddled and jiggled around with the plug and managed to get some life out of the thing. Soon the rear lights were working, then the brake lights. The right hand indicator sprung into life but the left hand one stubbornly refused to comply. Nothing I did was able to persuade it to work so I gave up on it. "I'll risk it." I thought. There was no-one about anyway.

The rest of the journey passed withoiut incident and I arrived in good time at the lake - it was still dark. Two cars with their trailers were parked by the slipway and I recognise one of them as that belonging to my good friend Kevin but he was nowhere to be seen. I loaded up the boat and launched before ringing him to find out where he was fishing. He had been keener than me and he was already setup at a favourite spot so I set off in a different direction, not wanting to compete for his fish.

The dawn arrived, along with a fair bit of drizzle and while there was early promise in the way of some brightness in the sky, this soon fizzled out and a grey, cold day was established. I anchored up at a spot I refer to as the "saddle". This is an area where the lake bed is shaped like a saddle with a high point at each end and a ridge-cum-trough in between, you get the idea.

The action wasn't long in coming and the first bait was taken within a few minutes. I struck at once but the fish didn't stay connected and after a couple of kicks the line went slack. Ah well, it happens. Not long afterwards a second bait was taken and I pulled in a nice fat double of around fourteen pounds. The fish was in excellent condition as they often are in this little fished area of the lake.

Within minutes another float disapperaed and I pulled in a fish of around eight pounds then shortly afterwards I got a fast run on a legered bait and connected with a beautiful chunky fish of 15lbs 11oz. Things were definitely looking good but I was conscious of the fact that all of the fish lately were coming in the first and the last hours of daylight. It was still only nine o'clock when I put the fifteen pounder back but it soon became apparent that the morning feeding spell was over and no more runs came my way.

At around eleven, I reeled in all four rods but as I reeled in the third, I spotted a mid double figure fish chasing after the float. I dropped the bait on it but it didn't want to know and although I spent a little time trying to catch it on lures it wasn't to be and I pulled up the anchors. I then spent a couple of hours trolling around with a replicant fished deep. This produced nothing but it did give me the chance to trace out a 35ft contour and save the trace on the GPS. This will pay dividends in the future.

At 2 o'clock I anchored up at a spot I had fished before a few times. I cast out the four baits and waited. Soon enough a legered sardine was picked up in deepish water and I struck into a decent fish which, as it happened, went 18lb 14oz. Although this was the biggest fish of the day so far I was a little disappointed as it was in poor condition. Thin and tatty it had probably weighed much more at some time in its life but it looked like it was going back. I took a quick pic of it on the deck then slipped it back.

Soon afterwards I caught an eight pounder and the light slowly started to fade. It was just before five o'clock when the dreadful thing happened. My phone rang and the person on the other end offered me a job!!! " You start tomorrow." he told me.

"That's that then for this season" I thought. I packed up, towed the boat back home and was up bright and early the next day to start my training. It's only a 3 month contract but I'm going to be too busy for fishing for a while now...

...or am I?

1 comment:

Paddy Pike said...

What a great read Eric, You sort of went the whole mile as they say, First with the light board having a dance behind the boat, Then from catching good Pike to getting a new job, Well done, Hope everything goes well for you, Looks like you will be working through the closed season anyway,
All the best,