Monday, 28 March 2011

Last Gasp

Ok I managed to squeeze in a couple more pike fishing trips before the end of the traditional piking season. First one was a trip that had been planned for some weeks to Chew valley. I had originally planned to go for four days but the new job got in the way of this and I had to cut it down to two. On the upside, it gave me the chance to fish with old friend Paul Brown again. Regular readers will recall that my last trip out with Paul, back in October, proved fruitful for him as he took a fine 23 pounder on his first cast of the day.

This trip was somewhat different. the lake had been fishing very well with quite a lot of thirty pounders being caught but it had slowed considerably. The combination of angling pressure and the approaching spawning season had put the fish down and even the most experienced locals told me they had been struggling.

Day one was over before it began. We made our way to the lodge and joined the throng of pikers for breakfast but there were mutterings amongst the staff that we might not be allowed out due to the strong winds. Nine o'clock came and the decision was made - sure enough it was too windy and we would not be allowed to go out in the boats. Paul claimed back his money for the boat and we headed off for a day's lure fishing on a local gravel pit.

The gravel pit didn't produce at all. We both raised the same jack a few times but neither of us actually had a take and we headed back to Paul's house at the end of the day glad to get out of the wind and to sink a pint or two.

Next day we were back at Chew and this time we did get out ok but the fishing was dire. Nothing took our deadbaits and nothing hit our lures, a total blank. We did see a very big pike caught by someone on the bank but that was the only fish we saw all day so it was a disappointing trip all in all, only made bearable by the wonderful hospitality shown to me by Paul and his wife Ali.

My other trip was a different affair altogether. I took Mrs Edwards for a weekend to Scotland where we were to fish the Lake of Menteith for a day. We treated ourselves rather and stayed at the Forest Hills Hotel and Resort at Aberfoyle - very nice.

The day's fishing went quite well really, no big fish to us but we had some sport and the sun shone a fair bit. It didn't rain or snow either, quite rarely for Menteith. Overall most people struggled but there were four twenty pounders caught along with ten other double figure fish and lots of jacks between thirty boats.

What was particularly pleasing was that three of those doubles came to our boat. I took our biggest fish, a fourteen and a half pounder that took a Burt but it was my only pike of the day. Mrs Edwards did rather better with five runs to her deadbaits, four of which she boated. She caught a three pounder, an eight pounder, a ten pounder and a thirteen pounder.

I didn't hear of anyone getting more than four pike on the day so in my books, that makes her top rod!

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