Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Big Switch

After the last report what do you think we went and did next? Well unsurprisingly Denis and I went back to the same place to try and do the same thing. It didn't work of course, someone had thrown the big switch, conditions were totally different and the pike were not there in numbers. We arrived at dawn and started lashing the water to a foam with our lures but just had one fish apiece, a sixteen pounder to Denis and a 17.13 to me and by mid-morning we moved on. We spent most of the rest of the day exploring a new venue, something I've done a great deal of this winter and while it was a very long walk, which took its toll on my poorly knee, we did like the look of what we saw.

Next morning we arrived before first light and were surprised to be apprehended by a bailiff before we'd even taken our gear out of the car - now that's keen! He checked our tickets which were all in order and he told us that there had been a serious problem with foreign anglers poaching the fishery in recent weeks so he was being extra vigilant. If only all bailiffs were as good as that.

We stumbled down the bank to the waters edge through grass that was white with hoar frost and we both managed only with great difficulty to get our bank sticks into the frozen ground. This was the hardest frost I'd seen all winter and it came as quite a surprise after the recent mild conditions. The water was low and very clear and I didn't hold out much hope when the sun came bursting over the horizon into a cloudless sky. By eleven o'clock we were both still fishless and there were absolutely no signs of fish life so we called it a day. Best to wait until the conditions were just right again.

It's been quite a while since I got the boat out and since I was keen to give the engine a run I decided that I would go afloat this week and see if I could snag a pike or two. The lake's been fishing very badly so I wasn't expecting too much but when I arrived and saw that there were no cars at all parked up I knew it was going to be a tough couple of days. This time last year there would have been four or five anglers out fishing but it seems word has got around - they just aren't having it.

I fished the first day for no reward, dropping into banker swim after banker swim without so much as a twitch on my floats and at the end of it I retired a little despondent. Kevin was due to join me the next day and I was looking forward to that, we don't get to fish together often enough, but I was afraid we would both blank. I didn't sleep well, the rain hammering on the roof of the car saw to that but Kevin arrived bright and early and we were soon anchored up in yet another spot that, over the years, has brought good results.

Dawn broke and before long I spotted a familiar sight making its way across the smooth surface of the lake. It was an otter, the first I've seen here but as regular readers will know, not the first I've seen by a long way. It seems I just can't get away from them these days, that's four different venues I've seen otters this season alone.

We moved on, then we moved on again and again. We spent some time just cruising slowly, trying to find pike or bait fish on the sounder but we found very little and eventually Kevin persuaded me to try a new spot, one I hadn't fished before. It was an inspired choice as within five minutes of casting in had a low double on a mackerel head. We hung around for some time expecting at any moment to pick up another fish but it wasn't to be and eventually we up anchored and moved on once more.

I decided we'd end the day in a familiar swim, one I'd fished quite a few times but one which I never see anyone else fishing. I didn't really expect anything to happen, they just weren't feeding so I got quite a shock when my float dipped and sailed under. The shock only got bigger when I wound down to this fish and the rod stopped dead on the strike - this was a good 'un!

I heaved the fish towards the boat and both Kevin and I strained to see the creature through the crystal clear water. We both gulped when it came into view, thrashing and head shaking as it tried to remove the hooks, yes it was a good 'un alright. I pulled hard and the fish broke surface whereupon Kevin scooped it up at the first attempt. It was hooked on just the one treble, neatly in the scissors and I flicked that out before hoisting the beast up on the scales.

28lbs 4oz. I was so glad I'd made the big switch and got the boat out!


Paddy Pike said...

Nice Pike Eric, Its good to see you with a big girl on your lap again haha that sounds terable but you know what i mean,
Very well done sir,

David Romanillos said...

Hello, good pike¡

Jason Skilton said...

Nice fish Eric, lovely condition too by the look of it