Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Catch up time

 I thought I'd write a bit of a post partly because I've got a boring evening to pass. Mostly because I need to get some writing practice in. I've got rusty. Last winter was too wet for me so I didn't fish much and there was nothing tow rite about. My piking didn't start until February when there were a few milder, drier days. Even then it was only three short afternoon/evening sessions. The first and last being resounding blanks. The middle one was different.

I had a plan in mind of where to fish but had a walk round a few swims anyway as I'd arrived in good time. As I passed one tight little peg I really liked the look of it. I carried on and didn't see anything to divert me from plan A. But passing the tight swim on my way back to the car park I got 'that feeling'. I could give it an hour then revert to the plan.

By two o'clock I had got settled in Three float legered deadbaits, a lamprey section to my left near some reeds, a joey mackerel further out to some more reeds jutting into the lake, and a hated sardine, bound to the trace with red knicker elastic, dropped off the edge of a marginal bush to my right. I sat down and started to knock up a new trace as I'd no spares in the box. Hardly had I got going when the margin float began to move off. As soon as I wound down I knew it was a decent double. When it's head popped up It looked a bit better than that. In the net it was debatable. Don't let anyone tell you my Loch Tamers don't bend. They do when you give the fish some stick!

On the bank I could see my hooks in the net, but there was line coming from the pike's mouth. Lodged in the scissors was what looked like a shop-bought trace with about a yard of ten pound line attached. The fish looked a bit on the lean side and sure enough didn't make the hoped for weight. Not that I was bothered.

After the chaos was over and the fish resting in a sack I set the camera up for the first self-take for a long time. Wounding the other rods in just in case a bait was taken while I was doing the photo job.

With the fish safely returned the baits went back out. I couldn't believe it when the far float set off out into the pit. This time I fluffed the strike and bumped off what felt like another double. That's what a lack of practice does for you.

By four thirty I was wondering whether I should stick it out into dark in this swim or have a move. the move won. I didn't go far and one rod was covering pretty much the same area as the far rod had. After less than half an hour the margin macky was away. A smaller double being the culprit.I'd now run out of joeys so put a herring head on the hooks. I used to prefer herring to mackerel in the 1980s, but when tackle shops started to sell frozen baits it was too easy to use what they had rather than go to a fishmonger and buy what you wanted. Besides, fishmongers had a habit of gutting herrings. These days I stock up on them when I see them in tackle shop freezers. The bigger ones just about make two baits, and the smaller ones are a nice size to use whole.

It was forty minutes before the herring rod was in action. Another decent double unhooked and returned.

 I fished on until quarter to seven without another sign of action. 

 With spring continuing the wet theme of the winter it was the middle of May before I fished again. I spent most of my free time photographing sheep. Both at sales and in the lambing sheds and fields for a long term documentary project I'm working on. When I did fish again it was for eels. My eel head is firmly on at the moment, and the challenge has got me thinking and wanting to try out my ideas. More on that another time...