An angler's journal

Sunday, 26 October 2014

In the nick of time

I had hoped to get my Piking fix on Saturday but the end of the week saw me blighted by man-flu so I actually spent the day sofa bound feeling sorry for myself. That said, I decided to be brave and give it a go on Sunday morning. The problem however was that Sunday was the day I had been booked into a friend's birthday lunch meaning I had a strict 12.30 finish time. By the time I got on the bank I had about 3 hours to catch some fish.

Conditions looked promising. Yes, there was a stern upstream wind that caused the river to be quite choppy, but it was overcast and quite mild given the time of year so I was reasonably confident. I was fishing deadbaits, one on ledgered paternoster across river and a float setup closer to the near bank. Despite the early confidence, nothing was happening which prompted me to pull the lure rod out of the bag but even that failed to provoke a response. I adopted a leap-frog approach meaning I moved along the bank giving each spot 20-30 minutes to respond.

By the final hour I was fishless and starting to get desperate. I did wander upstream with just my lure rod but a snag put paid to that approach pretty early on so I settled into my final swim. Again, like the swims before, the Pike seemed disinterested in my baits. As my 12.30 curfew approached I reeled in my ledgered bait and cast a lure around. By 12.25 I had started packing away with just my float fished deadbait in the water. I had been casting this upstream to allow the flow to keep the bait moving. By closing the bail arm, the bait would then move across the flow once it had reached the end of the swim ensuring it covered a fair bit of water. With minutes remaining, I turned back to the water to see my float vanishing. I quickly tightened down and struck into a fish. There was some reasonable resistance at first although this was short lived and the rest of the fight was pretty disappointing given the time of year. The fish was a very scraggy looking specimen. It was very thin and had an odd shaped head but given I was minutes from returning home empty handed it was more than welcome. Hopefully, my next trip later in the week will be more productive.


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