An angler's journal

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Enjoyment personified

If you read my last blog entry, you will be aware that I was unfortunate to lose what felt like a sizeable Pike. Although it put a tinge of disappointment on my trip, my thoughts have been firmly on a return. So when I awoke this morning, I was full if anticipation.



Waiting for the float to go

There was light rain falling as I walked along the banks of the Warwickshire Avon in the direction of the neglected, mysterious near bank eddy. My imagination was getting the better of me; perhaps the elusive Avon twenty pounder I have craved was in residence .The deadbait was carefully positioned in about 8ft of water. I watched the float, occasionally bobbing, as the river's current took it under its wing. However my enthusiasm was not matched by that of the resident Pike and I had to admit defeat. Had the Pike moved on or was simply the wrong time to be putting a bait in its lair?

I continued downstream when I hooked and subsequently lost a small Jack on a soft lure. Several more swims were tried but I couldn't muster any interest. In fact, the rate of lost lures was adding financial loss to the loss of my initial anticipation just a couple of hours earlier.

Saturday's last minute session saver
I had one more spot to try and save the day. It was now or never! With minutes remaining, the float twitched. It then laid flat as the weight was lifted from the river bed. I tightened down and struck to be greeted by the solid resistance of a fish on. The fish wasn't a monster but it gave a spirited account and weighed around 6-7lb. The fish represented an injury time goal as it signalled the end of my trip and averted a blank.

The very next day saw me on the banks again. Having watched the Sunday lunchtime FA Cup clash and with Monday predicted to be a wash out, I assumed that it could be my last chance to catch a river Pike in the coming week. Yesterday's session saving swim was my first stop. There were no bites to report although a Pike did launch itself at my float. Not quite the outcome I had planned. So with that in mind I returned to the near bank slack. With only a couple of hours until darkness, I was racing against the clock to land my bait on a Pike's nose. A sprat was hooked up and cast out. After about 10 minutes the tell tale signs of interest unfolded. A few bobs of the float before it sank from sight and continued on its way. The fish was hooked and it felt heavier than the recent string of Jacks. It attempted to take me towards a submerged branch but the rod did its job and steered the fish to safety and subsequently to the net. A decent fish was revealed, which then decided to fight harder on the bank than it had done in the river. The scales showed the fish weighed 10lb 7oz, which represented a a super result for  just under 2½ hours on the bank.
One of the highlights of an enjoyable weekend

As dusk approached and I made my way back towards my car, I was privileged enough to witness a starling murmuration, which to those that don't know is the acrobatic display they give just before roosting. It was a little too far away for me to capture the moment on film so instead I simply savoured the moment until they dipped down to their roosting spot. It capped what had been an enjoyable weekend of fishing, Villa winning, nature encounters and same quality time with the family, and for me that's what life is all about.

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