This should probably be posted under the HDYDG? thread, but once I start a ramble…..
I actually got out to do some fishing the other day, no thanks to the ‘Beast of the East’ which had curtailed a planned session the week before (and used up my precious holiday entitlement) I am an old fashioned git and nominally cling to the close season so I’d booked a few days over the first two weeks of March with the intention of doing some pike fishing.
The aforementioned inclement weather compressed my chance down to one day and the melt water had literally washed out Plan A of a session on the river, so it was to be Plan B, a session on two local lakes. It looked like the weather gods had decided to provide a spring-like day: perfect. Tackle had been honed to perfection and new line loaded on to reels so, with every possible lure crammed into the box, off I went.
Now, when I go lure fishing, I will admit to taking just about everything I can carry. This madness comes from my tactic of always beginning with my ‘light’ outfit casting in a fan pattern all round the swim. I use a delightful little 9’ 3-piece travel spinning rod which on this occasion I used to drop-shot around the brick piers that can be seen in the picture.
I confess this was my first attempt at this method and I must say that I was very impressed with the mesmerising action that this tactic applied to the lures; how the hoped-for perch could resist the temptation was beyond me. But resist they most certainly did. So, I swapped over to the ‘heavy’ gear, a 10’ Greys lure rod teamed up with an ABU 5001c multiplier with which I can hurl larger lures towards the horizon and cover as much water as possible.
I have to say that I am happiest using the ‘heavy’ gear. I have had the multiplier from new. It is a ‘proper’ Swedish ABU from the 70’s that still runs like a Swiss watch, and we have reached an understanding. That is to say that I think I have mastered the art of casting with it but every so often it will remind me that I actually haven’t by rewarding one of my monumental casts with the mother of all birds’ nests.
In my defence, I would say that the unusually high number of occasions this happened on this trip was entirely down to my spooling-up with new braid which, when wet, would ‘stick’ on the spool. I suppose this was down to the quality – or lack – of coating on the braid but, suffice to say, on returning home it was de-spooled and consigned to the bin. Two of the birds’ nests had caused crack-offs and the sudden departure of very expensive lures heading to the middle of the lake. The combined cost of this was more than that for replacement braid! Anyway, back to the fishing…
As I moved around the first lake I had the usual interaction with passing dog walkers, joggers and pram-pushers regarding my success, or the lack of. Interest was shown in my impressive lure collection but there were a few sniggers at my braid macramé; however, on several occasions I was informed that the lake contained some ‘big pike’. Well, having explored most of the lake with an array of lures I’d come up with no evidence for this, but at the end of the dam wall was a raft of debris that made casting a somewhat hazardous practice. I took particular care to steer my lure around the assorted branches and a submerged log just at the edge of the raft.
On about the tenth retrieve, the ‘log’ took exception to all this metalwork being dragged through the water disturbing its piscine peace and slowly moved off. Cue frantic water thrashing by me as I tried to stick my lure back in front of the pike! But it had gone. It had been no monster but it certainly was a pike so, inspired by this, I continued dropping into all the available swims on my way back to the car, but not a sniff.
After a short drive I was at the second venue. This lake is triangular and I started fishing in the middle of the ‘base’. There were two other anglers fishing halfway along the left-hand side and after my usual opening dabble around with the light gear, I heaved out a replicant to the left of my swim. To my surprise this was met with a loud shout from an angler hidden by the bank side bushes and, from his utterings, he seemed to take exception to 6ozs of rubber landing in the middle of his swim. I apologised and recalibrated my casting to avoid a recurrence.
While sorting out another bird’s nest it was apparent that the angler to my left was acquainted with the other two fishing halfway along the bank. I had worked this out by their preferred method of communication which was, basically, bellowing across the 75 yards between them.
Now, harking back to the ‘massive’ disturbance I had caused by one misplaced cast, I was rather amused to hear their hollered exchanges accompanied by carpet-bombing salvos of ‘spodding’. Adding to my amusement was the fact that the two anglers on the left were casting directly across from where I was fishing and, from my vantage point, I could clearly see that the spods they were casting were actually travelling over three-quarters of the way across the lake.
It would, of course, have been easier for them to fish from the other side and anyway, the follow-up baited rigs were falling 20 yards short of the area they were baiting up!
I moved around the lake to my right covering all the available areas but gave the swims directly opposite the anglers a miss; if one of them cracked-off during a cast I would be in danger of a trip to A & E to have a spod surgically removed. And, of course, I didn’t want to risk cracking-off and sending 6ozs of rubber and needle sharp hooks over to them!
Suffice to say that the day finished with another blank for both me and the ‘Spod Boys’, although when I was fishing the last swim on the right bank, a dog walker did come and tell me that the lake had some ‘monster pike’ in it.
I get lured in by these legends every time…
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