Sunday, 20 December 2015

19/12/15 Another 'Twenty'

22lb 6oz
Three long years since I've caught a tidal twenty pound pike and what happens ......I catch two within a month. Fishing is indeed an unpredictable pastime.
My favourite small tides have come around once again so I was able to return to the general area of our( mine and Dave's) recent success.
 The river was in reasonable condition, far better in fact than last week when the combination of a big tide, plus the presence of some recent rain water, made piking almost a waste of time.However, the strong winds haven't abated and finding some shelter that would enable me to keep the boat relatively still was actually quite difficult today.
The bites  were slow in coming but, after a few moves downstream eventually, at about midday, my roach bait was attacked by a small pike which quite quickly let go.
 The bait remained in 'fishable' condition so I dropped it back in place and waited. The were obviously pike about.
It took a while and the next take, when it came, was delicate in the extreme. The  float twitched a little and slowly, very slowly , glided a few inches across the surface. Hardly a 'run'.
Not wanting to leave it too long and thinking that my diminutive friend was coming back for another go, I tightened up.
 At first the fish didn't feel that big, as I was easily able to 'lead' it towards the boat but suddenly, the pike woke up, and tore off like a 'mad thing'. Usually this isn't a problem but, in a boat, with ten feet of water all around the fish have far more room to 'play'. Pike don't usually 'fight' in the true sense of the word but, this one obviously didn't know that.
It dived deep, bending the rod double, stealing line , swam straight under the boat and I could feel that awful 'grating' sensation as the braid made contact with the rear anchor rope.
To make matters worse it managed to  swim around the rope , surface again on the other side of the boat and then had the audacity to 'tail walk'- the first time I've ever seen a pike this big do that-an impressive sight.
I'd managed to lift the anchor while all this was going on and , by now,had no control of the fish on the rod at all , it being left on a 'tight line' connected to the anchor rope. Thankfully, there was  enough slack so, grabbing the braid I just managed to 'hand line' the pike into the net before it decided to perform any more acrobatics.
Glancing in the mesh, I could see the trace in the pike's mouth, but no connection to the braid. It must have parted right at the last moment. It was my lucky day.
At first I thought it may be the same fish as my last ' twenty' ,which was caught nearby but , checking the markings, it is indeed a different pike .
Two new pieces of equipment have been added to the boat inventory of late both of which were used for the first time today on this pike and both performing faultlessly.
 Firstly, a 'Savage Gear Predator' landing net with a rubberised mesh and folding frame is literally a revelation in boat nets for pike, and secondly, an Eddie Turner's 'Sladle' which takes pike welfare when afloat to a new level. I would highly recommend checking both items out.
With all the disturbance caused by the capture its hardly surprising that very little happened in the swim afterwards so I decided to head upstream to a 'bay' where Dave and me had previously scored with pike in his 'tinny' (An aluminium boat)
Almost Immediately a pike of about 7lb snatched  one of my baits, but the wind made fishing very uncomfortable so I decided to abort, and return to a sheltered area known as the 'jungle,' and tuck the boat in amongst some thick trees , continuing to fish, unsuccessfully, until well after dark before returning to the mooring.

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