Saturday, September 22, 2012

Calm before the storm in the Fens..?

Today was the calm before the storm, according to the forecasts. Some reckon there'll be gales and heavy rain tomorrow. The Met Office reckons it's going to hit us on Monday.

I wondered if it will be enough to start colouring up the water and shake the pike out of their lethargy, as I set up on a flat calm drain first thing. Within an hour, the reeds were hissing in an easterly breeze and there was enough ripple to bow the braid and cock the floats nicely as the sun ducked in and out of the gathering cloud coming in off the estuary.

I twitched the baits and moved swim from time to time. At one point, I twitched a bait and something twitched back. The float bobbed and the line trembled. I tightened down, stuck the rod tip under the surface and struck after I felt a couple of sharp plucks.

When I inspected the bait, I remembered what else lives in the drains and rivers that empty into the tidal Ouse these days. Lumps clawed out of it were probably the handiwork of a mitten crab. It certainly wasn't an eel, which inflicts a different kind of mark on a soft-skinned bait.

 I decided to have an hour on Enigma. Unusually, there were two other anglers on there, both fishing for bream. One said he'd never seen any sign of pike. The other said he'd once caught a 12lbs specimen on a neighbouring lake.

I gave it slightly more than an hour in the end, enjoying the bird life crashed out in the late September sun.

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