Sunday, November 25, 2012

A short-lived pike feeding frenzy on the pit

Nothing like a 50mph gale to focus your thoughts when it comes to where to fish. I toy with the idea of trying some new pits, but decide to try some old ones instead as the car sways in the wind tearing across the marshes.

I'm in no hurry to get out, thinking I'd let the storm that lashed the coast last night blow itself out first. By the time I get to the water, the skies are clearing and the wind's starting to die down.

The plan's a simple one - blast a couple out as far as I can heave them and twitch them back towards me, with a sneaky one down the margins. The first one's off as I'm fiddling with the rests on the second rod to keep the line out of the alders which line the banks.

I pull into a feisty little jouble - not quite a jack, not quite a double - that tears up and down in the clear water until I get the net under it. The hooks are out in a snick and as I drop it on the mat for a picture, the other rod goes.

Back goes one, out comes another slightly smaller pike which stays on despite the fact it's only attached via one point of the bottom hook.

Baits out again and the bluey down the margins trundles off in under a minute. I pick the rod up and pull into another jack. As I'm sinking the net under it, the other one goes. I drop net and fish in the margins and hook into what's obviously a much bigger fish which comes off inexplicably on the way in.

Goodness me, what rotten luck, I say. Or words to that effect. The jack's managed to get snarled up in the net, leaving me with a mess of trebles and mesh to sort out once I've dropped it back.

Seven or eight seasons back, I shared an incredible haul of 30-odd pike in this swim. I wonder if I'm on for something on a par with that today, so I take my time getting everything sorted, baits, spare traces and one or two other bits of kit to hand after I rebait the rods and sling 'em out again.

But the pike have got other ideas and the swim just dies on its feet. Common sense says move round the pit and see if I can find a few more. But it's turned into a glorious afternoon. And I wonder if it's gone quiet because a big fish has moved in, attracted by the jacks' thrashings.

As the last of the sun makes the birches shine like silver on the other bank, I wish I'd moved. As the light fades, the margin rod's away and the big pike that's taunted me through an afternoon's pipe dream turns out to be a six pounder, as the full moon rises over the pit.

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