Wednesday, February 26, 2014
After catching a couple of jacks and losing what felt like a bit bigger one, I paused to take a lung-full of spring. Winter's well and truly on the retreat, as buzzards wheel over the woods behind the pit and a woodpecker rattles out a drum solo on a birch tree.
Maybe this'll be the last time I go pike fishing for a few months, I tell myself now the sun's well and truly up in a cloud-less sky that rings with bird song. The gorse bushes are alight with the first yellow sparks of flower as I crash through the undergrowth back to the car.
I pitch up on another pit and lose a pike first cast in a shady corner, that comes off as I bend into it. It didn't feel that big, I console myself. A few chucks later, I feel a succession of stacatto raps on the rod before it kicks round into a fish.
And what a fish it turns out to be. As in not a pike, but a peach of a perch that bristles and flares its gills as I slip the net under it. How big..? Don't ask me, I didn't weigh it. I grab a quick picture on the mat, alongside the four-inch Kopyto it engulfed, before I drop it back.
posted at 18:39
Thursday, February 20, 2014
There's a new red flag flapping in the breeze as I pull over to check out the big drain, to see if it's fishable. Strong Stream Advice Issued, it says. There's a maelstrom boiling under the bridge, with all three of the big steel sluice gates open. The drain's brim-full and boiling.
I head inland for another drain, which is pulling off but looks worth an hour with the lure rods. Shads, grubs, curly-tailed wotcher-call'ems all come back festooned with debris every other chuck, whether I try hopping them along the deck or pulling them through mid-water.
I know, they've got it a lot worse elsewhere, with the Somerset Levels, Midlands and Thames Valley flooded out. Another week or so - provided we don't get any more rain - and things might start looking a bit more hopeful. Then again, with three weeks of the season left, it could turn out to be a write-off.
posted at 19:40