And so, after four sessions (including an overnighter) in three weeks, and a good number of feisty, rodbending, but modestly-sized carp it's time to pack away the carp rods, boilies and buckets full of pellets and return to the perch and pike that fuelled my spring-time fishing. I've enjoyed the cyprinid diversion, but after a casual spring of spinning for small perch and the occasional bonus jack it's time to get slightly more serious. (although only "slightly"- after all, it is only fishing, and life's too short ...)
"farewell to all that ..."
My pursuit of perch and pike since my move to Leicestershire has predominantly been a fun thing, a couple of hours snatched in a busy day to fish with small spinners or plugs in a section of the Grand Union Canal near my home, and with the exception of the odd two or three pound pike, the fish have all been perch of less than half a pound in weight. However, I can't fight off the urge to spread my wings and try slightly harder. There have been times in my fishing life when I've fished quite determinedly for predatory fish, and while time will be my biggest challenge I'd like to, once again, tangle with pike like this one, not by any means a monster, but a size that I once caught regularly, and that are a worthy and exciting adversary.
I've also discovered a commercial fishery where the perch are rarely fished for, but that has turned up specimens to three pounds in weight (I have seen an authentic photo!), and have secured permission from the owner to be made an exception to the "barbless only" rule so that I can lure fish for them. That, along with a new stretch of canal, with the familiar stretch as a small perch "banker" to fall back on, should provide me with enough projects to ensure a happy and challenging autumn and winter of predator fishing.
I'm looking forward to learning more about using Ultra Light lures, and to broadening my Leicestershire horizons as I hunt for predators, mostly with lures, although I haven't ruled out the use of deadbaits and livebaits every now and then. (I may even find the confidence/inquisitiveness to try the infamous "kebab rig").
What I'm not expecting is to catch a fish of this size, just two ounces shy of twenty pound, and caught by my brother Andy when I fished with him and my brother Tim five years ago. On that day between the three of us we caught eight pike and two zander, of which four of the pike were doubles.
Here's dreaming ....