Friday, 20 November 2015

Party crashing perch

Pardon my foray into the world of poetry, but here's my summary of this month's fishing in verse;

No sun,
No warmth,
No fish,

My fishing year, which began with a bang in January with a run of pike culminating in a river caught 14 pounder, is ending with a decided whimper.
Technically I didn't blank today (as I had on my previous trip this month), but with pike as my intended quarry I only succeeded in catching live baits ..... and even that was a struggle.
In fairness, things could have been worse. The day, though cold, was sunny and dry, with Britain only just recovering from the tale end of Hurricane Barnaby, and with snow forecast for the weekend and water temperatures low, perhaps we should count ourselves fortunate to have caught anything at all.
With tackle for live baiting and spinning, as well as the tiddler snatching gear to catch aforementioned bait, Pete and I felt that we had most eventualities covered as we set up our stall in the early morning chill. Forty minutes in and our float-fished maggots remained untouched, then Pete's float danced a little jig before submerging. His strike met with slightly more spirited resistance than we would have wished for, and a nice perch, too large to serve as bait, was netted and immediately returned. A welcome distraction, but no answer to the pike bait dilemma.
We persevered a while longer with the float before deciding that spinning might prove a more effective way of garnering small perch to use as live bait. I immediately caught a small perch on a silver and blue spotted spinner, and within minutes it had been transferred from the bait bucket, had been lip hooked with a single treble on a wire trace and was bobbing around underneath a small cigar shaped pike slider.
Pete caught another perch on the spinner before switching back to pole and maggot, and had a succession of small perch, as well as this bigger fish, presenting a bait near to a bridge, always a good spot from which to target perch.
My fishing companion seemed to be enjoying catching perch, and was happy to be diverted for slightly longer than planned, but eventually he set up his pike rod, also presenting a free running livebait. And "that was pretty much that." No pike mauled our baits, the sun rose in the sky and the only action was provided by two stunning kingfishers who treated us to a pleasant aerial display, and a middle aged drug user with little understanding of "personal space" who made friends with both of us, talked nonsense, and then after treating me to a brief dancing demonstration disappeared with a cheery wave.
After our chemically-altered acquaintance had left the scene we spent the last half hour spinning before calling it a day.
It's as well that fishing is about far more than merely catching fish, as  my two pike sessions since October have resulted in just one solitary pike of about half a pound, and November has seen me blank on our club trip and come mighty close to repeating that feat today.

The only member of our circle of fishing friends who has caught a pike this month is David, but he had to travel to Norfolk to catch it, and it was hardly of a size that was going to trouble the record books; however, a pike is a pike, and it's currently Dave 1, Jon 1, Pete 0, Greg 0 from our October and November piking sorties, which- by my calculations, particularly in view of the meagre size of the two we have caught- means that the pike are soundly winning this particular battle of wits.

However, such is our addiction that, despite today's underachievement, Pete and I have already planned our next trip. A December "multi-species challenge", floatfishing for whatever comes along at a nearby small stillwater ..... some of us are very slow to learn!

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