This was certainly going to be a short session. I’d just dropped onto a venue I would pass on my way home having been otherwise engaged for most of the day. I had developed a sneaky plan though. The night before I rigged up a light lure rod and collected together a landing net, selection of lures and all the usual bits and bobs need to unhook a toothy pike safely. The whole lot was stashed in the boot of my car ready for use. Should I finish what I was doing quicker than usual then I might have an hour, or a little longer, to chuck a lure around for some pike. How is that for incentive to get something finished! So here I was with around an hour of daylight left. One of the most productive times to fish. No sooner had I turned the engine off, I was attaching a favourite lure to the trace and having my first cast in the clear, weedy water.
With the water being relatively shallow, my first retrieve was fairly quick and seeing as it didn’t go through any weed beds, the next cast the sad was allowed to sink before lifting and retrieving. Lifting and retrieving. After going through these motions five or six times, just as the lure came up from the bottom from, it was met with an aggressive thump. Prompting a sharp strike the first fish was hooked. And on the second cast. Brilliant! A short and erratic fight played out but not before the pike had weeded itself up once or twice. Nothing too worrying though, the weed itself being quite soft, the pike could be gently eased free on each occasion.
A jack pike was my prize. A deeply coloured fish and in pristine condition. The single hook was super easy to remove with some heavy forceps, and after a quick picture, I had the pike resting in the margins. I like to make sure they are fighting fit before submerging the front of the net. Although the look ferocious they are one of our most delicate fish and need treating with respect. It did’t take long before the fish was kicking strongly against the mesh. The net was lowered and a fully recovered pike was powering away over the weed beds and out into deeper water. I still had some water to cover before moving on to the next area. A few casts later I had a similar take to the first. This time just as the lure fell to the bottom. Another frantic fight began. The fight took a little longer than the first. On lightish tackle even small pike give a tremendous account of themselves. Match the tackle to the species (and size) your are expecting and you feel every head shake. Every twist and turn. It’s great fun. And for those times something unexpected comes along, well, that truly is exhilarating.
Another little stunner of fish. I had been at the water not more than fifteen minutes and had already bagged two fish. You really can’t complain about that. On a day when I would otherwise have had to resign to not even gracing the bank, a little thinking outside the norm was providing me with some excellent fishing. Very content with my rewards from this swim it was time to move on. The area I fished next was much shallower than the first, maybe only two feet at most. Plenty of dead reed stems, patches of light weed and other snags for a pike to lie in wait though. The first cast resulted in nothing. The depth of the water and clarity gave me an opportunity to see just how well I was working the lure. Looked pretty fishy to me. Especially as it fell through the water. The very next cast seemed to support my thoughts, as I received another savage take just as I edged the lure toward a small patch of weed. But this was so much heavier than the first two fish. My light lure rod bent to the cork. Well, almost. As the fish circled in front of me I realised that I had not hooked a pike but a fairly substantial mirror carp. It was a broad fish, and hanging from its mouth was my lure! The fish caught sight of me, and surged powerfully out into the lake. There was really nothing I could do to stop the fish. Line melted from my reel. Clutch screaming. A perfect auditory accompaniment for my rapidly increasing heart rate. Running through weed bed after weed bed it was inevitable that the hook would eventually pull.
I was little disappointed not to have landed the fish but it really would have been an exceptional catch. After a cup of tea to calm my nerves, I moved swims once more. By now the light was fading fast and I hoped for one more fish to finish. In much the same way as the other two fish, I had another take soon after my fifth cast. This turned out the be the smallest fish of the day. A tiny little jack of around 1lb. He was landed safely, admired briefly and returned carefully. A cracking end to a very brief but rewarding session. I think I’ll be leaving the lure rod in my car boot a lot more often in future.
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Until Next time tight lines