Sunday, 15 January 2012

Determination and Consolation

Things were a little fresher this week. It was -3C when I left home, but on arrival at Alveston it had dipped down to -5C. It was a beautiful morning though and as is generally the case here, I had half a mile of the Avon to myself.

I had toyed with the idea of going elsewhere this week for a spot of Chubbing on a different river, but the chilly conditions were the deciding factor and I needed to be somewhere that I had confidence in. I decided to continue with the Pike theme and to maximise my options I brought a second rod for a static approach, rather than just the wobbled deadbait rig that I normally opt for.

I moved around between pegs 2 and 9 using both tactics. I was getting nowhere fast though and was beginning to run out of ideas. Aided by polarised glasses I eventually saw something lazily following my wobbled bait as I retrieved it close in on peg 4. The Pike grabbed the bait on the next run through, but it tore off at a hell of pace taking line off the reel and I couldn't get it under control. It dived into an overhanging tree and managed to shed the hook, leaving me playing the tree! Although I didn't get a good look at the size of the fish, it felt decent enough by my meagre standards.

I was disappointed, but there wasn't a lot I could have done differently. I thought that was my chance gone for the day, but I pressed on regardless. I moved off again on the usual cycle of pegs and was almost at the point of giving up when I once again saw a fish moving slowly after a wobbled bait back on peg 4. This one didn't fall for the bait second time through, or third, fourth, fifth, etc!

I then remebered back to last week, where a change of approach to a static bait brought an almost instant result - even if I did manage to lose the fish! So, I switched to the float rig with a light bomb just above the trace and dropped it close in. Sure enough, the fish was on to it within a couple of minutes and the float started to move away.

I struck into it and began to play out the fight, which was going totally the plan. I slipped the net in the water and the Pike seemed to be heading towards it nicely, but it then took off in a different direction and the hook pulled clear. I had good sight of this one during the fight and at the risk of repeating last week's story, it looked like a potential low double. A cry of "Aaaaaahhh Bollocks" rung out across Alveston village, as I lifted out the empty wet net.

By now it was personal and I was so determined to avoid a blank that I pushed on again. Full time would be signalled by the start of the afternoon's football matches and I was listening to the build up through my pocket radio. Time was running short and as with earlier encounters, I once again saw a fish moving close in - on peg 3 this time. Again it wouldn't touch a wobbled Sprat. I actually let it follow it close in and watched it inspect the bait, which it duly snubbed.

I then moved back to the static rig and changed over to a Lamprey section. After about 5 minutes the float was on the move and I struck into the fish. I'm happy to say this one ended up in my net, just as I was hearing the football teams running on to the pitch through my earphones. It was the smallest of the fish I'd made contact with during the session, but at 6lb exactly it gave me some consolation.

I'm really enjoying my Pike fishing at the moment and it's giving me a new lease of (fishing) life right now. Going back just over 2 years, I knew next to nothing about Pike fishing and I wouldn't even have got out of bed to fish for them (or anything else for that matter) if the forecast was -5C. I'm definitely evolving into a year round angler, rather then the fair weather one I once was. I'd like to put a bigger Pike on the bank sometime soon though, but for now I'm just happy to have avoided a blank on all 3 sessions so far in 2012.

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