I had a nice chat with Phil Smith on Saturday morning which gave my fishing confidence for the day ahead a boost and I was really looking forward to an afternoon on the river. By the time the light began to fade I'd scared four cormorants off the stretch I was fishing, compared to recent weeks the water was pretty much crystal clear but I'd left my Polaroids at home, I was chilled to the bone, I'd run out of ideas and was fishless, all excuses of course but we're all good at dreaming them up to explain the dry landing net.
Sunday started off as a hunt for a Pike at Ryton but it takes more than one fairly mild night to defrost a pool that size and with only a small area free of ice at the back of the island I headed home for a quick change of tackle, I didn't fancy another cold one on the river so headed to Long Itchington to fish the Stockton pounds, I caught a few small Zed's there this time last year so the thought of one of these to get another species on the board gave me a little confidence.
It was rather pleasant having a warm sun in my face but the ice on the pounds reminded me that it was too cold to strip off the top layer even though I was tempted. I was fishing two methods, my standard deadbait for a Zander and maggot feeder on the second rod to use up the leftovers from Saturday with the hope of bagging a better Perch than the one I've caught so far, I still can't believe I weighed a Perch that
big small minute!
It took a while to find a bite and I almost missed it as it was such a gentle pluck on the bobbin which made it bounce before it pulled up a couple of inches, I left it a while and it slowly dropped back so I hit it. A Zed graced the mesh as I prepared the weigh sling ready to give this monster a number and put another one on the board for the challenge.
I did have a good look around before lifting the scales as I didn't want an audience whilst I attempted to weigh such an excuse for a Zander.
|Twelve ounces (4%)|
One thing to note in the picture, I've resorted to using my small weight scales now.