Sunday, 15 January 2012

Planes, Trains and Pigs!

Only the second visit to the bank this year but it was a session that would see a new personal best on the bank by the end of the day. We'd chosen to terrorise some Pike but was unsure about whether we would succeed due to the hard frost the night before, choice of venue was down to Barry's wife, Jan, we were scratching our heads where to go when she came up with what was to turn out to be the best decision ever, thank you.
We arrived expecting to find the pool iced over and be making our way to plan 'B' but everything was still liquid so we set up in a couple of spots we knew and out went the deadbait's. It was nice to have the sun on my back keeping me warm and the locals kept us entertained while we waited for a take. nothing happened for a couple of hours and we decided to move, I'd fancied the far bank when we arrived as I thought the water would be a touch warmer with the sun on it, but we'd both not fished that bank before so stuck with what we knew. We made our move and within half an hour I had a dropped take, things were looking up. I positioned the bait back on the same spot and it was away again, it was a very energetic fight from a small jack and very welcome on a cold day.
When it was in the net I noticed another wire trace hanging from it's mouth, someone had lost this fish at some point and wondered if it was the same fish that dropped the bait on the previous cast, it went back minus it's facial fashion accessory.

Scrapper Jack
A fresh bait was back on the spot and I tidied up ready for another fish, I always try and keep my swim tidy ready to move quickly when I need to and it always amazes me how catching a fish can empty the contents of a tackle bag all over the bank as we weigh and photograph our catch.
I settled down watching the planes take off over our heads and London bound trains rattle past and it wasn't too long before I heard my alarm shrieked over all the noise, another fish gave a sharp tug on the line, it slowly made off with it's free snack before I wound down and lifted into it, this fish was heavy and had a lot more power than the previous jack. It stayed out in the pool for some time and made several runs as I tried to make line, Barry had moved back to a spot he knew over the other side of the pool and had seen me lift into a fish, he arrived just in time to take charge of the net as I tried to guide it in, this fish was tough and wasn't going to give in lightly.

A proper one!
The pig!
This pig was so lightly hooked, I only had to lift the hooks out from the bottom of it's mouth, I was lucky she hadn't thrown them. This big girl pulled the scales round to eighteen pounds and six ounces and beat my previous best by over four pounds.

We both carried on fishing for a few more hours but I think all the commotion caused by the last fish might have put them off.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

First of 2012

With the space shuttle no longer flying Barry had a surplus of his wobbly pop which I received as a very welcome Christmas gift, the Elderberry went down well last year. I gave up drinking a few years ago and only have the occasional, social drink now and again, new years eve is one and I cracked open a bottle of Barry's finest strawberry rocket fuel to celebrate and it was very very good. I only had a couple of glasses, I didn't need any more, not drinking means I'm a bit of a lightweight when it comes to alcohol, I'd be a cheap date!

I woke with a surprisingly fresh head and looked forward to the first session of 2012. I had more venue choices this year, Ryton was under a thick layer of the cold hard stuff last winter as were the canals, only the rivers remained free of the icy grip we were experiencing. After mulling over whether to visit the river I decided on a spot of Piking at Ryton instead, the dull overcast weather and decreasing wind influenced my choice.

I stayed away from the main part of the lake as the surface wind would be towing all sorts of detritus along the bottom in the opposite direction, I opted to start at the back of the island. There were a few small fish moving around, probably Rudd, and there were a few thrashes on the surface near to one over hanging tree, I made a quick move to get into a better casting position in order to deploy two deadbaits either side of the feature, then, a long waiting game began.
Something was definitely stalking prey around the submerged branches of this tree as there were two more thrashes on top before it fell for one of the baits, it was a fairly dull fight but it soon woke up as it approached the net.

Bad photo but not a bad fish, twelve pound four ounces, a nice start to the year.
A small audience had gathered to watch as I unhooked the Pike, they made themselves useful when it came to taking a picture on my phone.
Typically this fish came right at the end of the session just as the light was fading so I didn't have a chance of another cast.