Spot the float!
Put out some chopped worm and dead maggots mixed with a bit of Sonubaits Supacrush Green, dropped a lobworm on top and sat down to wait. Soon started to get knocks and lifts on the float that didn't materialise into anything. A few dead maggots in the margins showed there were quite a few fry about, so sat on my hands and waited for a proper bite. Was beginning to think it wasn't going to happen when the float eventually moved off and slowly disappeared. Strike met with decent resistance and my first stillwater perch of the year, a plump fish of 1lb 10oz.
Where's your Dad?
Thought that fish was the beginning of something, but there was no further action. Got very cold, very quickly after about 6 pm and I had to go to the car for another jacket. Packed up shortly afterwards as the mist descended, soaking everything. Car thermometer said it was 5 degrees Centigrade! What happened to Spring?
Unfortunately, the fish had other ideas and I didn't have another indication for two and a half hours. Whilst I'd arranged to meet my friend Tim at the venue later, I didn't really fancy being battered by the wind all day, so went back to the car for breakfast and to formulate a game plan. Two bacon sandwiches and two mugs of tea later I was back up the A50 to drop off any non-essential tackle, re-stock on bait and re-charge the camera, which had died in the cold. A little after 3pm I was back again. No sign of Tim, so walked over to the river. Chap was pike fishing downstream, but well away, so slid into the same spot. Had spent a biteless couple of hours when the chap came over and introduced himself as Andrew and we had a chat about perch and pike fishing. He'd literally just gone back to his swim when the float bobbed under the surface and held there. "I know what this is", I said to myself. Wound down to feel a lump on the end that grudgingly allowed itself to be pulled from under the bush. Half an hour of dogged resistance followed where the fish just refused to get its head up and shot off every time it saw me or the net. Thought it was going to be my "old friend" again, but when it did eventually roll into the net it turned out to be a nicely marked pike of 9lb 15oz. Another one with a taste for lobworms.
Not a perch!
After the protracted fight and having to sort out tackle, I was left with about 10 minutes of fishing time before it got too dark to see the float. I wasn't really expecting anything else and so it turned out. Don't know what happened to Tim, but had another long chat with Andrew before once again adjourning to Hatton Fish Bar!
My float's in there somewhere!
Float fished lobworms over some chopped worm and dead maggots in a small slack downstream. Hadn't had any indications after an hour, so shallowed up a bit to let the float swing in closer to the bank. First trot down it seemd to do the trick, although not the species I was after. The float bobbed and held an inch under the surface. Wound down and immediately felt a dead weight on the end that I knew wasn't a perch! The fish kicked a couple of times, then let me draw it upstream without any fuss. Didn't have the protracted tug of war as last time and after a couple of half hearted runs it was in the net, a scraper 10lber that looked oddly familiar. Checked back on the photos on the camera to find it was the pike I'd had a couple of sessions ago!
Fished on for another couple of hours without any further interest. Was chilled to the bone when I got back to the car. A quick stop at Hatton Fish Bar for a portion of chips helped put that right.
Er....Loggerhead (running out of names!)
Went back and fished my first two swims without any further success. With an eye on the clock I was away before it was fully dark.
Soon afterwards Tim's phone rang and he was gone, but not before we made plans to meet up on the Dove at Tutbury next Thursday for a last minute fling. Got the tip rod out and flicked a lob on a link leger downstream into a slack I'd baited earlier and popped the bobbin on. Just as well. I had just turned to pack the float rod away when I heard the bobbin hit the rod. Picked up the rod to feel definite chubby vibes on the other end. So it turned out. Slightly bigger than the first, with a healed wound under the dorsal and a funny yellowpatch under the chin.
Fished on into dark, but apart from a quick lift on the bobbin, that was it. A big perch eludes me yet again!