13/03/2014 - Last gasp double
Had booked the day off with all sorts of fanciful notions of it being a multi-venue, multi-species affair. However, an incident at work meant that I didn't get to the tackle shop as planned and was too knackered to get all my stuff together from the four corners of the shed, garage and attic. Instead, I cobbled together as many dead baits I could find from the freezer, grabbed my pike gear and headed out into the freezing, foggy darkness. Was just about getting light when I got to the venue and walked up the towpath to the same area I fished a couple of weeks ago. Stuck to my vow of "don't ignore the margins" and duly stuck a rod down the side, along with one on the far bank in the crease formed by the back end of a houseboat (the old dear that lives there must love the sight of me when she opens her curtains in the morning!). Clock had just ticked around to 7 o'clock when the near bank rod set off. Hit it and felt some weight. Turned out to be a short, but very fat fish that, at 10lb 7oz, was my first double from that particular section of river (after eight sessions and forty fish to be exact!).
A double at last!
Re-baited with another joey and dropped it in the same spot. A few minutes later that trundled off as well resulting in one about 8lb. Sorted that one out and was just thinking that it was time the far bank rod saw some action when the float started to head off towards the boats. Unfortunately, it was back to one of the run of the mill jacks this time. Moved upstream after these fish and had a couple more on the same bit of lamprey, again from the far bank. The fog had started to lift and I could just make out figure in the gloom at the sat at the end of the access road (was that you, Leo?), otherwise I still had the section to myself. Things then went a bit strange as I had three dropped runs and completely failed to connect with a fish that steamed off with a lamprey section. Had to wait a good hour for the next one, but at least it made some old chap's day for him as he stopped for a chat. He said he'd never seen anybody catch anything before and insisted on taking a photograph to show the wife! The sun had finally broken through by now, burning off the remains of the fog and forcing me to shed a layer.
Was down to one roach dead bait at this stage and was thinking I'd had it for the day when the drop off smacked the rest on the near side rod as the float disappeared without any prior indication.
Last fish of the season
Stayed on for another half an hour or so, but that really was it for the season. The sun had started to bring the boats out again and I was nearly caught out by low flying Canada Geese on two occasions and had to rush down to drop the rod tips as they came skimming up the river. The smell of frying bacon from the cafe on the other side of the river was the final straw. My co-angler had already left by the time I got back to the car, having "not had a nudge" according to two dog walkers, so my season had ended better than some and at least the wife will be glad I've made some room in the freezer!