11/03/2015 - Another bumper session on the Soar
Had today lined up for another pike session on the River Soar for a while now. However, when I went out to the car at 0530 hrs there was a frost on the windscreen and the clear sky promised a bright, sunny morning to come - not ideal I thought for dead baiting. Needn't have worried! Got to the venue to find I was first there, so wandered up past the frost-covered reed beds to the usual starting point. Planned to put both baits in the near margin to begin with while it was quiet. Had just put the upstream rod in and turned 'round to pick up the other when the micron started beeping straight away. Wound down and felt a fish briefly before it came adrift - unlike the still-frozen mackerel, which was still firmly attached to the hooks! Managed to get both rods out after this, but it wasn't long before the downstream float waddled off. Got this one in the net where it promptly coughed up somebody else's manky herring.
Errr....you can keep that!
Just carried on from there as they were really having it. First hour and a bit was bonkers - had a fish grab the bait on the drop and another take a bait seconds after it had hit the deck. Didn't land either of these, again probably because I was trying to strike hooks out of frozen baits. Then had a double pick-up, which I didn't convert into a brace unfortunately, but did land a 9lber with a really long head on it.
Did try a bait over the far side, which resulted in a couple of small ones, but it was soon obvious that most of the fish were coming from close in to the near bank, so both rods went down the margin after that. And the runs kept coming....
Had just landed another pike on the upstream rod, when the downstream rod went off. Left him in the net, wound down the other rod and felt the fish for a couple of seconds, but then everything fell slack. Winding in I found that braid had been severed and I'd not only lost the fish, but also the end tackle. Wasn't happy at that stage to leave hooks in a fish, but more on that later. Had a couple more out of that spot before I moved down to the next swim. Upstream rod went first. This one felt and then looked a bit better when I got it in the net. However, didn't have a chance to admire it because the micron on the downstream rod burst into life, so it was a case of again leaving him in the net to deal with the other rod. This time I did manage to convert the brace!
Two at once
The bigger fish went 11lb 6oz and when I came to unhook him I found he'd got my missing trace (still with lamprey attached), somebody else's treble and a size 16 to nylon all in his gob! My trace had about three feet of braid attached, so I can only assume it had been cut on a snag rather than bitten off.
Lucky for me and the pike!
Took me a while to sort out the resulting mess, but I was actually grateful for the breather. Eventually got the rods out again and had another couple of smaller fish, before landing what turned out to be the biggest of the session at 12lb 2oz.
Biggest of the morning
By about 1000 hrs the action had slowed considerably. Just as well as I was running out of baits! I'd even tied up a kebab rig with some off-cuts from my lamprey sections just in case. As it turned out the weather changed from bright, warm and sunny, to overcast and windy. This seemed to knock the action on the head altogether as I had nothing in the following hour. Finished the session having had 17 runs, resulting in 12 fish. Went home for lunch with grazed, bloodied fingers and stinking of fish.