13/03/2017 - Scrappy Soar snappers
With time on the rivers rapidly running out and seasonal goals yet to be achieved, it was decision time. What to do, where to go? With a meeting booked in the afternoon down at Rothley, I decided to have the morning off for another go at some River Soar pike on the way. Headed off nice and early, the moon still visible above the horizon, but with the first tinges of dawn visible in my rear view mirror.
Parked up to a big pile of wood at the end of the lane - the remnants of the recent hatchet job done on the willows lining the river. Headed up to my usual starting point at the top of the straight. There'd been a match on the day before and I'd often heard complaints about pike activity from the match boys, so I was hopeful that there would be a few pike still hanging around looking for easy pickings. Gave them two in the way of a joey on the upstream rod and a lamprey section on the downstream rod. Didn't have to wait long for some interest in the mackerel, even better that it was a scraper double of 11lb 1oz. Thought that was going to be the start of some regular action. However, I had nothing else in the next half an hour, so popped one of the baits over to the far margin. The move seemed to do the trick, although the dithering nature of the take suggested a small fish. So it proved - probably the smallest fish I've caught on the section, but already with signs of previous hooking and a gill raker hanging out!
The lady in the house boat opposite had stirred by now and was rattling and thumping around doing her morning routine, so I moved both rods downstream a bit, keeping one over next to the boats and popping the other in front of one of the near bank fishing platforms. Had to wait a bit, but it was the latter eventually went off, the float disappearing with purpose this time. After a bit of a scrap I had a short, fat pike in the net that I thought might scrape into double figures. Didn't quite make it at 9lb 12oz.
By mid-morning a stiff breeze had picked up and a lot of floating debris had appeared out of nowhere, both of which started to make my life difficult with the wind pushing the debris into my bank and fouling my lines.
The action also appeared to have dried up, when eventually I got a take on the near-side rod. Wound into a decent weight and then glanced back at the other rod to see the drop off hit the back rod rest and line start disappearing off the spool. Typical! Bullied the first one into the net and left him in the margins. Picked up the other rod and wound furiously to find the fish still attached, albeit half way to Kegworth! Soon had him in the net alongside his mate, the latter again just missing double figures at 9lb 15oz. Popped them both back, neither the worst for wear for that encounter, although it was disappointing to see that both of them bore the scars of previous capture and poor unhooking. Sorted out the chaos and put two more baits out with renewed enthusiasm. However, I had no further interest in the last hour and it was time to pack up and get to my meeting. The pike on this section look as if they have come in for a bit of pressure this season, so I might have to look for pastures new for next winter. Now just the small matter of what to do on my last day on the rivers.......