My attempts to catch bigger fish this year has already been farcical so in hindsight buying a load of new gear was a foolhardy thing to do. Going into the autumn I had an unreasonable amount of things that needed christening, with two new hats, two reels, a rod and some scales along with the regular, less expensive bits and pieces. The new tackle curse has me in its grip as my Pike fishing has only seen a couple of small fish boated along with several near misses and a ‘one that got away’ story that I’ll save for another day. Meanwhile ALL of my local fishing mates have been amongst the fish…
On a recent trip a Lamprey rattled off in the dark, a chance to christen the P3!? I wound down but the fish had dropped the bait. A couple of hours later the same rod was away again, the biter was singing and the baitrunner purring, what could go wrong? For a second time I wound down and felt absolutely fuck all. An hour before dawn a third steady take on the Lamprey but this time I connected and the P3 took on a curve! I steadily pumped back a decent weight that did nothing aside a few unmistakably fishy thumps, ‘what’s going on here?’ The beam of the head-torch revealed a ball of weed with a bloody Eel hanging out of it, a decent eel but still an anti-climax.
I haven’t fished for Eels for over thirty years but I take a great interest in anything written on the subject. The thought of Eel fishing really appeals to me and I’ve often thought a couple of my local waters would be perfect for a big uncaught fish. However, when I actually catch an accidental Eel I realise the cold, hard truth is I don’t like the bloody things. I wouldn’t consider myself squeamish and in the past I’ve handled and even photographed lots of eels but these days they totally repulse me. At least this one did. By the time I’d cleared the weed the Eel had unhooked itself but had left me with a great ball of snotty mess and a rig that needed redoing. By my standards this was a decent Eel so I decided to be brave and fetch the scales and christen another bit of kit but by the time I’d returned to the net the poxy thing had made its escape.
I did manage a couple of quick photos after I’d cleared the weed. The float in the picture is seven inches long (and the absolute best float for Broadland Piking but not my design) so I reckon this fish was a little over three feet long and thick so I’m thinking between two and three pounds? I could be miles out and I won't be trying to catch another one for a while.
So autumn is here and I’m doing what I love to do the most and though the Pike may be sparse other things make up for it.