Sunday, 12 October 2008

The best laid plans...

I rolled out of bed the moment the alarm went off at 0455, eager to be on my way. When I ventured outside I was greeted with thick fog which dogged my journey all the way. Instead of flying along an empty road I crawled through the gloom but better to arrive in one piece than not at all!

I have a well oiled drill for launching the boat, the trouble is I sometimes forget what it is. Today I slid the boat nicely off the trailer and watched it sail smoothly across the dyke. Something didn’t look right…I realised the rope that had meant to be securing the boat had slipped off the cleat. I jogged round to the other side of the dyke just in time to see the boat bounce off and drift back across to the side I’d just come from. Eventually I got my timing rght and was in the right place at the right time to grab hold of the boat, phew!! A few minutes later the boat was loaded and I was ready to go, just at the exit to the dyke I opened the throttle and…the engine died. No problem, start up again, open up the engine and…it died again. So what’s going on here then? I know the engine was full of petrol, I was sure of it…but it wasn’t. Oh well, with the tank finally topped up I opened up the engine and headed out onto a foggy water heading towards the area where Giles and I had caught a few fish on the last visit.

By 0730 I was moored up fishing four deadbaits around the boat. Two were cast into open water and the other two were popped up to avoid the worst of the weed and cast towards the reed line. Half an hour or so later I heard an engine come and go somewhere out in the fog. Shortly afterwards my phone rang, it was Richard who was somewhere out there, lost in the gloom. We had a quick chat then resumed fishing. A while later the fog lifted a little and I had to laugh, as I saw the silhouette of Richards’s boat about a hundred metres away. A bit of banter ensued, with me accusing him of poaching but all good fun. Conditions were poor; I rarely feel confident when its foggy but worst of all there was no wind, leaving the water flat calm. In my experience a kiss of death when Pike fishing in shallow water. I stayed in the bay for a couple of hours before pulling up the weights and heading for pastures new, as did Richard.
By 1030 I was anchored up in a different area fishing near a reedy point but within casting distance of the boat channel. I’ve hardly fished this area before so it was very much a learning experience. By this time a decent breeze had finally picked up from the South west but it remained gloomy. Much better conditions and I felt more confident. After about an hour I repositioned the boat and fished the edge of the weed line. By 1300 I had decided it was time to move on but my plans were hastily altered by a hefty swirl in shallow weedy water. Definitely a Pike and by the amount of water displaced a decent sized one. I repositioned two buoyant deadbaits in the area and chucked the lure rod too, unfortunately I hadn’t brought any lures that were really suitable for such shallow weedy water but kept throwing a large Spinnerbait. I persevered even though it was catching plenty of weed. There was another large swirl in the bay shortly after the first but my baits remained untouched. After an hour or so I lifted the weights and moved off.

By this time the sun had finally burnt the fog away and I headed back towards another favourite stretch. I anchored up and was just getting comfortable when I heard a strange sound and looked up to see about fifty sailing boats heading towards me. The fine afternoon sun had certainly brought the weekend admirals out in force and I don’t think they had a brain cell between them. The hire boat with a family of six that passed had even less sense, while the adults had a great laugh rocking the boat from side to side, the poor terrified children screamed their lungs out.
I quickly got out of the madness and anchored up across the other side in another spot I’d had a take or two in times gone by but not today. Still it was a pleasant hour in the sun spent watching the madness away to the west. I motored back to the slipway having experienced my first blank of the season, Eden had defeated me today but I’ll be back another…I think this is only the second time since I started this blog that I’ve failed to catch my target fish, which is pretty good going but fishing Eden is tough so it won’t be the last.

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