It’s been a quiet few weeks fishing wise, mostly due to lack of time caused by Christmas festivities. I managed two short trips to “the pit” these were uneventful but part of a bigger plan, all will be revealed…or will it? Loose lips sink ships ….The most amusing thing about these trips were the antics of a “bait boater” but more on that another day. Too much food and drink, too much Wii and definitely too much ‘indoors’. It was time to blow the cobwebs away with a long overdue trip to Eden.
Well things didn’t go at all to plan. Late night, not enough sleep, too much other stuff and not out of bed early enough. I arrived at the dyke after an hour or so of uneventful driving through a frosty winter landscape. I told myself that I wouldn’t have missed much in these cold conditions, the afternoon would offer the best chance of a Pike or two. After three days of Christmas over indulgence my head was full of stuff and none of it related to fishing, I really craved my fix of big skies and wilderness, chilling out was the order of the day, a fish would be a bonus.
As I alluded too before, conditions were cold, there was ice on my boat cover which didn’t thaw all day. Add to that grey skies and a bitter wind from the east and most anglers will tell you conditions were about as poor as they could get. Sensibly I opted to fish a spot right in the teeth of the wind. This was a shallow spot in a bay, away from the usual areas and I’d had a take or two here in the past. Looking around, there were several boats in sight, scattered about here and there. I’d passed Richard on my way, he was fishing an area in the narrows that was out of the wind from which he’d caught on a previous trip.
I used the normal four rods; Bluey and Mackerel were fished static on the bottom, a smelt which had been soaked in oil was popped up, cast out and twitched back to the boat. A whole Lamprey was float fished off bottom, allowed to drift with the wind then slowly wobbled back to the boat. I fished the bays, the reed lines and the open water. I reasoned that on a cold day I may need to recast regularly and hopefully drop a bait next to a lethargic Pike. Two hours later I was shivering after a battering from the easterly wind. My hands were numb, my eyes were streaming and I’d caught precisely sweet F.A. It was time for a move; do I play safe and fish the ‘basin’ for a couple of hours or do I join Richard in the ‘new area’? I decided on the latter, just to warm up for a bit. If nothing happened I’d fish the ‘basin’ for last knockings. Just as I started the engine a text came through. Richard had just boated a low double, things were looking up.
A while later I was anchored up about fifty meters away from Richard, sheltered by trees and a reedy bay behind me. The same four rods were cast again; Mackerel just off a point in the reed line, Bluey in the open water, Smelt popped up cast into the bay and twitched back. Finally the Lamprey was allowed to drift away from me. An hour past, Richard moved along to another bay and I was left wondering what to do. Should I stay put in my comfortable position or should I move? I decided that I really should move but would wait for a yacht to pass by before I did so. All of a sudden I noticed a calm patch of released oil in the vicinity of my bluey cast into the open water. Was my float moving? Yes it bloody was! The oil patch had been caused by a Pike chomping on my bait! It was another knee trembling moment, would the strike connect with a monster?
It did connect with a Pike, no monster but a fin perfect six pounder, another fish from this very special water, and after a few blank trips very welcome. Shortly afterwards Richard boated a jack in his new swim. I decided to stay put and settled back to enjoy another spectacular big sky sunset. Unfortunately I’d forgotten my camera so couldn’t record it. Obviously with no camera, when Richard packed up just after dusk, so did I!
This new area, one we hadn’t fished until very recently, has turned up a few fish and why wouldn’t it? We haven’t seen any other boats in this area which is also promising. One to keep visiting in the future, especially as it is relatively close to the boat yard. Also shows there are sure to be other unfished areas that are worth exploring.
That’ll be that for 2008 which has been a memorable and highly enjoyable year whether fishing alone, with my family or with great friends. Lots of time spent laughing in beautiful, peaceful surroundings and we even caught a fish or two. I hope anyone who happens to read this has had a great Christmas and has a prosperous new year. Below are some photo’s from 2008, I have some wine to finish…