I go back to the car & wipe up a few dribbles of vomit from the front footwell, not too bad. Look in the back...what the f***? At first I think it's loads of puke, in fact it's paint spilled from the pot I'd bought for redecorating my house. Loads of white paint all over the floor of my car!!!!! It takes me ages to wipe away the worst of it. It's all over my fishing gear too, including my lures!! It dawns on me that the lures are worth more than the car so I have to clean the paint off them too. A bucket of water does the trick thankfully. Eventually I get to bed about two hours later than planned.
Up again at the crack of 5am, feeling very tired but what the hell? The forecast was for mixed sunny and cloudy spells with showers. We'd had rain the previous evening so after two blistering hot weeks surely this break in the weather would switch the fish on? The weather men almost got it right, except there was no cloud and no rain, just clear skies, sunshine and more soaring temperatures. Lovely weather for sunbathing but crap for fishing, however everything was ready so I went anyway. The destination this week is a river in the fens with a good head of Pike and an even better stock of Perch.
I started trolling slowly downstream with two rods hedging my bets, one rod had a Salmo Skinner for Pike, the other a Lucky 13 for anything that comes along. In this weather I was expecting to struggle but I didn't expect it to be as hard as it turned out. I kept chopping and changing lures, depending on the weed growth and clarity of the water. In some stretches its like an aquarium but downstream of some of the side drains it can be a little murky. After a while I came to a stretch which was always a banker for a Pike or three, often there'd be a double or two in attendance. I clipped a large spinnerbait on one rod and reverted to the Skinner on the other. Thoughts of catching Perch were temporarily banished from my mind. The inevitable happened, the rod fishing the spinnerbait slammed over and I leant into the first fish of the day. Resistance was minimal, my all out Pike approach had resulted in a small Perch with a big appetite.
After that I gave up on the bigger Pike lures and stuck to small to medium baits but continued to struggle. The sun beat down, the day began to boil and my confidence dwindled. In the clearer stretches I could see fish by the thousand but none were of the predatory varieties that I was targeting. Eventually as I was motoring back up river the Lucky 13 was nailed and the result was another Perch. Having doubled my tally and after covering another couple areas that normally held fish without reward, I gave up. I stood up and slowly motored back to base looking for signs of fish, what I saw was very encouraging. Lots of Bream, not particularly big but worth catching. A couple of double figure carp, a species I'd never noticed here before but best of all Rudd. These are prolific throughout the river but I glimpsed some that were big, very big. Something to think about for another time.
The boat was soon back on the trailer and I began making my way home. As soon as I hit the main road problems began. Looking in the wing mirror I noticed smoke coming from the drivers side wheel of the trailer. I slowed down and pulled over into the first lay by I came across. The source of the smoke soon became apparent, a so far unidentified problem with the hub had buckled the wheel. The tyre was pressed up against the mudguard which was carving a deep groove out of the rubber, hence the smoke. Oh dear, or words to that effect. Luckily I had a spare wheel and changing that over was no problem but how do I prevent this tyre being gouged to pieces? That would be more difficult, leaving the boat and trailer in a lay by miles from home is not really an option. Eventually I twist, bend and break the mudguard off the trailer, leaving the wheel turning freely, if a bit wobbly. I limped home, relieved to have made it, with a knackered trailer to add to a ruined car interior, what a poxy 24 hours.
Oh well, another five days of work and I'll be raring to go fishing again!