Monday, 25 June 2012


With the new season open I didn’t rush to wet a line on the opening weekend, my local rivers are uninspiring and it’s hard to find the time to make plans further afield.  However I needed to tinker with the boat and trailer so with Shelley along for the trip, I made my way to the boatyard.  It has been a while since my last visit, so on arrival it was no surprise to find a boat full of water, which of course had to be drained.  I can’t work it out, the spring has been like a monsoon, as indicated by the amount of water in the boat, so why was there hardly any water in the slip?  

The morning like so many others recently had been wet but by the time we launched in mid-afternoon the sky was clearing and the sun was trying to poke through. It was nice to be out in the boat, cutting through the water in warm weather amongst summer greens, rather than winter beige. Fishing was very much on the agenda but it was more of an outing, as we took a slow cruise through the system, soaking up the environment around us, Shelley capturing as much of it as possible through the camera lens. As ever the birdlife was exceptional, too many species to list but I’ll have a go. The highlights were Egrets, Owls, and the ever present Harriers. All the waterfowl you can think of plus Reed Buntings, Wagtails, loads of Herons, families of Geese and Swans, Gulls and Terns. Somewhere to the north we could hear Cranes and I think I might have seen a Bittern.
After an hour or so of meandering around we dropped the mud weights at a favourite spot.  I mixed a little groundbait and fished a waggler with corn on a size 12.  I was optimistically hoping to find a Bream or two.  Shelley fished with a whip, maggots on a more sensible size 18.  She caught small Rudd & Roach from the off but bites on my more crude set up were less frequent.  We had a snack and a tea break then caught a few more silvers, Shelley with the lions share but eventually my float went and I hooked the Bream I’d been after, unfortunately not a proper river Bream, it was only a couple of ounces. 

After a couple of hours we decided it was time for a change of scenery so we motored off to another spot.  Here I cut the engine and we drifted along, Shelley taking photos, me casting lures amongst the weed beds.  Nowadays the Zoota Wagtail is one of my ‘go to’ shallow water lures.  I say ‘nowadays’ but I don’t do a great deal of lure fishing…nowadays.  Anyway the Wagtail, a relatively light (slow sinking), curly tail plastic lure, has caught pike from rivers, drains and stillwaters and I have a lot of confidence in it.  This was justified after a few minutes when the rod banged over and a Pike was hooked.  A small fish but it charged through the weedbeds and tried to punch above its weight but soon succumbed and was unhooked alongside the boat.  We carried on drifting and casting for an hour or so.  I chopped and changed lures; Jerkbait, Spinnerbait & crankbait then reverted back to the Wagtail.  No more Pike made themselves known.  

With the sun beginning to sink in the sky I fired the engine once again and we started our cruise back to the boatyard with Swallows skimming the water alongside us.  We were mostly heading west so had a grandstand view of an epic flatlands sunset, Shelley’s camera clicking constantly.  A nice way to spend a summer evening, I think I’ll do that again sometime.

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