Thursday, 13 March 2014

The end is nigh

Early February’s fishing consisted of a couple of rain drenched, wind blasted blanks on local waters. Levels were well up and the clarity adversely affected but I needed fresh air and solitude so made the effort without reward. In the past, flood water at this time of year always seemed to encourage Eel activity and the one time my float moved I retrieved a Smelt minus its head…

Fishing at the special place was affected by the weather too as ridiculous wind speeds prevented me from taking the boat out. Thankfully things calmed down enough for one session later on in the month. I spent a couple of days on the water, the weather was mild, dry and comfortable but as expected the fishing was slow. However I’ve fished these waters long enough to have learnt a few spots where I can expect to find Pike more often than not. I managed to catch a couple of nice fish from ‘known’ spots, this is all well and good but I learned nothing new. Most pleasing was a good fish caught from a lovely looking bay that I’d never gotten round to fishing before. Even after all these seasons there are still areas in this system that I’m yet to dangle a bait. I love challenging fishing and I’ll continue to learn my way around the system as long as I can physically handle it.

My final trip north was a two day session in dry, mild but windy conditions. Once again the weather made things really comfortable and it was fantastic to be afloat, free and alone in a special wetland wilderness. The pike were hard to find and when I did they were in that finicky pre-spawn mood. Several times both live and deadbaits were picked up and dropped, before I got the chance to set the hooks. It began to look like I’d blown my chances for the year.

On the final afternoon, in bright sunshine I dropped a livebait out and before I’d even managed to get another rod out line was ripping off the baitrunner. Was my luck well and truly in? Would this be one last whacker to crown what has been a pretty good season? Sadly not but it was a double figure fish and one that put the smile on my face in the circumstances.

There was time for one last move, I dropped down in an unfamiliar spot and was rewarded with three quick takes, two were dropped but I did manage another Pike to finish the season. The sun set and I went home. The Pike have had it tough in Broadland in recent years but they are amazing, resilient fish and they keep bouncing back. For a travelling angler catching them consistently is a challenge that I love and I can’t wait to get back at them next season.

For years I’ve been trying to get a good photo of my favourite bird, the Marsh Harrier and this weekend I got lucky.

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