Has June always been stormy or is it just recent years? If, as I think, it’s a fairly recent phenomena; then perhaps it’s further evidence that a bunch of rich men have fucked the planet up? They don’t give a shit because they’ll be dead soon anyway. Whatever, today was as rough as guts, heavy rain and gale force winds, clouds as dark as Theresa May’s soul. Ideal for chucking lures around in a boat, possibly not. Fortunately the forecast said the clouds would break in the early evening and we might even see the sun.
I met Giles and we were afloat by 1900, drifting with the still strong wind and casting lures as we went, the sky was miraculously and mercifully clear but there was more gloom on the horizon. Away to the north a flash of lightning and rumble of thunder, to the south a rainbow gives Giles an unlikely halo. The lake looks fantastic, full summer greens lit by the longed for sun but it doesn’t last. Cloud and gloom skids by but it stays dry, all things considered these are pretty good conditions for a late spring Pike. As Giles was my guest I was on the oars, which was going to be hard work and would leave no time for snapping photos of the scenery, no matter how nice.
Tonight the Pike had read the script, kind of. We had plenty of hits, as usual Giles getting the most but the Pike just wouldn’t stay hooked. We both had fish come off quickly and as the evening progressed we got them ever closer to but not actually in the boat. One jack which Giles managed to get fairly close threw the lure in the process of leaping a good yard clear of the water. My killer Rapala which done the business last year provoked just one response early on while Giles had hits on a variety of lures, notably a spinnerbait.
Having enjoyed reading about Mr Lumb’s surface fishing I’d become inspired to chuck a topwater in the box. I’ve only ever caught a handful of Pike on surface lures; I’ve rarely had the confidence to persevere for any length of time but now was the time to put it right. I’m not even sure what lure I was chucking out either. I think I bought it via the old P&P forum, it may have been made by Dave Greenwood from whom I got a few good fish catching lures but I have a feeling this one was made by Graham Slater? Anyway I began chucking it around and working out how to fish the thing. After a handful of casts I felt a sharp tug which may have been a take? A bit of missing paint seemed to back this up.
The wind was still blasting which made controlling the boat and the lures a bit tricky and the row against it was a bastard but we kept going. We worked out the best way to fish was to lower a mudweight which controlled the drift but even this eventually saw us too close to the bank. I tried a couple more lures but ended up back on the surface thingy simply because I was enjoying fishing it. I worked out it seemed to feel right casting downwind and bringing it back against the waves with a slowish, steady retrieve. A boil on the surface signalled the fish agreed and I was attached to a Pike for long enough to actually think I might boat it but no!
A few casts later it happened again, I didn’t see the take but felt the thump and set the hooks, my luck held and we actually needed to use the pliers. Just a Jack but at least we’d boated a fish. We had a cold beer to celebrate and watched a bright red sun sink to the west. After a few more minutes of firing the topwater out I decided I’d had enough and began a very slow, arduous row back against the wind. Hopefully Giles would be able to move a fish or two on the way? Sadly not, one Jack torpedoed out but missed the lure and vanished.
By 2200 my arms ached but we were back at the boatyard and it was still light enough to pack up without a torch. Despite being thoroughly wind blasted it was a fun night that will hopefully be repeated soon.
This is the unidentified topwater lure. The tackle boxes are great, they’re really cheap and come full up with free ice cream!