I can’t remember a March that has been as cold as this one, it’s been brutal but eventually milder weather arrived. With Pike time and opportunities running out it was even mild enough to tempt Isaac out of bed at an early hour. We’re a little slow getting underway and Isaac is virtually mute on the journey but eventually the mug of tea in his hands does the trick and he’s almost awake by the time we reach the water.
We only have a few hours so I went for a long row with the intention of fishing our way back to base throughout the morning. We dropped the weights in a narrower, shallower stretch, flanked by thick reeds. It looked and felt right for the time of year. With our baits scattered about the swim we got settled. The wall of reeds sheltered us from the southerly wind, Isaac was still quiet but had his headphones on and was nodding to the music, Kendrick Lamar apparently. He was lost in his thoughts and totally unaware that one of my floats was on the move and stayed oblivious until this small fish was splashing by the boat. This brought surprised laughter and the volume came down a couple of notches.
With Isaac now in the land of the living conversation and laughter flows and half an hour passes in no time before we are interrupted by a Pike. My rod again and this time a better fish which deceived me but in the end it didn’t need the scales and was unhooked in the water. Dad 2 Isaac 0 I’m in the lead so not getting any ribbing but I’m desperate for him to catch! Forty five minutes later and just as we were discussing a move another of my rods is away and soon after another nice fish is unhooked in the water. I didn’t have time to recast before it was Isaac’s turn at last. As soon as he set the hooks the Pike ran towards him which took him by surprise and the line went slack. Isaac kept winding and somehow the fish was still on and in the net shortly afterwards. As Isaac had no trophy shots for his efforts this season, this one did come in the boat for a quick photo.
Fifteen minutes later the boat was back to normal but not for long, Isaac was in again and mostly in control, certainly for long enough to be secured in the net. This was slightly bigger than his first so warranted another quick photo. Dad 3 Isaac 2. That’s a nice score so I don’t feel too wicked in having a little wind up which is met with mock outrage and more laughter.
After a quiet hour we have a move and this was rewarded with a take inside ten minutes, Isaac wound down quickly and this time played the fish like a pro, wiping out my early lead. With time running out it could be a case of the next fish being the decider. I fancied one more move but the mild weather had brought a few people out and our options were growing limited. In the end we decide to settle for a draw and pack up a little early. As I rowed back the verbals continued, I claimed victory as I’d caught the biggest fish but after some mental arithmetic Isaac declared himself winner with the highest weight. His grin widened as I struggled for a comeback.