With only a week left of the river season and with the knowledge that the pike would be either pre spawning or spawned out, I took the invitation of a session afloat for pike on a friends boat with glee.
John has a nice boat which is kitted out with the usual bits and piece to make a days fishing very pleasant indeed.
I met John at his house and got things ready on the boat before we head off to the river.
On route, the wildlife was in abundance and I saw my first Barn Owls of the year swooping low over the meadows and marshland looking for their prey. Its always nice not to drive because it give you the opportunity to see the sights along the ways and look for new places to fish.
We arrived in good time, loaded the rods, bait and launched the boat it into the river.
We set off to the first spot and found that we had been beaten to it by a couple of bank anglers, so we proceeded up river so John could catch some fresh bait for the day ahead.
John located a likely spot and we settle in with deadbaits and a feeder rod for the silverfish.
After an hours of no movement whatsoever, we upped mud weight and moved up river in search of our prey.
After a couple of further moves due to inactivity, we went to our furtherest point of no return and caught sight of another pair of bank anglers. These gents had landed a small jack and were just about to returned it when we came around the bend. We could fish this area which was a shame but did not it for the return and anchors some 5mins river away from them.
We soon dropped the mud weight and fanned out the 6 rods front and rear with a mixture of sea baits and coarse baits. We settled back and enjoyed the warm March Sun with the easterly wind on our backs.
After an hour one of Johns floats showed signs of life. He disengaged the baitrunner and wound down into a fish.
After a short scrap the first fish of the day was soon landed, unhooked and returned. Nothing huge, but a welcome sight.
Up in the sky a buzzard with cricling up high using the warming thermals to soar with ease to scan the area for carrion. Minutes later a flight of pigeon whizzed passed with a Marsh Harrier in hot pursuit in the general direction of the Buzzard. The pigeons soon scattered and in turn lost the pursing Harrier as he too caught sight of the circling Buzzard. Now the Buzzard is not a small bird and infact must be three times bigger than the Marsh Harrier, but that didn't seen to faze it because within minutes of the two spotting each other, they began to circle together in a what can only be described bird of prey acrobats. It was amazing to see these two magnificant birds sizing each other up before the harrier had the sense to break off and retreat to leave the area to the Buzzard.
After a couple of hours and a short snooze in the sun, we started out returned trip to the launch.
We fish a couple more spots with baits and lures, but nothing else was forthcoming.
We settle back in a John put his feeder rod backinto action to try to catch some silver fish. He soon was briefly into something big, but after a short fight it was off. Bream on the Maggots? or Pike on the Feeder?
It was getting late in the day and we were starting to complentate retiring back to the launch, when his close range ledgered bait was on the move. Baitrunners was spinning and he hit into a fish. To start with it didn't fight, but on seeing the boat the fish charged off taking line from the spool.
John soon had the fish at the boat, buit she wasn't finished yet and when off again.
The fish tired and was netted, unhooked and weight as a high double. The old girl was in good condition pre spawning for her age, but had signs that she getting to the latter stages of her predatory life.
She was blind in one eye and was lighted than normal in her colouring compared to the other fish. But she was still a great catch and a season best for him.
After some nice shoots by me, we returned her gracefully back into the depths of the river to travel off to spawn.
The drove back with the sunsetting, whilst reflecting on the end of the river season and soon arrived home in the dark.