Yesterday was a day off from work and life's pressures to enjoy a days lure fishing in the name of charity.
The event was a lure match organised by the Lure Anglers Society on a local water to raise money for Children with Cancer.
Whilst walking the dog at silly o'clock n the morning, I noticed two things about the this bright, cold morning. 1) the sun was shining with not a cloud in the sky and 2) there was a frost on the ground. These conditions could make for a tough day on the lures.
I was soon leaving the house for the short drive to the venue and upon arrival, I spied that 99.9% of the car park was full of car, vans and 4X4's loaded with anglers and gear. I squeezed in the car to a space and wanderer over the mass of angles in and around the cafe.
Most of the faces were unknown to me, but I soon saw a few familiar faces including the events organiser and other local lure anglers.
After a brief chat with so of the motley crew and with the start time looming, the all important peg draw happened. Peg 28 for me, so back to the car to grab the rod, net, mat and bag of lures etc.
It was a short walk for me from the car park to peg 28 and I soon had the first lure clipped onto the trace.
The water was soon foaming around me as thrashed the water with an assortment of lures. The weed grow on this particular lake, was quite high and I admit to struggling to find lures in the boxes that could be fished effectively just below the surface. I did have some topwater lures with me, but it didn't feel right fr them
By 11.00am and still be fishless, I went for a further wonder and nice looking swim which could be explored with the recommended Rapala X-Rap Sub Walker. After half a dozen chuck, there was a tap on the rod tip and soon a small jack was wrestling to get free. Off the mark at last and my confidence rose a bit. The jack was soon returned and swam off angrily. A few more casts but nothing else followed, so change of pegs was required. This change lead to a couple of follows and another fish, a micro jack of about a 1lb.
I continued to move about and had a couple of takes, but nothing developed into another fish on the bank. Most either hit the lure and missed, or getting hook, only to shake the lure free in the shallows.
The morning was soon up and as most were heading to the cafe for a spot of lunch, I took the opportunity to fish on and venture to some of the sort after spots. I dropped into a deep water peg and changed to a 6" Manns shad, something I been using a lot over the winter. As I worked the shad through the swim, I had a hit from under my feet, a jack was on, but soon off leaving a shredded shad behind. As this lemon shad was no longer useable without the attention of a soldering iron, another pattern was rigged up.
This was cast to the far bank under the trees and I was soon working the shad around again. On my second to last cast, I thought I hooked some of the roots from the tree lined edge, but no, this was moving. After a spirited fight in the deeper water a lovely lean double rose to the surface, before diving back down. Having strong braid on the reel, I soon bullied her to the surface and onto the waiting net.
A nice long lean pike for 12lb 8oz was soon photographed and returned.
After that I moved about about and managed one more for the day, a battle scarred old girl who was blind in one eye (left) and going blind in the other. She had scars all over her head and flanks and whilst letting her recover next to the staging, I felt a ting of sadness for this pike. She had obviously had a hard life and wasn't in the best of shape. Probably felt the vibrations from the lure and thought she had a easy meal.
I sat next to her and held her for a minute or two to regain her strength, before guiding her through the reeds and into the coloured water back to her lair.
The day was soon at an end and the anglers assembled outside the cafe for the drawing of the raffles. Whilst I didn't win the much sort after custom built utralight lure rod that was donated by Truly Custom Rods, I was fortunate to get a nice new custom lure from a very talent builder.
Looking forward to next years event already.