After busying myself with household jobs whilst packing for a evening on the river, it was soon time to do half of the 120 mile round trip.
The drive to the river was lovely, the sun was shinning, the music playing, and the drive flew by and soon I was parking up next to one of my favourite fen rivers. The river looked in good nick, and there were signs that autumn was here. The weed and lillies were starting to die back and there was a hint of colour in the water.
I soon had the bait snatching pole in my hand and started to feed the margins in order to caught some fresh bait for the zander dinner table, but it was hard graft, but after 4 hours I had managed to catch seven baits sized roach and the odd rudd.
With the sun starting to set over the river, and with the bait catching done, it was time to ease into predator mode for the evening/night. Rods were pre rigged with my faithful zedding rigs, a simple running ledger and a CD rig.
Both rods was soon baited up, cast out into the flow and set up on the delkims with my homemade drop off indicator. And so it was time for tea.
The sun soon set and the darkness wrapped around me on the river and all was quiet. For the first time in what seemed an age, I looked up at the night sky and saw how beautiful the stars were out in the middle of no where. The plough was clearly visible and felt at peace after a hectic week at work, all seem right in the world for the first time in a long time. The rod hooped over nicely for a split second and then the line fell limp. It as off.
I cursed my luck, as a run on this venue can be hard to come by. I reeled in to find the bait gone.
The rig was soon back out in the margins with a fresh bait and I settle back into start gazing mode, but the alarm on the second rod sounded continuously and I rushed to the rod with line again peeling off. The speed of the fish ment that again I simply closed the bale alarm and tightened up to the fleeing fish. It was on this time and the rod hooped over nicely. It felt heavy in the flow and had some spirited runs before some of the weight disappeared with a head shake, but there was still a fish there.
It was soon over the net and at the second attempt it was in. I lifted the fish up the bank to the unhooking mat and a first double of the season was mine. Sadly, not a zander but a pike. I went to unhook it, but the it had shed the hooks.
The pike was soon back in the river and away. But as I went to bait up, I noticed that one of the trebles had been straightened. How odd, must have been a duff treble. The trace was soon changed, rebaited and recast out.
Whilst the baits were soaking, I decided to look at the old trace. The trace looked good, but the Owner ST36 which has been ever so reliable was indeed straightened, so it was consigned to the bin.
9pm came and on the margin rod was bleeping away, something had disturbed the bait. Less than a minute later, it was bleeping feverishly and the line was pooled from the drop off, but it stop.
Not wanting a deep hooked fish, I picked up the rod and wound in some of the spilled line and held a large loop in my hand. This was pulled and I wound down and connected with a fish.
It wasn't a big fish that was fore sure, and it didn't have the usual fight of a pike, in fact it felt like a perch. There was no fight and the head lamp caught the magical eye of my quarry. A zander.
Not a big zander, but it was a fresh young fish, a good sign that they were indeed still about and breeding.
The schoolie was soon unhooked and returned, but again when rebaiting, I noticed that the top treble had been straightened again. Duff treble again, or even a duff batch.
Not wanting to loose a fish, a brand new trace was tied with some Partridge trebles that I had laying about in the tackle box.
Went comparing the straightened Owner, next to the other Partridge trebles, it could be clearly seen that the gauge thickness of the Owners was drastically thinner.
The rest of the night was quite uneventful, one more pike decided that the fresh roach was just to tasty to be left out all night. By midnight, and with bed calling I packed up and headed for home.