The alarm went off at 3am, but it was not the alarm clock, it was the smoke alarm. Panic!
Rushing around the house trying to find the source, but its seem it is a false alarm and I'm back in bed and snoozing again.
3:40am alarm is off again, see above.
4:00am alarm sounds for the third time and after much huffing and puffing and check all the alarms I find the offending alarm and his chirpy to indicate low batteries, but we've no spares, so off come the chirping alarm and hopeful I get some shut eye before the important fish o'clock alarm sounds.
They alarm is off again, but this time its the alarm clock and I begrudgingly get up. I'm knackered, but the thought of missing out on some river sport drives me on to get dress and out of the house as quickly as I possible can,
I arrive at the river later than planned and the sun is already poking its head about the horizon. I'm in two minds what to do, static session or roving session. I opt for both of sorts.
More huffing and puffing across the fields, "You're humping too much stuff, troop" and I arrive where I want to be and the river looks pristine with just right amount of flow.
A rod is soon unpacked and baited up with a bluey head on a float ledger and tossed across to the reed lined far side, the flow takes up the slack and the float cocks nicely. Time for a brew and porridge.
The kettle is bubbling away nicely as as I pour the water into the porridge pot, the float starts to bop and twitch in the flow. Breakfast and brew will have to wait, someone else is on the feed.
With the rod in my hands and the slack taken up, the float continues to twitch and slowly slides under. I wind into a fish and its off up river.Micro jack is on and is quickly subdued and chinned out. Not a huge fish, but a start.
The rod is soon recast back out with a fresh bait and I go back to sorting the breakfast I sorely needed out.Porridge is gobbled down and the cuppa is consumed. Time to start fishing properly.
The second rod is unpacked and this is where the active approach come in, the rod is set up with simple float so I can trot a roach bait with the flow, working areas that I hope with hold a fish or two
Its was a lovely morning to be out, being somewhat cold but bright and there was a slight breeze to put a ripple of the rivers surface. Perfect!
On a slow trot down the river, on the outside of the bend, the float slid under and I stopped the line with the bail arm and a fish was on.The jack decided it was going to do a good impression of a Mako shark, but it was soon at the bank and unhooked (quick snap) and back into the river.
Morning soon turned to mid morning and the bait on the deck was not working, so a fresh bait was attached and cast into an area that was screaming pike. It was an outside of a bend, reed lined with a small side stream pushing a trickle of fresh oxygenated water into the main river. Surely there was a pike there waiting for a freebie.
Whilst the deadbait was soaking on the outside of the bend, I trotted the roach under the float around and passed it both on the outside, middle and inside of the bend. On the third trot on the inside of the bend, the float got caught up on some reeds, so a gentle tuck and it was freed, but being close to the bank, it allowed me to let the bait trot a bit further along the stretch.
Just as the float passed around the corner, it shot under and I was attached to something a bit better than the other two pike, this one stayed deep and used all it could be shake the hooks free.
She put a healthy bend in the rod and clicked the clutch slightly, but utilising strong gear (essential for winter river fishing) the pike came to the bank and preformed a final lunge under the bank before I scooped her up in the net.
Laying her on the mat, I could determine her size, she was a young looking fish with a healthy stocky look to her, so I decided get her weighted. I was surprised at her weight but happy with the result for this stretch. She was my best from the river so far and spurred me on for
Midday came and a change in the winds, saw a strong north easterly develop, so a move was in order, so I upped sticks after lunch and walked back looking for one or two spots to fish. It was feeling too chilly to sit behind rods and with the action mostly happening on the moving bait, I dumped the gear under a tree and settled on using one rod for the rest of the day.
I mooched about for the rest of the day, fishing a lot of different places that looked like they could have held a fish or two. Sadly no more came to the net, but I did find one more pike in a mood to feed.
The roach was being wound slowly back from a long trot, when a fish swirled and briefly took the bait, only to let go. The roach had deep slashed across it and how it failed to find a hook was bemusing. I recast the bait back to the swirl and left it trot about for another 15 minutes or so, but alas the slasher had gone.
With the wind picking up further and the light starting to fade, I decided enough was enough, but it had been a good day all around.