Monday, 30 January 2012

Boats & Birds

It's Sunday morning and the alarm sounds at 04:00, yes 4am!!! And I'm awake. A quick sigh, and I'm up getting reading for an adventure on the rivers in search of river monsters. The cat wake with me and I'm not sure who's more bleary eyed, me or them.

I left the house as quiet as a mouse and creep out with my tackle into the cold morning gloom and head off out of town.

I met up with Sir Michael from "Fishing is Great" blog at his home and after loading his car up with the gear with are off on our way to where his boat is located. Michael was to be my guide/fishing partner for the day and to say I was looking forward to it was an understatement.

On are journey we chatted about our fishing experiences and what we had caught so far this season along with life in general. Cricket did come up in conversation, but this was short lived due to the batting display England put up in the 2nd Test. Woeful is one that springs to mind.

After an hours drive along the roads, through the cold foggy morning we arrived at the boat yard and prepared the boat and ourselves for the days fishing. The air cold but quiet, apart from the occasional hoots of an owl somewhere in the gloom. Michael launch the boat and we were soon motoring out of the boatyard into the dark heading for the first spot of the day.

As we motored across the mirror calm water, darkness started to lift and flocks of gulls could be seen awakening from the nights rest. Michael brought the boat to a stop, some 60 yds away from our first stop and we prepared the rods to avoid making to much noise over the first spot. he then proceeded to manoeuvre us to the spot we were to fish and soon the mud weights were down and the first baits were cast out coming both sides.

We both sat back, and I must admit to be overwhelmed at the shear beauty of this expanse of water. The bird life was truly amazing with coots, grebes and herons all about us.

08:30 came and the tick, tick of the bait runner was heard, a quick look up and the float was away and I lifted into the running fish. For a second, it look like the fish was off, but I was assured it was still on so I wound down tighter and yes, it was on but running toward me now.

After a short, but spirited scrap and with the hooks showing in the scissors. Michael decided that netting would be better then gloving it, so at the second attempt, after it have swam back out on the first, Michael net the it for me.

After a unhooking her in the ET saddle (very useful bit of kit in a boat) the pike was unhooked, quite photo and weight estimated at about 7-8lb. Not a monster, but the my first "true warrior" from this water.

It was quickly returned and swam off strongly back into the murky depths.

We decided to say put for another half hour and then moved. This was the pattern for the day, stay in a swim for an hour to hour and a half and then more on.

It soon became apparent that it was not a day for the faint hearted, it was bloody freezing. Air temperature was only a couple of degrees and when the wind did get up, it felt more like -10 deg C. The water temperature was hovering just over 3 deg C.

Unfortunately, neither myself or Michael had another run, but we did have a good laugh and enjoyed the sights of the Marsh Harriers hunting over the reed beds, a pair of Cranes and a glimpse of a Bittern before it vanished into the reeds.

I hope to repeat this day again, but next time perhaps we can caught a couple more pike.

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