Thursday, 22 January 2015

Half and Half

It was a bitterly cold day and the drive to the pit was beautiful. The head lights of the car, shone on the bright, crisp roadside verges and highlighted that everything was frozen.

The trouble was, even the pit was frozen, well 70% across and this made fishing it near on impossible.
After a quick detour, I arrived on the river bank before dawn and after letting my eyes adjust to the morning light, I walked to the river edge and peered out to see if anything was stirring. Nothing was.

The setup for the pit and the river was roughly the same and out when a float ledgered sardine on one rod and a mackerel on a straight ledger rig.

The ground was frozen solid and it was time for a cuppa to warm the heart and mine of this intrepid angler.
The stove was duly unpacked and lit, the warm of the stove was soon met by the cold my hands.

With tea made along with breakfast, I stood and watched the sunrise over the river. All was still and quite.

The pot of porridge and mug tea had warmed me nicely and I was read for the day ahead. 
Not long after the float on the sardine fished rod was cocked and going under. I wound down and connected with the fish, it was moving off and the rod took on a healthy curve, alas that curve soon disappeared and the line went limp.

After retrieving the rig, less the bait, it seemed as though the hooks had not taken a firm  hold and the pike must have shock the hooks free. A quick rebait and recast. and we away again.

Soon the morning passed to midday, alas no more pike induced runs came my way, but it does mean the alarms were silent. The river had been dropping for a couple of day, but it seemed that it was on the rise again. More and more debris was being washed down the river, and decaying reeds started to caught the line along with some branches and logs. All this became too much and a move was in order.

The day was still cold and frosty, but the air temperature had risen, was it enough to make the pit fishable?

I packed up the gear and decided to give it a go, a change of venue may bring fortune to this brave intrepid angler. On route, I stopped off at bailiffed some stretches of the river and collected  day ticket money for a couple of anglers, soon I was back in the car and on my way.

I arrived at the unused pit and the car park was just how I had left it the week before. The moody pit was somewhat different.
Firstly, the ice had melted, but the water was now crystal clear and a bit lower.

I unpacked the car with the bear minimum gear and trudged up the path to the area that had delivered the goods the previous week. There where signs that someone had been there the day before, but fortunately, it looked like they had been fishing for the silvers.

The first rod, a roving float was cast out, and it didn't even settle before it started to skip across the surface of the pit, I wound up the slack and hit it, but I met with think air.

The other rods were setup and baits position, so it was time for more tea and a spot of late lunch.

The pit was quite apart from the chorus of the various birds in the trees and bushes that surround this magical place. Long, Great, Blue and Willow Tits were all abundance along long with the resident Kingfisher whom was diving into the water to catch himself some lunch.

The afternoon soon passed and the rods remained silent, even the twitching of baits didn't result in a take.

My attention was averted to a bird hopping up a branch of a large tree. It was actively knocking the wood like a woodpecker, but it look more along the lines of a creeper. Late that evening I was to discuss it was a Nuthatch, which is a first for me.

With the light fading, I decided enough was enough and began the process of packing up.

Two rods down, one to go and as I lifted the rod to reel in, the float started to twitch and bob. I resisted the chance to strike and watch as the float was moving from this way and that, twitching along the way. After a good five minutes of this it stopped, and I slowly brought the baited float closer. A large shape followed it keeping only a matter of inches away even when I drew t closer to the bank. I let it rest for 20-30 seconds, the pike just stared at the bait with it pectoral fins moving backwards and forwards holding its position mid water.
I decided to give the bait a bit of life, and gave the float a bigger twitch. The pike turned on its heals, stirring up the bottom and was gone.

The last rod was soon packed up and ruing my luck, I packed the car and headed for home.


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