Artificial

 Lite

From the water’s edge

November 2014 - Golden years

I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me using the adjacent form. Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking.

I almost don’t know how to start this. I decided to quickly get one of my fish in at the top of the page while I still had the chance, because this was Pete’s day (yet again!) Pete used to be somebody I looked forward to fishing with and who always seemed to catch a few less than me or at least slightly smaller fish than me.

Just lately, however, the boot has been on the other foot. Last week he caught his largest ever canal chub on a lure. He caught the most fish, he caught the biggest perch of the day just shy of two pounds by a whiff of humbug, and he had the biggest zander.

We couldn’t go back there again, my credibility couldn’t stand it so I suggested a basin closer to home that throws up some average zander and a good perch or two on occasion. I would be safe there. I cast out, I caught, normal service had resumed as I always knew it would, so we plugged away and chalked a few Ps and Zs on the board. Grubs, shads, and crays all worked to begin with until I suffered a bad case of fortune failure. I know now where my traditional good luck had gone - fifteen feet away.  

I was slipping a second tiny zander back as unobtrusively as possible. Crayfish I had said, these will sort out the better fish - wrong on all counts.

“This feels like a better fish”  - right, un-arguably correct. My only hope was that it would turn out to be a pike - it didn’t.

Trustingly I was offered the chance to net his largest ever canal zander.

 

It took some working out, Our scales weigh in ounces, some sort of metric nonsense or even more bizarrely, metric pounds(??). Point one of a pound being a very useful and easy to calculate 1.6 ounces. Nevertheless, we did the sums and the answer we both came to was 6 pounds 13. An absolute peach of a fish. In perfect condition as zander always seem to be.

I left him to it, messing about as usual, making a song and dance about wiping the slime off his hands. Bitter - don’t be absurd, anyway I am better than that. Out went a bigger crayfish and I immediately lost a really nice Z on the top. It came straight up and thrashed the hook free, stuck out its tongue did a barrel roll and farted its contempt at me on its way back to the bottom. I didn’t lose the next fish though, but at three pound it wasn’t what I wanted.

There had to be some nice perch down the side, so I clipped up a small orka marmaid ( Yes, I do know how to spell mermaid but it’s called a marmaid in the catalogue, or as proper journalists would put in their brackets, sic. And yes I am.) on a tiny size 8 jighead and threw it along the bank, just and only just getting it in the water. Wallop straight into a solid feeling fish which plunged a few times before rolling on the surface and nipping through the fluoro leader. An interfering jack that was welcome to a sore lip as far as I was concerned but which certainly wouldn’t be troubled by a tiny size 8 barbless.

Pete will laugh when I tell him that I thought, turning round to give him the news, but he was a bit busy. He clearly had a hell of a lump on the end of his line. The rod was hooped right over and the clutch was fizzing its head off. The rod wasn’t bumping or flexing sporadically, it was just hard over and steady as the line peeled away.

Why pike anglers make so much fuss about light tackle I’ve no idea, because Pete fought that to a standstill in a minute or two with no dramas at all on his little 12 gram Ron Thompson flexide and yours truly got his nose rubbed in it again.

I did think that we might have one problem this time though. A big pike is a long fish and a carp pan is really designed for short fat ones. All the same it went in first time with no difficulty, the trick being to let the momentum carry the fish’s snout right into the bottom corner of the net before lifting.

I got a shock when I did go to lift though, it was a lot heavier than I had anticipated and I got two more shocks after that. Firstly just how many ounces there are in 18 pounds thirteen ounces, and the second is plaguing me now as I write. The snot was all in my net - again! And it stinks.

There was no getting out of it this time, I had to congratulate him, so I did and we spent the next hour bombarding the basin with every bait in the box. We caught some more, but nothing on the stellar scale that Pete was now getting used to. It became obvious that we would need to move soon, so I suggested a spot further up that would give me a fighting chance of joining him in the hall of fame even if it was only for most fish.

My plan worked, as I suspected it would all along. I had to use subterfuge to get it accepted though.

“You need a big perch to go with those two or it wouldn’t really be a great day, would it, just a good one.” I knew I was pushing my luck with that old chestnut, it was already a fantastic one,  but I’ll try anything if I am desperate.

We caught a lot of tiddlers, best perch about a pound (me, yippee!) best zander nothing like a pound (Pete, snigger) and we edged the total up towards fifty fish for the morning.

“This feels a bit better!” Oh no, no way, not again surely. Right out of the blue, in a swim we have never ever caught a fish of any description in, he catches a big perch. On a 1.5” curly tail as well. A 1.5 “ bait in the middle of half a mile of unproductive canal, and he catches a perch that weighs two pounds two ounces.

 

So there you have it. We caught 49 fish, Pete caught a 6-13 zander, an 18-13 pike and a 2-2 perch. I wonder how much a set of golf clubs is. Of course, I don’t really, these are our golden years; these are the good old days. This fishing is without a doubt head and shoulders above every other kind of fishing I have ever done in my life. It’s a privilege to fish with the master and get the snot from his fish all over my net. Long may it continue.

Biggest zander, biggest pike, biggest perch buys the beer.

 

artificial lite
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