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We all caught a lot of fish, indeed, Dan caught a very large fish of twenty pounds early on and Neil caught a personal best on his fly rod of 11 but for me, today was old Pete’s day.
We first met here on these very banks six years ago almost to the day and since then have lure fished together virtually every week covering thousands of miles in search of our favourite fish - canal zander.
It is not often that we get a crack at pike of this calibre and I am certainly flattering myself when I tell you that he doesn’t often outdo me as comprehensively as he did with these two substantial fish. I am also not lying either when I tell you that they made my day too.
His first fell to a small floating Salmo Slider fished on a light fixed-spool set-up and it hit the lure well out in the lake. It fought long and hard as summer pike are apt to do and weighed in at 15-12.
So we packed just after lunch in the heat of the day, very happy with our morning’s lure fishing; privileged to see and catch some superb fish in the company of a few good friends. When we left, the bream were still thrashing the reeds flat and hurling spray several feet into the air.
I suppose that when your chance comes but once a year, you are inclined to put in a lot more effort and to make the most of it. You could say that applies equally to lure anglers as well as fish.
One of the reasons that so many pike were in this area may well have been that there were hundreds of bream and roach spawning in the flooded reed-beds around us. Huge bream to over ten pounds were everywhere and continually bumped into our lines and our legs as we stood in the water.
Any weeds that we pulled in were covered in eggs and the future looks good for the fish populations here.
His second fish came a couple of hours later and surprisingly took the smallest lure that he had bought with him, a medium-sized homemade spinner.
As soon as I saw Pete wading ashore with this fish, I thought it might have made twenty pounds, but 18-12 was still a result to savour.
Sometimes it can seem as though your lures will never be taken by a worthwhile fish again and that red-letter days are merely the stuff of dreams, but they aren’t. Every so often they come around again and the more you fish the more often that will happen. After a long cold winter it was really nice to be out in the sun catching a few and both Pete and I would like to thank Pete Felstead for organising the day so efficiently and the other lads that came along to enjoy the sport. The Lure Anglers Society has once again enabled us to catch more fish in good company.
It seems strange to be writing an article about pike fishing with lures in a heatwave in the middle of May, especially when just a week ago, we were wearing extra jumpers and arriving at the water with frost on the ground. Nevertheless these were the less than promising conditions that greeted us when Old Pete and I arrived at this Midland’s reservoir where Young Pete had negotiated access for an LAS local chapter fish-in.
Despite what on paper were the worst conditions we could have hoped for, we had a fantastic day’s lure fishing and proved to ourselves yet again that we know very little about what makes fish feed or not. If we had caught nothing we would certainly have blamed the weather!