From the water’s edge

Artificial

 Lite

March 2013 - Testing times

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.

Having split our morning up between a regular area and a potentially new one last week with a certain amount of success, we set out to improve on that this time. Late morning has been proving more productive recently, so this time we started with the banker and left the uncharted waters for later on. I am surprised that we are still catching in this area; demonstrating a classic example of ‘do as I say not as I do’, we have been over fishing it to be honest and this morning it was starting to show. Takes were hard to find and when we got them even harder to hit and we only really started to catch by chopping and changing before ultimately sticking with small baits. I still managed to miss two untypical, unbelievably savage takes on 1” kopytos, but a few fish eventually came our way on 2 and 3” curly tails. I tried the crankbaits but to be honest they just weren’t that confident and I missed a couple of nudges on them. It felt like the wrong time and the wrong bait to use so I stuck with the plastics and one other small, slow-fishing lure that I don’t use as much as I should. Interestingly several of the fish we have caught  here recently have been filling up with spawn, so let’s hope the weather gets a bit kinder for them soon.

Pete ties some small tinsel jig flies that have worked well for us in the past. When I had this small perch on one, I wondered how I was going to tell him without his head exploding. Too late, he was coming up the bank with this lovely zander taken on the same lure. We seldom use them anymore so it was a hell of a coincidence; one that I shall never hear the last of I’m sure - and why not. These small triumphs make for a fun day.

 

At 4-7, it was the third in as many trips at around the same weight. The jury is out on whether they are all the same fish, but this one had some fin splits that weren’t visible in the other photos so maybe not. It seemed like we had spent too long here already and that we might as well stick it out, but I was surprised to find that it was only 10.30. Fish had been hard to hook and yet, we had caught nine from this spot. The biggest perch over a pound and a half, the biggest Z 4-7. Perhaps I am getting greedy or complacent, if we caught nothing else it had been worth the trip, so we decided to re-visit last weeks exploratory venue. It was getting colder with needle-like, icy rain stabbing the backs of my hands, so getting back in the car was no hardship, but whether or not it would kill the fishing or the enthusiasm first was a moot point.

Fifteen minutes later we were back on the bank in a completely different place. Thirty minutes later I was putting the net under a perch which weighed exactly the same as the one I caught here last week, from exactly the same spot. This one was a lot darker, but we really needed a second to be sure that we were on a shoal and ten minutes later I had it.

Cue dog walker - “have you caught any zander yet?” I didn’t tell him that we had never caught one this far south before, but he had scarcely disappeared from view before I had the first of three at about 2 ½ pounds.

My last fish was a fitting end to our second attempt on the new area at exactly the same weight as the first 1-12. Hopefully a two pound fish isn’t all that far beyond us.

They still wouldn’t have a big lure. The 2” kopyto was working its magic in this spot in just the same way that it had at every new place we have been. Pete put some extra interest up on the scoreboard with a fish or two on the yellow grubs before we packed.

It was a good result. We have found a new area with little expenditure of pain or effort, by doing it the easy way. A couple of hours each time, tacked on either end of reliable fishing, meant that we would give it a fair try without any despondency setting in.

I can’t believe how many perch we are catching at the moment. Come to that I can’t believe that the average weight is over a pound either, but I bet it is. It all feels a bit like we have crossed another rubicon and frankly we expect to succeed at the moment. Fishing being what it is, I suspect that pride will shortly becoming before the fall, so expect some proper waffle soon to make up for the blanks that we are owed.

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