From the water’s edge

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January 2010 - A game of two halves

We all have our own preferred methods of catching fish on lures. I tend to go through spells of enthusiasm for one technique or another and over the years, my favourites have changed. At one time, I used small home-made spinnerbaits for most of my fishing. I thought then and I still think the same today, that if I had to feed myself on the fish I caught, a spinner or spinnerbait would be the safest bet. More recently, I have been using 3 and 4 inch shads on jigheads of various weights for nearly everything; and very effective they have proved to be as well. But there is one lure that I have never got to grips with, and that is the humble crankbait or plug as it used to be more commonly known.

Sharkey uses them a lot and after being shown up by his performance on our last trip, I decided to make a special effort to get the best from them. From now on I will carry nothing else until I have got a better understanding of how to use them.

As the afternoon passed pleasantly enough, he nicked out another smaller fish. We don’t normally catch that many pike on this canal but with the locks closed for repair, the water clears bringing surprising quantities of pike and perch out of the woodwork.

This was turning out to be a pleasant, cool but sunny afternoon; but all that was about to change. The two photographs below were taken less than five minutes apart from the same spot. It is no wonder that the weather is all we seem to talk about in this country. The dramatic change in conditions was positively bizarre. One minute, a few flakes were drifting gently down in glorious sunshine and the next,  a blizzard had reduced visibility to barely thirty yards.

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.

Twenty minutes later the snow was diminishing and his Salmo Perch was snapped up by a nice zander. We had been  wondering where they had got to. Maybe it had been too bright, maybe they just weren’t hungry who knows; all that matters is that he now had three fish on the bank while I watched on in dismay, convinced that crankbaits are crap, but determined to prove myself wrong over the next few weeks.

This outing, a couple of hours in the late afternoon, was my first attempt and although I caught a nice perch and had a couple of follows, Sharkey gave me yet another lesson. Half an hour in and he was reaching out to unhook a nice pike that had taken his Rapala Tail Dancer.

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