|Treble lashed to tail root with elasticated thread|
I had no sooner sat in my number two chair (which is sufficing until I either get the Nomad repaired or find a replacement) than the bobbin dropped off the line on the lamprey rod. The result being, as has become customary, a pike of around three pounds! I hadn't blanked and yet another afternoon fish had been landed. This pike was unusual in that it was missing it's right pectoral fin. This looked like a birth defect to my untrained eye. Pike seem to cope quite well with missing fins. I've seen a few with missing pelvic fins.
By now I was in a fluster so I had a brew before tidying the chaos up and rebaiting. When I came to rebait I found, not for the first time, that one of the Eagle Claw trebles was mangled. This hasn't been caused by playing the fish, but by twisting the hook free from a tough hold. I'm sure the hooks aren't going to let me down, but if they get knackered by unhooking then I'll be going back to strong Owners.
A fresh joey was put on a fresh trace and recast to where the second run had come from and I settled back to listen to England getting hammered in the final one day match in India. Even with alarms and bobbins I scan the floats when they are being used. The mackerel had been out for fifteen minutes when I saw the float start to move a split second before the alarm bleeped and the bobbin dropped. This was silly. Alas the resistance was minimal when I wound into the fish and a small jack was soon skimmed across the surface, unhooked (without damage to the trebles) and returned. The last joey in the pack was cast out and the other baits moved around the area.
I'm beginning to wonder if these afternoon fish are afternoon fish at all. I have long held to a theory that pike can be caught outside their expected feeding spells simply by putting a bait in front of them. What can be considered 'morning waters' might not be. It might just be that by starting fishing in the morning all the pike in a swim get caught before noon leaving none to be caught later on. I'm not sure this is always the case. Things aren't always as we think they are -even when the obvious answer is usually the best one. If it does have any merit then it would explain my recent afternoon catches from what I have always thought of as a 'morning water'. I remember convincing myself two other waters were 'afternoon waters' - even though I never fished them in the morning!
Despite high hopes of a dusk pike I had no more runs before packing up in near dark. Hunger was gnawing and I wanted to get home to my sausage and mash. Pulling into the drive I thought about sorting the gear out after tea, but the baits needed to go in the freezer so I unloaded the car straight away. The sling and sack were hung on the washing line then I went to get the net from the quiver so it too would dry out. Net? What net? Bugger, I'd left it behind...
There'd be nobody around after dark so I hastily cooked and ate my sausages before jumping back in the car armed with fresh batteries in my head torch and traipsing to the swim, where I found the net at the first attempt, and heading back home for the second time. If that had happened when I was younger I'd have done it differently. I'd have set the alarm for four and gone in search of my net armed with rods and bait. Given the morning's performance with the alarm I doubt it would have worked.