Wednesday saw me back at the same lake, with still no response on the lures from the pike,
just as the light was beginning to fade the shoal of small perch started to send the fry scattering again.
This time I was prepared - I had my fly rod ready with a white and green cats whisker fly lure ,I moved into position in the reeds, at which point the wind changed , so that it was now straight in my face.
Now I am not the most proficient fly caster, even at the best of times, but these conditions tested my fly casting skills(or lack of) to the limit. I soldiered on though, however, each time the fry scattered they were just out of reach of my pitiful casting , then at last the wind dropped and I managed to get a fly out to where the fish were holding , the fly hit the water I let it sink for a "one thousand elephants, two thousand elephants, three thousand elephants" then a few short pulls on the line a plucky little tug from the other end, and a fish was on !
Unfortunately, I then discovered that I was already ten minutes late for picking up my wife , so I had to leave it there. They were only small fish but I really enjoyed the catching of them.
Monday, and I was back on the lakes armed with my deadbaiting gear, one with a float fished sprat set up, and one with a twitching/wobbling sprat set up. I thought that I might give the lures a rest for awhile and maybe have a sit down under my brolly instead of standing in the pouring rain all the time.
I started on the small weedy lake but for the first 2 hours there was no action, so I moved to the inlet swim on the 6 acre lake. My float fished sprat was sent on its path, along the far side of the flow, so that it would cut back behind the overhanging bushes to my left , this is the only way that I can get a bait into this position. when the float has reached the shelf and begins to drag bottom, I reel back until it is under the tree and in the zone.
About half an hour in and no response to the twitched sprats, then the float does a little jig, the twitching rod is reeled in and put safely out of the way. The float does another little jig , "a bit funny," I'm thinking, not like the normal pike bite that just runs off , then the float disappears only to jump straight back up again , and then it proceeds to sort of judder away. I strike and feel a good solid resistance, then it all goes haywire it looks like I've hooked about three different fish, as there are belly flashes all over the place, and the line keeps going from side to side , then a big eel comes to the surface,then goes backwards to where it had just come from. It creates carnage , there are bits and pieces of leave, branches, carrier bags and all sorts floating up to the surface of the water, which has now gone muddy all over the swim.
I'm thinking, how am I going to deal with this,I decide to get a picture of it in the water just incase I lose it at the net, as everytime I try to net it , the darn thing goes into reverse.
It was about 36" long, as when I did get it in it ,was as long as my unhooking mat.
This was it, finding its way back to the water, it was certainly the biggest eel that I have ever caught,
I know that some people target them specifically, but I am not that bothered about catching another one, thank you.
I went on take take one more pike, on a twitched sprat, and I lost what felt like a very special fish, on half a large sardine, float fished in the margin, This thing took off, and sent the clutch on my reel screaming, then the hook fell out . I thought that maybe I had set the clutch to lightly , when I tested it ,I had to give it a good old pull before it would give , so I might be back there soon .