My season took a sharp nose dive when I screwed my back again, all of my plans were abruptly shelved and my momentum was lost. As one who frequently needs a sharp toe cap in the trousers to attain a modest degree of motivation, this was a serious hiatus and I knew I would need to be jump started back into action.
Mixed metaphors aside, as my mobility improved I found that I wasn't as eager to fish as I should be, I needed a goal. I was reluctant to target barbel for now, the Wye season rapidly comes to a close as the weather chills and I wanted to spend this time of the year after perch and roach. So, that is what I opted for and off I went to my carp lake armed with float gear, feeder rods and a mixture of baits.
Cutting to the chase, I have to say that results have been modest. I've caught dozens of fish but nothing of specimen size and the main lake has seemed almost devoid of life. I did contemplate a carp session but it seemed like a lot of effort - I guess I'm just lazy.
I have tried a couple of times for perch on the river but I'm fast coming to the conclusion that targeting them is quite hard work. Better to be equipped with a standby rod or spinning outfit and grab an opportunity should it arise as each time I've targeted a known perch swim they have been absent or at least they have not been chasing the fry to any degree.
The other day I was given some information about an enormous pike that grabbed a 4lb barbel as it was being played. Now that is motivation but there's more to catching fish like this than just having a clue to its location, but I'll try.
I went to the river today with an open mind. I had a selection of baits with me, left overs from the last lake trip. I was amazed at how warm it was today, hardly predator fishing conditions but I decided to split my attentions between two rods. The first was sent downstream a few yards with a pva bag full of small cream and pineapple boiles, well, conditions were great for a barbel so I would be daft to ignore the fact.
In front of me I fished with a feeder baited with soaked pellets, hemp, maggots and chopped worms, on the hook went a lobworm. My cunning plan was to draw all manner of fish to this smorgasbord which would hopefully mean one of two things. First, loads of small fish would gather around the feeder which, in turn, may attract a good perch or two and if not, then a decent chub or barbel may grab the worm. Second, any fish attracted to the scent would pass the lower rod and the boilies should sort out a fish or two.
I was bothered by tiddlers trying to steal the worm but nothing could get it into it's mouth. The boilie rod was untouched for an hour and a half so I changed to a CSL boilie. Five minutes later I had a bite! The fish fought hard and stayed deep in the strong current. It went about seven and a half, maybe eight pounds and was immaculate, Wye fish are beautiful in the Autumn.
I carried on but slowly, I could feel my back seizing up. I sat back, reluctant to move as conditions just felt right. I knew another fish was coming it was just a matter of when.
In the mean time I watched the changing colours in the sky and listened to and watched the various bird life going about it's business. I saw a sparrow hawk swoop at a kingfisher! The raptor got wet feet and the kingfisher the fright of it's life but tranquility was soon restored.
Light was fading, 'how long shall I give it?' I was asking myself when the downstream rod folded around and line poured from the spool. This fish stayed deep like the first but it felt bigger, there was always a sensation of weight and, for a fish of its size, it had plenty of energy. When it eventually surfaced and slid across the edge of the net I was happy that it would go nine plus and I nearly left it at that and slipped it back but I had a look as I unhooked it and decided to put a number on it. I was glad I did, it went 10.7.
More than satisfied I packed and went home. I still don't know what I shall target on my next trip but that pike is in my thoughts ;-)