I managed to forget to bring my reel with me! (what a tw**t ) Luckily Steve saved the day by lending me an old reel with some 10lb line on it. Even with such a thick line I still managed to cast through the small eyes of my match float rod. I could easily swing the float out a short distance to an enticing hole in the dead vegetation on the opposite bank.
The first few casts were spent getting the depth just right. Once I'd settled the float in a good position, I still only felt slightly confident and not too expectant in this peg for some odd reason? Soon I noticed Steve was into a fish when I heard splashing noises drifting upriver from his peg. On seeing him swing it in it was obviously just a small perch.
I looked back to check my float was but it had gone ! I quickly struck and low and behold I was in too, a similar sized fish to Steve's. This now lifted my confidence!
I re-baited and cast back out, but didn't have to wait too long before I saw the float moving towards the far bank then slide under the surface (what a lovely sight). I lifted the rod into the fish, this one felt better ! It came straight toward me and away from all the vegetation on the far bank, to my relief! In mid river it put up a decent fight, jagging and diving down but was no match for the 10lb mainline from Steve's reel and the 4lb reflo powerline hook length I was using.
After quite a spirited fight in middle I saw the flank of the fish and those unmistakable stripes. I knew it was another good one, possibly a real biggy ? I landed it and called Steve over, he guessed about right again giving it "just under 2lb". It weighed in at 1lb 11oz still a new PB for me on this river. It must be the most striking of all the Perch I have ever landed. Its defiant dorsal fin bristled out like Freddie Kruger's fingers the whole time it was on the bank, and those brilliant blood red fins were almost luminous.
"I've just gotta break the 2lb barrier now and beat my overall PB " !
River Blythe, March 2008
I finished the session with another small perch, I would have loved to have continued but the light was fading too much so that I couldn't see the float well enough to carry on. My next trip will be back on the Mease for Roach and Perch and maybe a sneaky Chub.
This is all dependant on the weather of course, as there is heavy rain forecast over the next few days, which might make the small rivers unfishable? Whatever I end up doing I hope I just have some decent catches to report for one of my last sessions on the rivers for this season !