I had just a couple of hours window this morning before the wife went to work at 9:00am, just enough time to get some lure fishing in if I got there early enough. Arriving just before 7:00am the canal was disappointingly murky and coloured, but then I don't know why I was surprised as it always is on this part of the canal. Luckily I decided to bring a deadbait rod too which I let fish to my side on the float ledger backed up with front alarm and drop off indicator should I miss the float going while I fanned the lure rod around the swim.
There was a slight breeze putting a chop on the water and visibility was probably down as low as a foot or so. In water this coloured I could only really hope to drag a lure past the nose of any preds lurking on the bottom in order to stir them into an instinctive strike. After a while I put on a small dead roach on the lip skull hoping that the added scent factor might give it an added edge? It didn't achieve anything though and with the last 15 mins of my session arriving I thought about a move down to the next dead reeds 20 m away. The deadbait though, had been cast to a little gap in the flaccid dormant reed line. I had one of those feelings you sometimes get when your instinct tells you to wait a few minutes more. The lip skull roach became a impromptu freelined deadbait and was cast to the reeds and the rod put on the alarm rests, whilst I set the other rod on the deck and watched the float. With the minutes now ticking down fast to my deadline the float suddenly came to life and started to move across the surface and into the reeds, I hit the take and the fish shot out towards me and I thought I'd pulled the bait away empty handed for a second. The rod hooped over as I caught up with the fish and it was quickly played into the safety of my waiting net.
A nice looking but very pale silvery fish that reminded of the barracuda I've seen on scuba diving trips abroad in the past. Pale or not a fish is a fish and at just about 9lb it was very welcome on a cold March morning in the last throes of winter.
Not long left now if your still hoping to get out on the rivers - I might just be sneaking a day out in the week so lets hope the rain hold off till after Thursday eh! Then it's still waters till June and those spring tench to look forward to come mid April if the cold weather backs off a bit.
Tight lines etc etc...