Friday, 15 March 2013

Ending better than expected ...

Once in a while the angling gods throw you a bone to remind you why you keep slogging away at this fishing lark.

Here's one they threw me earlier !

20lb 2oz Canal Beauty
 
With the close of the rivers yesterday I headed to the canal for the last hour or so up to last light. The new rods I've agreed to buy from Andy needed testing out, so a quick session on the canal was to be their first outing.  Unfortunately it seemed the recent cold weather had put the fish down and I struggled for a bite in the first area despite leapfrogging up and down the reed beds. It was one of those sessions when you think it will be a hopeless mission ending in the inevitable blank. I tried an area further along the canal that I thought might produce but it was almost not worth the long walk. Spotting two groups of muntjac crossing through the horse paddocks made up for the extra leg work though. I even managed to get the camera ready in time to take a shot of the male in one of the groups just missing the mother and baby walking ahead just out of shot.
 
 
The "Daddy" Muntjac
 
 
Anyway enough of the alien wildlife, back to the fishing ....
 
 I headed to another stretch further down the canal for the last part of the session and leapfrogged along another set of dead reeds having to pull my baits out of the water  a few times because of boats passing through. Just one of the necessary evils of canal fishing, and no point moaning about the boaters as they are usually friendly and courteous enough, besides if it wasn't for their efforts in the recent couple of decades alot of our canals would most probably be filled in by now.
 
The boat traffic finally died down and I moved up to the final swim before packing up. The rods were in for about half an hour before I decided to start bringing the rods in to put away. With the last one  still in the water I twitched the bait back with a flick every so often, then waited to see if this would induce a take. At about the middle of the boat track the float started to move sideways then down and I instinctively lifted the rod and felt it hoop over. I initially thought it was snagged on some canal debris until the snag started taking line. The fish tore off up the canal but was turned and came straight back in front of me, I clocked the size of it and managed to keep surprisingly calm. I got the net ready and tried to draw her over the chord, she was having none of that and tore of again. Soon I had her back up on the top and drew her smoothly over the net chord again. I seemed to run out of leverage making for a scary moment when the tail end was still hanging over the wrong side of the net, I shoved the net forwards to scoop her up and she was in.
 
A passing dog walker helped me to unhook her by passing the tools I needed from my bag and was then roped in to take the photo's. Gutted about the quality but with darkness closing in fast it was the best I could get in the low light levels. Cheap point n' click digital cameras work best in full daylight but are next to useless in the half light of dusk as it always seems to mess with the sensors giving a blurred or un-focused shot like this below, still I got the one reasonable shot at least.
 
 
To say I was chuffed is an understatement as I've been hoping for a decent fish from this stretch for a couple of years now.  To beat my pb was better than I ever expected.
 



17 comments:

  1. Stunning fish, well done. just goes to show that persistence pays. I keep telling myself that so hopefully I'll reap rewards too one day :-)

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    1. Thanks John, just keep trying mate.

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  2. Well done Lee, great fish and proof that those rumoured 'twenties' of the canal I keep hearing of from boaters really do exist outside their imaginations!

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    1. Cheers Jeff, they will be in there mate. Feeding on them all them bite size bream shoals !!

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  3. Eh that's bloody ace mate, well done!

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  4. Awesome result lee! Congrats on your PB :-)

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  5. Great fish for a canal, well done. Glad your hard work paid off with a new PB.

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  6. Thanks both, a good fish now and again does wonders for your confidence, was in great nick too. Trouble is I want another one now!

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  7. Just seen this Lee,that is a brilliant fish well done, I bet you are over the moon and chuffed to bits no doubt, it looks in fine fettle too.

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    1. Cheers Mark, yes it was in great condition, always good to see.

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  8. Well done Lee - I had bigger but from a canal is something else again, brilliant effort.

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    1. Thanks Phil, it took a few goes to get it but well worth the effort.

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  9. Can't believe I missed this earlier Lee. Fantastic result mate, what a cracking fish. chuffed to bits for you mate. Great report too, enjoyed the read. Lures and baits both have claim to good fish, but I do wonder why some people spend so long behind a static bait. Your result shows that sometimes the pike just need a little bit more encouragement.

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    1. Cheers paul, it was a great fish, need to get one on the lure rod now. I'll certainly be giving it a good go this year.

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