Sunday 30 September 2012

The one that got away

The kids and me were on the way to my Mom & Dads for another quick visit about 6:00pm, lure fishing tackle was in the boot.

"Fancy half hour on the canal" I said.
" Oh not fishing" said Hollie.
"Yes, come on just a quick go before the light goes, I'll let you have a go too" I said trying to induce some enthusiasm from them both.

After a short walk I was casting across the canal, whilst the kids sat quietly on a wall playing games on my phone and the NDS.

Working the soft 4play for a while without any signs of a take I decided to move 20 yards down to cast to a reed bed. I had a few casts around then finally felt a hit but the fish came free as it surfaced. It looked silvery like a zed to me and knowing from experience that they will normally take a dead bait straight away again if they slip the hook, I quickly cast back over the spot where it came free to see if they would do the same with a lure.  There was another pull and a fish was on, this was a small jack though, maybe I'd been wrong about seeing a zed I don't know? but I wasn't too bothered I'd got a fish on and now I just needed to land it so I could show the kids their first pike.

Jacob keeps his fingers well back
Photo's were taken and the kids were excited although Jacob wasn't too sure about the pikes teeth (he's not daft Dad).  Hollie suddenly became interested in fishing again and wanted a go on the rod, so I let her reel in a few casts I made for her.  It's difficult to impart all your years of experience to someone who has barely even held a rod very much let alone reeled a lure in an acceptable fashion that will fool a fish, (hell, I'm not really that experienced with lures myself yet).

After a few iffy retrieves I had an inspired thought on how I could slow down her erratic winding.  "Just reel in time to one potato two potato" I said and let her do it without my guiding hand reminding her not to forget to gently flick the rod tip now and again to make the lure flutter up in the water. As I watched Hollie retrieve the lure back near to the bank I wondered if she would achieve just the right action without any old habits to iron out,  then the rod suddenly pulled round in a full curve down toward the water a few feet from the edge of the tow path in front of us. Fully expecting it to have snagged on a branch or some other debris, I grabbed the rod near the spigot and pulled it towards me to lift the offending snag. It turned out to be a large long greeny - yellowy gold spotty shape  that rose up in the water. My senses snapped into realisation as a fish of good double proportions "lolled" on the surface.  I uttered Jesus, or bloody hell look at the size of that or something.  Hollie now just instinctively handed the rod over to me and she rushed off to grab the net that was about 8ft behind us.  The pike now realised something was up and dived pulling the rod tip down further.  Before I had chance to react and give it some line the single treble hook pulled and the fish was off !

It was a mixture of elation in that the lure had succeeded in tempting a decent fish and gutting disappointment that I'd managed to lose it. But I suppose if the hook hasn't got hold properly then there's not a lot you can do. The points still felt sharp so it was just unlucky I think.  Hollie wasn't that bothered though and seemed pleased enough just to have seen it and that was almost as good as actually catching it for her.  I just wished that we'd landed it for a photo of Hollie and me holding her first pike, a probable 12 or 13lb fish !! Still there's always next time.

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