Once again, and despite the seemingly favourable conditions, we struggled for bites. Gadget, Luke and Benno (in that order) all having takes which they failed to connect with. I was convinced that I'd caught my last pike and my tackle was now redundant; such was my confidence level. Having moved from my original swim to another some 300 yards further east, at 10.15hrs one of my home-made "back-biter" alarms registered a take and I was on the rod within a few seconds. Knowing how finicky these pike have been, I felt the line for signs of a fish before seeing the rod tip "nod" and feel the line tighten. Over with the bale arm and an upwards lift of the rod - fish on!
The fight wasn't particularly spectacular, nor was the fish, however I could not put into words how pleased I felt when I got this pike to my waiting landing net. She wasn't big, just a "scraper" double of 10lbs 9oz - yet I felt that a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders and the previous "blanks" were now behind me. I'd found a fish and presented my bait (a sweetened green dyed Mackerel tail) in such a manner that had produced, what turned out to be, the only fish of the session.
|My bloodied hands are a result of my contact with the "gill rakers" as I removed the hooks - no gain without pain!|
|My swim; tucked away - two Duncan Kay carp rods|
with two ABU Cardinal 66x reels - vintage stuff!
There are several little "tweaks" that I am now contemplating; all of which are to enhance the attractiveness of my dead baits in these murky conditions. Will I have improved returns - only time will tell; the beauty of specimen hunting. Birds were few and far between yet I managed to record two Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Waxwings, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Goldcrest along the canal with another Waxwing perched in a treetop next to the Pfizer car park, as we travelled back to Thanet. All in all - not a bad way to spend a morning.