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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition, that was until Covid-19 intervened!. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Saturday, 20 October 2018

Head scratching

Session number five, of the current campaign, and, whoopee do, I finally get a bite on lob worm. However, my joy was short-lived as, I was immediately bitten off by a pike as soon as the hook link tightened. A small pike to my "other" rod, cast along the drain about summarises the session, but for an encounter with my first Beaver along this particular section of the dykes. What am I to do next? I daren't scratch my head too hard; I'll get a splinter!

Deep holes and extensive beds of cabbages; surely it's only a matter of time before I locate a perch or two?
Given the knowledge that Gareth has accrued, during his own campaign, it would be stupid of me to ignore the success that worms have provided him. Therefore, I am now going to concentrate my perch location exercise using link legered lob worms (with a tweak or two) whilst hedging my bets by using the second rod to present a dead bait for the pike. Why's that? Well, I had the good fortune to meet with a young couple, yesterday, who were very familiar with this section of the drains and also aware of the fish that the system contains. They were to confirm the presence of perch, to well in excess of three pounds, one of their nephews had captured such a specimen. Plus they recalled a tale they'd been told (accompanied by photos) of a "huge" pike taken last winter. "In excess of thirty pounds!" being the guy's estimation. Now I'm getting a little too long in the tooth and way too cynical to take any of this stuff seriously; a wild pike over twenty pounds is rare enough, a thirty akin to winning the Lottery. It doesn't really matter to me how big that pike was, it certainly had something about it for the captor to take a photo (but no scales?) and share his experience with others. So now I have a mystery fish, an alternate target to seek, as I wander around the venue, dropping on to various spots as the whim takes me. I'll keep an open mind as to the growth potential of pike in this system until I've experience of a few more. Pike are probably the species, above all others, that I have a consistent history of capture going right back to the 1980's and given this background I feel confident whenever I fish for them.

How big? You have a guess - pike are physically big fish, way beyond the
 experience of many pleasure anglers.
(The true weight of this pike will appear at the end of this post)
Tales of big pike have been part and parcel of angling ever since I can remember. Stories of the one that got away, always a monster, being recalled with monotonous regularity by bailiffs and blokes in pubs as I've travelled around the countryside during my angling odyssey. The common denominator in all these fishy tales is the fact that it is the biggest fish they've ever seen. Straight away, the tale enters a different dimension due to witness inexperience. Pike are big fish, a pike over fifteen pounds has a body length in excess of 30" in these wild environs, twenties quite often measure a metre or more. Folk who are used to roach, perch, tench and, even, carp won't have come into contact with fish of this size with any regularity and their minds run away with reality as a consequence.

Pike on! Bent rod out on the flatlands - wooden centre-pin to boot.
Not too many of these in use in 2018?
With this secondary project tagged on to the original challenge, there is a fair chance that this dual purpose scenario might see me through the bulk of the winter period focused around the one drainage complex? There's always several other options open to me, should I feel the need of a change of scenery or recharge my batteries at any time. As with all my angling, there are no time parameters or rules to abide by, barring the mandatory close season which applies to the drains of the entire East Kent marshlands.
* The weight of that pike is a few ounces over 22 lbs 



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