The aside to this perch search is the unexplored pike potential that exists in the same drains. I'm certainly more confident with my pike angling techniques, than anything perch orientated, and have experienced many more bites to this rod, fished "snide on the side", during my recent excursions. Nothing big, that 8 lbs 14 oz fish being the best, so far, from this particular system. It doesn't matter how many of these magnificent predators I catch, there will never be a bite registered that doesn't set my pulse racing. I think that this is due to the simple fact that I am unable to offer a bait which can be labelled "Big Pike Only!" and the bite alarm will sound the same whether the fish weighs three or thirty pounds!
I took three rods, to the marsh, on Friday afternoon, deliberately seeking pike. The superb afternoon sunshine being as far from ideal perch conditions as I could describe. Strangely, however, the pike didn't respond either and I came home having experienced a comprehensive blank, my arse well and truly kicked! Nothing else for it but to dust myself down and get back out for another attempt, the morning forecast being much the same. A quick check with Bev and I was on my way at 05.00 hrs, today, headed down to the Royal Military Canal. Just two rods, because that's the rules and there is a bailiff, my pair of Duncan Kay's fitted with Matt Haye's centre-pins fishing two popped up tail sections (Bluey and Mackerel).
The dawn was spectacular, as the sun rose over the surrounding marshes, the roaring lions at Port Lympne adding to the ambience and expectations. Although I was the first to arrive, four other anglers turned up within an hour of sun rise, two float fishing for "silvers" the other pair pike fishing. We all settled into a section of the canal some 400 m in length, to do our own thing. At 07.50 hrs I experienced a "dropped run" which certainly had me scratching my head. How cute are these canal pike? Nothing about the take suggested eel activity; I'd simply been done over! I fished on with my plan to pack up around 10.00 hrs. 09.30 hrs came and went and it looked like my nets would remain dry for another session when, completely out of the blue, my right hand rod was away and I found myself in battle with a powerful fish which had no intentions of seeing my un-hooking mat. It was an amazing fight, the bloody thing tail walked away from the landing net on one occasion, before it finally succumbed to the pressure of a straining compound taper and I was able to scoop up my prize. The other guys were suitably impressed, by the scrap, and quickly came along to witness the unhooking and weighing ritual. It was a splendid pike, weighing in at 18 lbs 4 oz (after a lot of faffing about!) and my best from this particular section by some measure. A quick phone call secured me an extra hour, or two, although I shouldn't have bothered as my day was done; not another peep from the alarms.
|Both flanks of this magnificent wild fish.|