There can be no denying my Pike angling campaign, along the Royal Military Canal, has been a real roller-coaster ride. When it's good the Pike fishing is superb, but I have struggled to maintain consistency due to my lack of experience (at this particular section of the venue) and the varied/unsettled weather patterns. Obviously the longer, I've been involved, the more I've learned about the behavioural nuances of the Pike within the venue. Yet, every time I think the stars are beginning to align, I discover myself chasing shadows and side-tracked down some, Pike free, cul-de-sac.
|8th November 1981 - my first "twenty"|
Still; if it were easy, there would be little point in setting myself a challenge. At this juncture, in my angling journey, the canal is providing everything I require, and some! Four weeks, and a couple of days, until the end of the 2021/22 Pike season and it's looking good for me to achieve the goals I'd set myself way back in October. What have I learned? Probably the most important lesson has been the realisation that, even at my age, there is so much more I have to discover. It is pointless dwelling on past success if I am to remain current and give myself the best opportunity to keep fish coming to the landing net. I've been lucky enough to have caught some magnificent Pike, over the years, my first "twenty" being taken from a Kodak fishery in November 1981. It's weird that these fish still have an ability to keep me enthused in their pursuit yet, every time a bite alarm signals a bite, it's like I am still that "spotty oik" right back at the beginning of the adventure. I'm anxious, nervous, excited, at the prospect of doing battle with the UK's apex predator and long may it continue. The "buzz" from the latest "twenty" still persists and I regularly find myself drooling over the images that both Kevin, and myself, took last Tuesday morning. Nowhere close to my PB, it doesn't matter a jot. It was a Pike that I'd dreamt about since the inception of the RMC Pike project at the start of October. Three twenties in a season has been a bench mark, for me, since I achieved a similar total in the 1986/7 season. In that one, however, I only had one other "double"!. Such was the obsessive pursuit of "big fish", the also rans didn't figure in the equation. It was a period when my mind-set was focussed solely around a concept of big waters = big fish. The RMC couldn't be more different if I wanted it to be?
|22nd December 1986 - the second twenty of that|
Pike season (23 lbs 5 oz) from Wilstone Res. Tring.
However, the passing of thirty odd years ensures that common sense and experience have a far greater role in daily life than way back in those crazy, selfishly single-minded, times when obsession was the dominant factor in my existence. The next month on the banks of the RMC have the potential to re-set the benchmark for what I am able to achieve within a Pike season. Not too sure that I'll ever want to commit to another, single species, project over such a lengthy period, I will happily see where this particular campaign leads me? I'm already writing the blog post which will summarise my 2021/22 campaign and, hopefully, provide some insight into my approach to this particular venue and the Pike which live within the murky waters.
|17th February 2013 - my first "twenty" from the RMC|
If only I'd known where it would lead me?