Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. 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!


Tuesday 6 February 2024

On a hunch

 As predicted, yesterday, I returned to the RMC for the second day running knowing that the weather wasn't likely to be conducive for slumming it on the bank (no umbrella!). With the winds coming straight across Romney Marsh, gusting 50 mph at times, it certainly wasn't a walk in the park. Exactly the same set-up as I used yesterday, I dropped onto a section of the canal which I have walked past on many occasions, en route to my favoured areas. Why today? Well, over the past few weeks I have noticed that Cormorant activity has been focussed at this particular point. Now whilst I am no fan of these feathered critters, on freshwater venues, they are a fantastic help when looking for Pike fodder. It was a Canterbury/Thanet regional PAC meeting, probably ten years ago (when we used to meet in the C&DAA HQ in Sturry) that Ken Crow explained how, although not a direct threat to big Pike, Cormorants competed for the same food source. Their preferred prey size being similar to that of Esox lucius. Ever since Ken's input, I have used his advice, whenever applicable, to assist me with locating possible "holding areas" Obviously, given my recent results, I'm not struggling to find decent Pike along my chosen section of the RMC. This morning, with nothing to lose, I dropped onto this area just to have a look. Probably under a third of a mile from where I park the van, it is an absolute doddle to push the barrow this distance instead of the regular route march.

Two baits in the water by 07.00 hrs, I watched several groups of Cormorants attempting to land along the section, although being deterred by my presence. Surely they knew that there was a decent stock of sizable "silver fish" present, thus exactly what the local Pike will need to prey upon in the run up to spawning? Well, all I can say is it was never going to be hectic. It was just before 09.55 hrs that my left hand rod finally received a bite as the Siren R3 signalled the rise of a monkey up the angled needle. Quickly onto the rod, I went through the usual ritual before setting the hooks. Bloody hell, it was a very angry Pike on the other end of my kit. With the wind howling across the open expanse behind me, it was quite a surreal experience to crouch down on the water's edge and play this fish in the shelter of the raised bank behind me. Once netted, I knew it was another good'un. Quite how good would be revealed when I placed it in the weighing sling. 19 lbs 12 oz being the most honest weight I could register. With the wind playing havok, the scales hovered between 19.12 and 20.00 lbs, yet there was no way I needed to kid myself, so settled on the lower reading safe in the knowledge that I was lying to no-one.

It wasn't until I arrived back home that the magnitude of the capture actually came to the fore. It is the same Pike as I caught on Thursday, at 20 lbs 8 oz, some half a mile further along the canal. This Pike fishing caper has to be the craziest roller coaster my angling journey has ever experienced? It will probably be a week, or so, before I get back out with the rods, so birds and hedgehogs will have to step up to the plate?

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