Monday, 22 March 2010
Attack of the Jacks
Canals always have a special place in my heart. They may not always contain monsters but what a beautiful, intimate setting a long, clear water such as the Taunton to Bridgewater Canal makes. Even the less productive parts look dead fishy and whereas I sometimes find my spirits dulled sitting it out on bigger, tougher places, a canal is always full of interest. Each new swim offers fresh promise, every cast another chance.
My weekend escapade was with fellow pike man Seb Nowosiad once again as we enjoyed mile after mile of reedy straights and snaggy corners. We found the fish quickly enough, but with bright light and low water levels you got the feeling they spotted us quickly enough too. In fact, it was a real illustration of just how vital conditions can be. We had struggled in the sunshine, a succesion of pike sulking away as we crept along. A little cloud cover and a healthy ripple on the water, however, and it was a different story as the pike lost their earlier caution and started to give our lures and flies a battering.
And so the pattern continued: many metres of bright skies and slow sport, punctuated by cooler, cloudier spells and some ballistic takes. One purple patch, about three miles from our starting point, saw a dramatic flurry of action. It was terrific fun; good banter, lots of laughter and the odd expletive as we missed takes. Seb took a cracking nine fish to his soft baits, whilst I picked up six on the fly rod, including a perfect little perch which had been butting into Seb's lures before sucking in my little streamer:
Delightful fishing in good company then, with plenty of fairly small but very scrappy pike. I only wish the day had been as positive for fellow PAC RO Ian Nadin on Tiverton Canal, as his was soured by encountering three seperate groups of immigrants poaching the canal. Ian is desperate to do something about this before the water is decimated. It takes more than one angler to challenge these groups however. The simple fact is that we need more bailiffs- or at least people prepared to break the silence with these individuals and that means ALL of us. Nobody puts themself at grave risk for politely checking that others are aware of the rules. And as per usual, the silence of the majority is what allows a minority of rule breakers to go unchecked.