As sessions go that has to be one of the most frustrating i’ve endured. I must have had rocks in my head to start with by going out when the temperature was a head melting 28 degrees c. I’m not good with hot weather and you know you’re going to suffer when you’re sweating like mad and you’re not even moving.
I arrived on the river about 3pm and with the sun high in the sky I wasn’t really expecting anything to happen until late evening and into the dark. But you’ve got to be in it to win it and as I sat there starting at the quivertips it was still a whole lot better than being stuck behind a computer screen.
A couple of hours in and my concentration started to wane a little so I started to fanny about with some of my stuff. That was the first mistake as the next second I looked up to see the right hand rod buckled over with the tip doing it’s best nodding dog impression. Why does it always happen when you take you’ve eye off the ball for a second? I struck into what felt like a really good fish. I knew it was better than the one’s i’d been getting recently because it just sat there really angry shaking it’s head a couple of times before it gave a little. Then it decided to make for a snag and I didn’t really have a good angle to get control of it. I applied as much pressure as I could before the hook pulled. Gutted isn’t a word I use often but this felt like a good Zander and these chances don’t come around often so I was left ruing whether i’d missed my chance for the day.
With that in mind I thought i’d try something different on one of the rods. I’d got some rig foam that I used for popping up lobworms when Perch fishing so decided to take some of it and pop up a section of deadbait about a foot off the bottom. On the other rod i’d leave the bait on the bottom and just see how things panned out. I cast the popped up section further out into the current just to mix it up a bit. Within a minute the tip started to tap. I looked at it wondering if it was the current buffeting the popped up deadbait before the tip jagged round. The resultant strike met with thin air so out went the bait again into the flow and within a minute it started doing the same thing again. This time I struck straight away and a fish was on. It wasn’t that much of a scrap and I wondered if in fact it was a Perch but then up popped a little Zander. It was like perfection in miniature.
I put the bait out again expecting more instant success but the next hour passed uneventful so I decided to bring it back closer in. A fresh bait was put on together with the rig foam and a short cast was made. The bait had barely been in the water five minutes when I noticed the right hand rod tip pull round a couple of times. While I was sat waiting to see what happened the tip of the popped up bait started to knock and I struck into another fish. This one felt better and fought like a tiger but it wasn’t like the lump i’d lost earlier. One thing I did notice though is that both fish that were taken on the pooped up bait were hooked solidly in the scissors.
Evening turned into night and I decided to switch the rods around and fish the popped up section on the right hand rod for a change. I started to get bites on both rods but concentrating on the betalights was really difficult for some reason and the bites were that quick that i couldn’t hit them. When I did strike there was nothing there. Things weren’t helped by the weed swirling around that the swans had dislodged which was catching the line.
As is usually the case I was just starting to think things weren’t going to happen when I had what can only be described as a strange bite on the left hand rod which now had the bottom bait on it. The rod tip pulled over in a manner that it would if some weed had got caught on it. The trouble is it pulled over too fast for it to be weed so I left it only for the rod tip to spring back and pull violently over. The strike met with nothing as is usually the case. I was convinced that it was a bite though so I cast to the same spot again thinking i’d blown my chance. Not two minutes later the same thing happened again only this time I struck straight away and immediately felt a fish on the other end. Slowly it came towards me before the hook pulled again. WTF is it with losing fish at the minute.
I cast to the same spot again and this time I really wasn’t expecting another bite but the rod did the exact same again only more violently and again I struck into thin air. I checked the bait and the hook to make sure everything was in order. The bait wasn’t marked and the hook was sharp so I cast back to the same spot. Unbelievably it happened a fourth time and this time another fish was on. I applied side strain to keep it away from the other line and just when I thought i’d got the better of it the hook came free again. I wish I knew what it was that was doing it. The only bite i’d had like that that I can think of was when I got my one and only cat from the trent but this didn’t feel like a cat. It didn’t feel like a zander either but to get so many bites in such a short space of time that would be likely culprit if there was a shoal of them out there. I also wondered if it was an eel but I doubt an eel would come back and have a go four times particularly after it had already been hooked. Whoever the culprit was it certainly made for a weird experience.
I don’t know what’s more frustrating, getting the bites and missing them or hooking the fish and losing them. I’m tempted to go back later to give it another go but with so many late nights recently I feel like I should probably try and catch up on some sleep. Tarra for a bit.