Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Out of the corner of my eye...

At last, after many months of stop-start fishing, the canal seems to be a place where life is in full swing. Fish of all species seem to be on the move, and feeding freely. Fishing has becoming really great fun, the lovely rudd has put me in such a great frame of mind that I really don't care what I catch right now
, and though I'm still after those elusive big roach, I'm letting them come when they come. Softly, softly...

First of all I had to see if there were any more rudd lurking under the bushes, so I arranged a dawn session. The water was clearer than I have ever seen it before, and it was quiet, so quiet in fact that I felt an intruder, my sense of myself heightened and made aware of how clumsy my arrival was. Twenty minutes in and I felt part of it, like I had a rightful place in it, but until I'd settled properly, every movement was too loud, too much, too human.

A string of small perch were the first to bite, and this was a little disconcerting, but I needn't have worried because an hour later a half pound roach came to the net, followed by another next cast a little larger and fatter. Another bite came right after, and I thought I might have some fluent roach fishing for once, but I bumped the fish and after that the roach did what wild roach like to do, and promptly vanished. They were perfection though, not a scale out of place, so I didn't mind.

The swim fell quiet and I just sat waiting for the sun to warm the air and save me from having dressed a little too light for the spring dawn. After half an hour of inactivity, and just when I was contemplating a move, on the edge of peripheral vision I saw a couple of fry flip energetically right out of the water beside the far bank bushes thirty yards East . Big perch, I thought, and so I brought in a rod and loaded a big worm on the size fourteen, a hook that looked ridiculously small in such a large bait but worth a try anyhow, and flicked it out where the splash had been. The float cocked, I looked down to adjust the reel, looked back to check the float, and it was gone!

I struck into a fierce and determined resistance that just had to be the perch that had scared the fry. It came to the net after it had expended its energy, and I thought it looked huge, possibly a two pounder, but on the scales it only went one pound seven ounces; I really think my sense of fish proportion has been severely affected by the catching of such small perch one after the other that anything of real size seems enormous by comparison! Never mind, it was a good fish, not a looker by any means with its stripes barely visible and its short ragged tail, but my largest canal perch by a few ounces nonetheless. The little hook looked miniscule beside it, but it had done the job.

I put the worm back out and it too went straight under, but taken by a much smaller fish. Next cast same thing, but this time a another larger fish that slipped the hook, and after that, nothing. Hmmm, perhaps early mornings are the right time for the bigger perch? We'll see.

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