Monday, 2 November 2009

Blood and Slime!

A crack at the Stratford roach...
Winter is in the air and the roach season is about to start, if it has not already done so...

Keith has to nab one over a certain weight for his fishing competition and also try to beat his zander target too, so we went down to fish the Stratford town waters opposite the theatre last Tuesday night in pursuit of both. I was after roach only so set up two feeder rods and fished bread on long tails
, Keith put out an eel section for the zander and fished bread for roach.

I had a roach of about ten ounces almost as soon as we'd settled, and of course we then thought we were in for a good roach session as the light faded. The next bite came to my rod and it was a slow affair, just a solid slow pull round of the rod top as if weed had snagged the line but the strike met a heavy living resistance that was now taking line! Carp? It moved off on a ponderous powerful run that could not be stopped but as there were no snags to reach anywhere out front it didn't matter, but then the fish was off. I reeled in to find a snapped hook-link, the line having parted far beneath its breaking strain. A wind knot perhaps, or an unseen nick in the line? It happens...

Keith was having weed problems but my peg was clean. He eventually found clear ground half way across the wide sluggish canal that the river is at this point and started to pick up bites. I had a bream and then he did too. In the full darkness the bites slowed down considerably for me but I had a steady catch of bites missed and bites hit, all resulting in bream and all falling to the one rod - why this should be I really don't know, the end tackle was near identical and cast to pretty much the same general positions and I even swapped the rods over left for right at one point but the pattern still persisted...

Fishing really is a funny business, I mean if I had elected to fish just the one rod, and in some swims this is the only way, then would one rod catch on the day and the other not? No, there can't be anything in it, surely?

Keith had been having the occasional pluck on the zander rod and eventually he struck into something large mid stream. It was going to be a fine zander if zander it was, but eventually the fish came into the beam of two headlamps as it neared the waiting net and we saw a pike. The trouble now was that the net I was offering up was just a little roach pan and this was clearly a fish over double figures! I failed on the first attempt and the fish had a brief reprieve but Keith kept its head up and clear and I just managed to squeeze it in on the second attempt and then hauled Keith's prize up to the grassy bank behind us.

A great looking fish of twelve and a half pounds!

Keith was already sporting eel and bream slime and then during the unhooking procedure caught a pike tooth on his ungloved hand and bled for the next hour due to the pikes anti-coagulant saliva!

Nice job for the missus!

I had a few more bream after this with my last my largest at around four pounds and all falling to the very same rod that had seen all the action all evening! Keith had a further bream of the same stamp before bites ceased and it was time to go.

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