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For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
I don't often lose a lure but this week I did. I was fishing the river with my little J9F black and silver Rapala. It goes down perhaps twenty or thirty centimetres and on the 20lb Nanofil it casts as far as I ever need to so I can cover pools and riffles of all kinds without problems. I always have a short wire trace as an 'anti-pike' measure and, as far as I can tell, it doesn't put anything off.
Anyway, I was having a bit of a thin time. Almost as soon as I started I'd hooked and lost a decent pike. The fish took on the other side of a wide pool and for some reason came unstuck after perhaps a minute of rushing about - unusual!!! I pressed on downstream without a bite before coming to a fast flowing, weedy stretch. At this point I was wading in the river and casting down and across. Suddenly everything went solid and despite employing all my usual 'lure freeing' strategies it was soon clear that there was nothing for it but a steady pull. Of course the line broke. I waded as close as I dared to the lost lure but despite the polaroids and several minutes of peering into the waving weeds I couldn't see the plug so I had to leave it.
Since I was now forced to tie on a new trace and lure I decided that I might as well try something different. In the box was a little chubby plug coloured in shades of bronze and gold. It was a shallow diving floater so on it went. At first I had a few problems with casting because it was more compact than the Rapala and tended to cast at higher velocity, so it was a bit trickier to plop it in inches from the far bank than I was used to. However, after dragging it back out of the reeds and grasses a few times I soon got the hang of it and made my way downstream casting into all the likely spots. To my annoyance I missed a strong pull in the shallow tail of a pool so I muttered a few oaths about the new lure but in truth I knew it was probably just chance - I always miss a few takes. I came to a deep, slow stretch with trees under the far bank. I cast up and across and about half way through my retrieve there was a hard tug and I was in. 'Pike' I thought and as the fish took a bit of line it seemed to be a reasonable one. I couldn't see what I'd hooked because it stayed deep and came in under the reeds on my bank.
By stretching the rod out at arms length over the high vegetation I managed to steer the fish upstream to a spot where I could slither down and land it. To my surprise it proved to be a chub of about four pounds. The fish had certainly fought in a more lively fashion than most chub that I catch so I was quite pleased. After returning the fish I continued spinning for perhaps ten minutes but it was time for me to pack in. Must get myself a replacement Rapala this week.
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