Catch Fish with
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).
Still not what I was after.
This week I've made three more attempts to catch seatrout from my local river. Each trip was in the evening and I fished for about an hour or an-hour-and-a-half. The first visit was a blank. Well, in fact I did have a bite on my last cast. I was spinning with the usual little Rapala and I'd just packed in and was walking back to the car. As I passed a little sidestream I thought I'd have a flick to see if there was anything there. The light was failing but the water was pretty clear so I could see the little plug wiggling its way back. It was almost under the rod tip when a silver fish rushed out and made a splashy grab at it. In the split second's view that I had I reckoned it was probably a seatrout, but I couldn't be certain. Of course I tried a couple more last casts after that but, unsurprisingly, the fish was no longer interested.
A couple of days later I went again. This time I started fishing a bit later (about 20:00 hr), on a very weedy stretch. It wasn't easy to find fishable gaps in the weed but I gave it a good go with no sign of anything until I reached a short, wide, shallow pool. It was getting a bit gloomy and I was quite hopeful, so when the lure was in mid-river and the rod suddenly yanked round it wasn't a total surprise. There was a splash and a swirl as the fish took but it didn't jump. However, I was still hopeful when a couple of strong runs took line against the clutch. The fish fought well but the chances of it being a seatrout diminished rapidly when it failed to show itself. When it eventually came into view I could see the long, green shape of a modest pike. Never mind! At least it was a fish. I slid it into the net and drew it ashore to have its picture taken - perhaps 3kg in weight. I had no more bites before it was time to go home.
The pike which took my little plug.
A closer view of the lure.
For my third session I decided to fish at the upstream end of the beat. Now this bit is totally unmanaged and, with a dense growth of nettles, dropwort and thistles almost up to my shoulders, access wasn't easy. I pressed on as far upstream as it was possible to go and, by pushing down the bankside vegetation to make a bit of a gap for the rod, I was able to cast down and across to the far bank before retrieving. It wasn't easy fishing but I worked my way downstream fishing each accessible bit of water as I went. I'd probably slogged my way through about 100m of 'jungle' without a sign of a fish when I felt a pluck just after the lure plopped in. At this point the water was shallow and fast flowing. The fish wasn't hooked and I decided that it must have been a small trout, but at least it was encouraging.
I struggled on down a little further, but it was hard work pushing through the dense plants. The water began to deepen as I approached a bend. At this point, reed growth on my bank made further progress impossible. There was just room for a couple of casts before I'd have to go back. I swung the rod and the lure dropped in about a metre from the far bank. The rod tip had barely begun to vibrate when the plug was grabbed and the culprit thrashed heavily at the surface. At last I was into a fish.
At first I thought that the splashing fish wasn't very big, could it be the desired seatrout? The culprit continued to thrash at the surface for a few seconds before submerging and making a short run downstream. Not very trouty behaviour I thought. I regained a few metres of line and felt that it was probably going to be a short tussle, then the fish woke up and made a long, unstoppable downstream run against the clutch. I pressed my finger on the edge of the spool as hard as I dared to try and slow its progress. Eventually the pressure told and I was able to regain a bit of line. Several more strong runs followed but the fish never broke the surface again. By now I was almost certain that it wasn't a seatrout. Eventually, when I'd worked it near enough for a clear view, I saw the silver flank of a good sized salmon.
The bank wasn't too high close to where I stood, and there was an area of slack water - an ideal place to net the fish I thought. I was determined not to make the mistake of using the net too soon, for fear of getting a hook tangled in the meshes. A few minutes of give and take passed and the salmon was now tiring, so I placed the net in the water. I lifted the rod to slide the fish into my net, which was barely big enough (I must get one with a larger ring). The front two thirds of its hefty shape were now over the net. I lifted to make sure the long body would fold into the bag of the net. A final heave to get the entire fish into the net and there was a loud 'crack!' as the net handle snapped. I lunged forward and grabbed the remains of the handle before sliding the salmon onto the bank. Then it was a quick picture before I put it back - probably six or seven kg. Ah well, I needed a new net anyway.
Perhaps next time I'll catch what I'm after?
If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you!' get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - email@example.com