Sunday, 11 August 2013

4 men in two boats...

Yesterday Saw Neil and myself, Woody and Marshman join together for a two boat exploration of a new bit of river.
We couldn't have a really early start because the slipway that Woody needed to use for his boat wasn't open till 9:00. We decided to go earlier than that anyway in case someone was about and opened earlier. It was really going to be a trial on this bit of river so the later start didn't matter too much.
The night before I looked on google earth and thought knowing the area abit from previous visits I thought we had a chance of getting Neils portebote in from another location close by that would mean we could use the extra time to get set-up before Woody and Paul got there boat in the water. Porteboats have to be built of course so if it worked out right we would all be in the water and ready to fish at around the same time.
As look would have it, Woody and Paul got onto the slipway allot earlier as we was half way through building the bote so they came over to see us and we were all just about ready to troll off up the river. While crossing the river to see us they had already picked up a fish so that was a good sign.
So we were off! Just as we got going we could see that Paul was into a fish already and then not too long after Neil was in on our bote, was this going to be a great day? Its become abit of a ritual to take a photo of our first fish (just in case its the only one we get i think!) so here's the first fish of the day, a nice bristling perch giving a good pose for the camera.

 On we trolled again and within a short time i was in and our first pike of the day was on the boat

Things started to go pretty well and we kept picking up fish, mainly pike, then trolling abit and picking up another, good steady sport. We was pretty pleased with how it was going, and we started to build a tally. We like to try and keep count of how we are doing just so we can get a picture of how the day has been and also a little bit of a personal target to aim for, in the past we have got close to targets and gone on to beat them by trying a little harder so it helps us in a way.
The second half of the stretch wasn't as productive for us and we put that down to the shallower depths. Eventually we caught up with Woody and Paul and had a quick natter about how we had got on, strangely they had caught mostly perch up to that point while we had mostly pike.
The day got abit slower as it went on and we continued to troll up and down the stretch passing woody and Paul from time to time who were going the other way. We were all doing well and the new bit of river was proving to be a good spot.
One of our best spells came from a short burst of perch, we were casting to a tree and every cast getting a perch on over a lb each time, with Neil getting the best at around 2lb

This was the first time we had stopped to cast around features, with it going really well we kept stopping here and there to drift and cast to more fishy looking features, in hindsight we probably wasted far too much time casting that just wasn't producing. You have to try it though and I'm sure from time to time it would prove more productive but yesterday it just didn't. It was evident that trolling was the way to go as every time we caught up with Woody and Paul they had been doing better than us and had spent more time trolling.
Apart from a few stops here and there for a quick cast we pretty much stuck to trolling for the last third of the day, the casting did produce the best perch of the day for us though with Neil taking 3 to 2lb with this fish being the best.

I think another reason we wanted to try casting to features was because the area looked so good for chub and we knew they were abundant on this stretch. Funnily enough when we lost all hope of finding a chub I caught one trolling, not realising it was a chub until it surfaced it gave us our first 'get the net' moment of the session as we really didn't want to lose our one and only chub. It was a nice specimen too

Throughout the afternoon we kept getting closer to our best total fish tally together on Neils boat which was 52 we knew we would probably beat that today so kept counting the fish down and then when we did eventually beat it it was then a case of 'we need to get to 60 next'
We got a call from Paul to say they had got there boat off and had decided to head home, we were still 20mins up river so we thought we would also head home. Woody and Paul had also had a good day with 68 fish and that prompted us to try and get abit closer to there tally so we could feel we had done ourselves justice. Its never about trying to beat the others tally, for myself and Neil we just like to think we are holding our own and never like to think we are doing something wrong if we have a much lower tally.
Through out the day we was enjoying it so much we kept saying things to each other like 'what would really top it off would be a nice perch' then we would get a 2lb perch, then it would be 'we've had perch and pike, a chub would really cap it off' then we got a chub. Towards the end it was 'it would be great to beat our best tally' and yes we did that.... then as we headed back to our launch site we kept saying 'A nice pike would really top things off and give us a good fish of all three species' ....... Neil was in and the fish held low for awhile, we did it again, a scraper double for Neil see us top of our day and we were both chuffed to bits.

The final spurt of excitement (ooer) came in the form of our tally getting ever so close to the 68 mark, so much so we were only about 100m from the launch site and 65 when Neil lost a fish. We really didn't want to beat there 68 as they'd never have believed us anyway!  but it became another target and it would have been a great ending to the day for both boats to finish on the same and a great prospect for the future on that stretch, that would be nearly 140 fish altogether!
So it was now about 50m left and i get a perch, two more to go.... 30m and Neil got a perch, at this point we was swinging them in like they they do in the Bass comps in the states, not wanting to lose them they were in the boat asap! we then had a torturous last 30m hoping for a last fish and expecting a take at any given moment, it didn't come so we went another 10m past the other way just to give us one last chance and when Neil got the last perch literally of the surface as it came up and took as he was about to lift out, we had a right chuckle and couldn't believe both boats had managed the exact same total.
A fantastic day I won't forget too soon, thanks To Neil for a great day afloat.

You can read Pauls blog about how there day went on the other boat here RIVER PIKER a cracking read...

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