As time edges much nearer to my trip to the Hampshire Avon for the opening day of the Pike season on the Royalty I've managed to get nearly everything prepared and with a day spare, but today I did get an unexpected morning on the river, always nice to be out on the banks, even if I'm not fishing. My girlfriend headed off to Oktoberfest with the girls, so I naturally headed off out fishing in search of Pike and Perch, Chris and I travelled back over to the River Mole with some unfinished business.
The sun was out in full beam for a majority of the day and that's not usually conducive for Pike to feed and we found that out today for large swathes of our trip out but there were flashes of what is possible when we turned up in our first swim, that didn't exactly look text-book but it provided me with a storming take as it latched onto the Sprat and made off down stream with it.
My first Pike of the day, a jack just under 5lb. I was fortunate to catch this Esox as I had fished the swim for about five minutes and not a sniff, I deepened up the bob 3inches and with 10 seconds the float went, such a small discrepancy but it obviously was the difference to luring it in to feed and it laying dormant on the bottom awaiting food to come to it at it's desired depth, such a fickle species and I was finding that out.
End of September, but you'd believe it was mid July.
Some parts of the river looked picturesque.
With Chris and myself walking the banks in search Pike we came across a range different fish and none more innocent than this little Pike around the pound to pound n half mark, absolutely pristine and so spirited for such a small fish, such a pleasure to catch, I did ask for it to summon it's grandparents but unfortunately for me they didn't appear, but nevertheless I was happy with the two, it was a very pleasant day to be out, all that was missing was Chris to get a bit of action and he had to wait as he usually does but gets there in the end, better late than never I suppose mate!!
Chris latched into a good solid take and it led him a merry dance in the 7ft of water in front of us but after a good five minute scrap he had a jack of his own, a shade over 4lbs it fought as if it was 10lb!!!, crazy fish these, it seems the smaller they are the more erratic the fight becomes and the larger ones stay down and fight hard as I found out about ten minutes after we photographed Chris's Pike, my float barely moved but it started to ever so slowly head up into the current so I slowly lent into and then a powerful Pike headed away down the river, it felt big, very big, not one of these fast fights, the rod was bent double and I started to tighten the clutch up on it as it was stripping line, the fight was totally different and in the deep water I couldn't see how large it was, then the unspeakable happened, the Pike had found a snag and even with 9lb line it went through it and snapped me up just above the trace, so gutted to have lost it and would never know how big it was, a good double, a twenty or even bigger??, it will remain a mystery.
A wee-Perch in lovely Autumn colours.
Chris's Pike, the bigger of the two.
About an hour after that unfortunate loss Chris had one last roll of the dice before we packed up and come up trumps with another jack Pike of (3.8), another good day out but hopefully it will be time to catch some substantial Pike on the ever impressive Hampshire Avon.