Since I started to venture out on the Thames in the boat ( SS Essess ) I have dreamt of getting big fish in it and having been unlucky on a few occasions my luck was finally in, but it was hard work. My arrival at the slipway that I frequently use greeted me with brown water which was thundering through, so much so that a glance further up river revealed very little of navigable water, my boat partner for the day was my Dutch friend Yannick and having talked up our chances of a good afternoon afloat we couldn't really turn back.
|Some serious flood water coming through.|
As we motored upstream against the powerful creases and riding the main flows from the weir we finally after careful planning made the main feeding area, far away from the average angler. Having fished this particular weir a bit now, maybe 12 times I have begun to work out timings that the fish hunt and where is more productive. Believe me it matters too as we spent two hours or so biteless, we fished well, we simply hadn't found the fish.
Then out of nowhere my 20g float bobbed and slipped under where I was then met with a decent amount of resistance, however not enough to get excited about as most of the Pike in the boat fight well. For over 3-4 minutes the fish remained unsighted until a large swirl appeared just under the surface where I made out a silhouette of an upper double + Esox, just what I was hoping for!
Not long after she appeared on the surface the net was shipped out and the first fish of the day was safe in the folds of my net. Knowing how the fish feed here I didn't hesitate to get a bait back out and within a minute my decision was vindicated as the float slipped away again, this time the culprit was a lot smaller. At around 7lb it wasn't a tiny fish and welcome. As I attempted to prepare the camera Yannicks float went under and another spirited battle ensued around the boat, again it wasn't big but that hot spell was certainly upon us and juggling two Pike in the net already and Yannicks 5lb+ fish which we chinned out was pushing it a little.
|As it approached the boat I thought it was a twenty plusser.|
Once we had a grip on what was going on in the boat we got this mint 17lb 13oz Pike on the mat and ready for a couple of pictures, good length but the weight was certainly in its girth and stomach, she was certainly a young female with very good genes and I'm certain will hit the high twenties come a couple years down the line if she avoids the poachers, seals, pollution e.t.c.
And as they say "that, was that". Fifteen minutes of action was met with a biteless finale to match the lead up to the flurry at around 1345-1400, I don't think many anglers realise how good Pike are at hunting.
A new Thames personal best to boot!