Tuesday 6 September 2016

First to Best

I have told you the story of my first ever fish so will jump forward 10 years to my best. August 2000 River Yare, Norfolk Broads.

Although I could now drive myself, pay for myself and certainly make my own lunch, my dad was again with me for this trip, he did pay and drive too actually!!

We were on a two day Pike Safari with The Predator People.

We had Pike fished once before on Bewl water from a boat in the winter. The weather was awful, we were not very experienced  but we thoroughly enjoyed it. By the end of the day my dad had managed to fluke a small Pike and lose his new water proof gloves.

We decided to go with a guide as we knew Pike fishing was specialist, Pike need to be treated with respect and with great care as we did not want to hurt ourselves and more importantly the fish, if we caught any.

Our guide was Allan, he had more knowledge in his little finger than we had in both our bodies, more importantly he had Pike fished for many years and still had both his little fingers.

After meeting our guide and getting all the kit we set off on the boat to a secret location. In truth its not secret, back then I never kept notes so I have no idea where it was. We moored mid river and fished off each side of the boat to what I can remember was a featureless area on the broads. I say this because all my other broad trips were full of me declaring every reed clad bend on the water to be " definitely Pikey" and yet I had never caught a Pike.

Rods set up, we cast into the spots and waited. The advice was, on seeing your float move, to reel down to disengage the bait runner, reel till line was taught and then strike. Failure to do the first could lead you to flying off the back of the boat as you strike and with no resistance with the bait runner, not even a 30lb pike would stop an early bath.

It was not long before my float moved, twitched, bobbed and sailed away. I was in! Omg. Was so excited, followed the above advice perfect, you thought I was going to fall in! I was latched on to leviathan.
I played it easily on the strong tackle in open water and suddenly it surfaced. My dad and I looked at each other and simultaneously said "Croc." The Pike was an awesome sight, so long, strong with a huge head. We had no idea of weight but having never caught before, it was my Pb.
We landed, unhooked and weighed the stunning fish. It was exactly 15lb. I was so chuffed. Allan said it would be a 20 in the winter as it had a large hollow belly. Did I wish it was a 20? Of course I did, I still do over 15 years later as it is still my Pb, but it does not stop me trying to better it. I was no less happy though and if a twenty graces my net now, my grin will resemble my 20 year old one below, plus the ever greying beard!

15Lb Pb Pike

The trip continued, my dad caught a 14lb 11oz and I caught 3 12lb fish and several smaller Pike, including some in the middle of the night, woken by the bleep of a run on the bite alarm. " Its your rod dad, go" only to be told " you get it son, I am sleeping"

Yeah he sleeps a lot, but he was happier seeing me catch than himself. A quality he tries to remember when he landed the pike in my previous post.

This pic was to show the size of Pike you can catch on a largeish lure!

I would recommend going on an organised Pike trip first of all, or with someone who can handle the Pike safely.
Now, I was armed with this knowledge and hunger to better my Pb, I set off to become a Pike fisherman.

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