The God of Grafham Water has either forgiven me my previous sins, or possibly heard me declare that I was thinking of boycotting the place, but whichever, a couple of days ago I once more visited the big reservoir, this time with that very successful all-round and match angler, Dave Smart. Two pals of mine were already fishing when we arrived – Andy Lush from the Friendly Fisherman and that well-known ‘Piking Pirate’, Gordy Burton. They said things were slow, Andy only having had two very small zander so far. With this in mind Dave and I made a tour of the place, trying all the likely areas, but without any action – and indeed very few fish on the depth-finder screen.
By lunchtime we were still blank, so we returned to the North Shore where we learned that Andy had just had a personal best perch of 4lbs 1oz – great going. Conditions were perfect – warm, pretty calm and overcast with no necessity to use the drogue as we made a series of slow drifts. There were a few more fish showing on the screen now and it wasn’t long before I’d had two or three small perch and a real baby zander of about 6” in length. At least we hadn’t blanked!
After a short while I hooked what felt like a very decent perch, but unfortunately it dropped off as I was reaching for the net. “Blast!” I thought, but that’s fishing – you can’t win `em all. Shortly after I had a small but nicely conditioned pike of about six pounds, then another take when the light St Croix rod bent into a satisfying hoop.
“If this is a perch it’s a world record!” I exclaimed to Dave, as the fish continued to pull hard and made a series of unstoppable dives back to the bottom. Eventually I caught sight of it and confirmed that it was a very nice pike. Dave had it in the net expertly and we shook hands. I haven’t had a 20lb pike for some two years, in fact since I had the 30 on fly at Chew fishing with my friend John Sinnuck, but this was obviously well over the 20-mark, and indeed the scales showed exactly 23lbs. I was delighted. Soon after this we saw Andy into a large fish, and that turned out to be another nice pike a pound bigger than mine – a great day for both of us!
Unfortunately I had to leave early (or risk the wrath of Sally!) so we made our way back to the dock at around 3.30 having had around 15 fish between us – mostly modest perch, although I managed another very nice one at 3lbs 6oz. We’d had a most enjoyable afternoon and I shall now look forward to more visits there once again!
Watch this space…