Many people know that I fish regularly with Bob Church, possibly the best know angler in the UK. Despite not being in the best of health in recent years, Bob’s keenness and enthusiasm is undaunted – and he NEVER wants to pack up!
Even so, when we fish together these days it often seems to be me who turns out to be the lucky one when it comes to putting the fish on the bank. Not so, however, on a recent visit to Grafham Water, when the old master gave me a bit of a lesson! Having had a look around elsewhere without result, we made our way to the North Tower and started back-drifting with fast-sinking lines and large flies. In no time at all Bob announced that he was in and I assumed he had snagged the bottom (how unkind!). Not a bit of it. In fact it quickly became apparent that he was attached to a good fish!
I grew a little worried at that stage, as the fish was fighting much more like a pike that the intended quarry, zander, and I knew Bob wasn’t using a wire trace. He played it steadily and, after a few moments, I spotted the dorsal fin of a very decent pike, hooked perfectly in the scissors. A few more minutes and I had it in the net. We gazed down at a perfectly conditioned pike of at least 20lbs. In the scales it went to 22lbs 8oz – a great result!
After some TLC by yours truly she went away strongly, and we returned for another drift. Imagine my surprise when, in no time flat, the maestro once again was bending into another good fish, and I could scarcely believe what was going on when, a few minutes later, I was netting a ten-and-a-half-pound zander! He’d done it again and was beaming like a Cheshire cat!
Two specimen fish in basically two casts and although neither of us had any action for the rest of the day, Bob was on a high and, believe it or not, I was delighted for him! Either of those beauties would have made anyone’s day – it just goes to show that you can’t write the old master off yet. Well done Bob!