At last the weather (dare I say it?) appears to have taken a turn for the better, and we have now enjoyed three or four days of calm, cold and sunny conditions. Despite this however the meadows are all either still flooded or at best sodden, and coloured water is running into the Nene from every ditch and inlet. In desperation I took Max this afternoon to one of the many shallow stretches I am all too familiar with to try a few casts with my new outfit – a Sage XI3 and Hardy Fortuna X3 big game reel. Yes, a bit of overkill for pike, but I am looking forward to a trip to Cuba in April, and was impatient to test the new tarpon kit.
At first glance I knew (or thought I knew) that I was wasting my time from the catching point of view, but the sun was out, there was almost no wind and it felt like a ‘no lose’ situation. Away we went.
I had loaded the reel with an 11-weight floating line (for Cuba) and would no doubt have been better with my usual slow sinker, but who cares? I wasn’t going to catch anything anyway! The rod/reel combination was beautiful, my casting was more or less up to scratch, and there wasn’t a soul in sight – pure Heaven I hear you cry – and it truly was! Imagine my surprise and total joy when, without warning, the line tightened and I found myself attached to a pretty decent fish, which after a prolonged fight proved to be a leech-ridden fifteen pounder carrying some nasty looking scars either from another pike or possibly a cormorant? I couldn`t decide.
The visibility was only about 9 inches so I considered this a fairly lucky catch, but encouraged by the event, carried on for another 200 yards and fluked out a second smaller one. The omens are good if this dry spell keeps going , and I feel some great catches could be on the cards. Fingers crossed!!