I finally managed to get out fishing with my old man! it's been so long since we fished together and it's something we should do more often. We headed back to where it all began for me as a child - I caught my first pike from this venue some 20 odd years ago and since then i have been hooked.
It's usually about this time of year i would start thinking about targeting predators, but with how mild it's been of late i thought i would have another attempt at catching a couple of barbel.
I did put a sneaky pike rod in the edge though just incase things didn't go to plan.
I decided i was going to fish a Korum Mesh feeder on a Running Rig Kit, stuffed with Sonubaits pellet and hemp with a good soaking of Code Red oil to boost the attraction, whilst dad fished for some smaller species to try and get us a few live baits for the pike.
After a dozen or so casts i hooked into my first fish, it made quite a good account of itself and felt much bigger than it actually was. The first fish was roughly 7lb, not a huge fish but a good start.
The next cast resulted in another fish which looked a little bigger, so whilst I let the fish rest up in the sling I put the rod back out and proceeded to get my camera equipment ready. As I was doing this however my rod hooped over again and i was into my third barbel, both fish weighed over 8lb. I thought I was going to end up hauling after having three on the bounce, but after the third fish it just seemed to die off.
Dad however had managed to get a few live baits and soon had his first run, unable to stop whatever had taken his bait it took him straight under a snag and then broke his trace wire.
I felt as gutted as he did when he lost it, the rod went back out however and an hour later he had an absolutely screaming take, it was the sort of take you get whilst carp fishing. Unfortunately once again it had taken him right under a snag in the margins but it was still taking line on a tight clutch, it wasn't until he gave it some slack that we realised he wasn't hooked into a fish at all.
Up pops Mr Otter about a rod length out, he didn't look like he was hooked in the mouth but somehow had managed to hook him self up somewhere. We did try desperately to get him in but with the line still under the snag it was just impossible, and the line eventually gave way.
In a way I'm glad it wasn't a pike, there's nothing worse than losing a fish knowing your trebles are still in its mouth which could ultimately cause it's demise.
I have no doubt that the first run was also from the otter, i have never seen a pike fight that hard or bite through a trace.
Weather the otters presence had spooked off any other barbel in the area who knows, I did however get a run on my pike rod and fortunately this time it was actually a pike. Not a big fish only around 7-8lbs. Only one solitary 3lb chub followed in the afternoon and as the sun started to beat down on us we called it a day, we left at 2:30 to get back home in time for Sunday lunch and a quick pint in the pub.
So just to clarify dad had about 10 dace, a couple of gudgeon and a tiny roach.