Monday, 5 March 2012

A Thames Adventure

Yesterday it was time once again to board the Isaak with Cap’n Crimp. I met Rich at Hampton and reviewed the prospects for the day, with the first half concentrating on catching bait and the second half trying to tempt those toothy critters to the boat.

The morning was great fun with Rich and I doing great impressions of Huck Fin catching minnows, roach, bleak, perch, chublets and dace. I must say I was rather disappointed when we had to pack up and head for the river.
We set sail after lunch and headed to a mark Rich thought we could stand a chance of a few fish, the water was choppy and the wind biting so it was a fairly unpleasant ride. After my first try at operating lock gates we found ourselves fishing, and it looked good too, but something changed with the way the weir was flowing and suddenly prospects didn’t look too great. Time to up anchor and move to another spot.

By now it was getting somewhere towards mid-afternoon, the sun was shining  but it still felt chilly with the wind, and once at the next fishing spot we found difficulty with the boat angles as the wind was battling against the flow. But we were soon fishing, happily watching the float trot down the stream when mine disappeared; I looked to Rich for instruction who told me to wait, wait, wait, now lean into it. It felt so good to feel contact with that first fish, the avon rod at full curve I could feel the fish shaking its head in an effort to free itself of the hook. With the fish tired Rich expertly chinned it out and laid it on the unhooking mat. A quick weight revealed it was 10lb 4oz and after a photo it was returned, but not before cutting my finger, a cut that bled for no less than half an hour I might add.

Rich was next in action landing a quick brace of 5lb jacks. The bites were coming at the end of a fairly long trot so we Rich thought it best we up anchor and drift off downstream a little, the move was a good one as with only around an hour of light left I managed to lose a fish and land two more, one of 10lb 12oz and one around the 8lb mark.

With relative pitch black we set off back to the landing stage, navigating the lock gates (great fun) again and packing the boat away once ashore. We reflected over a wonderful day over a bag of chips and a coffee and I wished the skipper a fruitful week ahead.


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