Not been out lately, too much work!
Anyway, found myself looking through one my old photo albums (pre-blog). Thought I may as well upload some of the old photies to me blog. Apologies for poor quality and the glare.
When I'm a really old git, and I can no longer go fishing, I can at least remind myself of happy days gone by. Bit maudlin maybe, but isn't it true of all our blogs, boys & girls?
Hot sunshine on my face helped me to drift off with thoughts of getting to know Kate Bush a little better etc. etc.
A strange noise woke me from my slumbers as a running fish triggered my bite alarm and the biggest fish ever was soon on the bank.
(These days of course this carp would be scoffed at by a three year old).
My mate Clive drove home to get a camera to take this shot (cheers Clive). We borrowed some scales from a bloke further up the bank and we reckoned the carp weighed around 16lbs.
What a fish!
Second trip to Ireland, back in the 1990's. I took the trusty Shogun van, two mates and a trailer full of gear to Co. Cavan to have a crack at the bream. The two mates, Clive and erm...whatsisname, had been several times before and were itching to get back and fill their boots.
I gave it a go and, for about a day and a half found it interesting and fun but come on, just how many times can you pull in a slimey fat bream? Some can, of course, and go year after year and if that's your bag (chortle) then fair enough, each to their own, and all that.
Third day in found us at Garradice lake. A beautiful place in the middle of nowhere.
I was sick of the sight of bream and couldn't face another day of it. But, thank god, I'd thrown in an old spinning rod at the last moment.
It was my get out of jail free card! I left my two chums to sack loads of more bream and wandered up the bank with me rod and a rapala.
First cast and I was in to this little beauty. Small by some standards, but what a scrap on a light rod.
By the way, one of the cars further up the track belonged to an old guy who'd taken his wife on holiday for the week. The week had long gone and she'd buggered off home leaving him to his fishing. He seemed very happy!
Another little powerhouse jack. Small pike on a light rod can be great fun on a sunny summers day. Come to that, they can be great fun on any kind of day, really. Took this blighter from a small mere just through Knutsford.
Another fine day and another fine jack joins me on the bank. A little bigger and beautifully marked. It was soon back, terrorizing the smaller fish.
A new chapter began when I joined master piker, Alan Ferguson aboard his tiny boat Pugwash. I think Alan took me along as ballast.
With me onboard there was about an inch and a half of draft and just enough room left for half a pork pie.
Anyway, soaked to the skin and with no feeling left - anywhere, I'm chuffed to bits to have landed this jack after a trolling session on the mighty Windermere.
(I've still got that hat!)
Back on dry land and this time it's a winter pike from the Bridgewater canal.
This one weighed in at around 16Ibs and was a welcome catch on a cold, cold November day. It took a dead bait, fished about 20 feet down the bank and only a few inches out.
I remember this one took the bait in a flash. One second the float was there, the next it had just disappeared. I struck and the fish sailed out to the middle of the cut putting a nice bend in the old rod.
That belly looks like it's full of roach and skimmers!
(Mine's full of Guinness).
Yipee! Back on Windermere and Fergie has got himself a new boat. It flew!
This was well before the present day speed limits.
This boat was purpose built for a serious pike fisher - and I quite liked it too.
It's 2002 and I'm back on Windermere and it's a cold day in March.
A short cast out into a new swim and I'm waiting for a bite. A dead sea-bait float fished hard on the bottom was enough to tempt this chubby 19lbs beauty.
Funny, but it didn't seem so cold after that!
Things really warmed up for me later that morning when the float sailed away and I was into this 'monster'. My best ever pike (so far) at 24lbs. I was always a bit rubbish at holding pike - as you can see. But, even so - 24lbs!
This is the same fish taking a little while to sort herself out.
I spent a bit of time easing her forwards and backwards pushing the water through her gills so she could get her 'breath back'.
Soon enough though, I felt a surge though her body and with a flip of her powerful tail, she nosedived down to the murky depths.
A few weeks later - Easter 2002, and this time we've headed north to Loch Ken.
Yet another beautiful spot to fish, live, eat, breathe etc. etc.
We had some great fun boating loads of pike on lures and dead baits.
One morning we were quietly motoring along, and a chuffing great sea eagle zooms over our shoulders and plucks an unwary trout from the top.
Also, pound for pound, the pike in Lock Ken gave me the best scraps, of any pike, on any of the few waters I've fished.
Later the same year and it's back to the Emerald Isle.
But this time I'm not chasing smelly bream. Oh no! It's off to Loch Derg for the 'pikin'.
These Irish Pike were long and lean and fiesty fighters. This one tipped the scales at 17lbs.
By now I was getting afloat quite often and Fergie had told me to buy a floatation suit. This was the only one the shop had in stock and I was fishing the next day!!
Anyway, the helicopter would always see me first!
January 2003 and this time it's Coniston. A beautiful lake with fabulous scenery.
This scene isn't bad either. Another fine pike and this one tipped the scales at just 21lbs.
It was chuffing freezing.
Sometimes, I'm still cold from that day!
By contrast, this is just a couple of months later, in March 2003 - and the weather's heating up.
So am I after boating this very angry 21lbs pike. This one fought all the way to the boat, it put up a fight in the boat, and it took off like a bat out of hell when I slid her back. Blimey!
My red letter day!
Earlier that morning I had cast out a dead sea-bait and settled back to wait for a cruising and hungry pike. The float sailed away and, after a spirited fight on a new 10ft boat rod, I netted this fabulous 4lbs Ferox.
Although this photo, of a photo, is pretty poor, you can just see the hook on the lower jaw.
I've caught bigger fish, but this is one that always stays with me.
Hope I've not bored you all, with my trip down my own memory lane.