Caught by the River

Christmas Piking

7th January 2008

Morning Jeff,

Hope you had a good Christmas and New Year.

Had a very relaxing one and even managed three quick ‘guerilla’ spinning sessions on the River Till, 5 minutes walk from my folks house up in Lincolnshire.

These days it’s probably more of a drain than a river having been straightened, tamed, imprisoned within some imposing banks and generally press-ganged into use as a drainage channel for the surrounding farmers fields. However, it’s still home to some impressive flesh-eaters who lurk in the shadows of the decaying reed beds.

It was the place I fished as a kid – full of roach, bream, gudgeon, perch and a skulking pike every few yards. There’s talk of 20lb-ers coming out of there and I was told that a friend’s old man actually put 30 carp in there at his own expense some years ago. He says they’re still in there and have barely moved from the stretch he put them in. I’ll go back in the summer to have a crack.

I managed to get a couple of Pike out (and lost a third) when I went just after Christmas. Both jacks. I had a second quick session the following morning and lost another but managed to foul-hook a huge old bream who didn’t look too impressed to be speared by a treble on its flank; a bream that looked more dour than usual.

Had a bit of a longer session on the 30th. Started dead baiting around a fallen tree where I’ve had pike out before but no luck so changed back to the spinner and started wandering along the bank trying a few casts along the reeds every 50 yards or so. Managed to get one out that was approaching half-way decent just as it was getting dark. As I was unhooking the old fella we were graced by the presence of a barn owl hunting along the banks. A great way to end the day. I took that and the catch as my cue to pack up.

Anyway, hopefully see you soon. I have a feeling ’08 may bring my first barbel!