Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Toughing it out in the Tundra

Sunday 19th December
Theres been a serious lack of updates on here over the last couple of weeks what with Christmas and all that so heres a brief update on what ive been up to of late.
As you will be well aware, the seriously cold weather returned with a vengeance just prior to Christmas and during all this, in my wisdom i thought a days Piking would be worthwhile if only to get me out of the house. Ill tell you now, it wasnt!
The day didnt start very well with the temperature in the car reading minus 10. Undeterred, Phil, my fishing partner for the day and i headed to our favourite livebait catching spot. After wrestling with the line freezing in the rod rings and much swearing we actually managed some bites, unfortunately though they were from Chub in the 1-2lb class. After catching 2 of them and losing a nice bait sized Roach as i swung it in we couldnt get another bite so deadbaits it was!
It really was bitterly cold and the margins in our chosen Piking area were well frozen, despite this though, the river looked pretty good as long as you ignored the mini icebergs floating downstream!
After a few chilly hours the sun made an appearance which made things a little more bearable and Phil had a half-hearted pickup on a Smelt. The rod hooped over on the strike then sprung straight, the fish was bumped. Sadly that was to be the only action we saw on a day that had me questioning my sanity by the end of it, still, i got a nice shot of a wintery sunset as we packed up though.
Tuesday 28th December
After a chaotic Christmas full of screaming kids, visiting relatives and serious over-indulgence (not to mention the wife crashing my car and buggering the front wheel) i was desperate to get out on the bank again. The weather had decided to warm up a bit and the snow which appeared last week was now in major thaw mode. With pretty much every lake in the area still frozen it had to be a river we would be heading for so me and Phil decided to revisit the scene of last weeks Piking tragedy. With ground underneath the thawing snow still frozen there would be a lot of snowmelt going into the river which wouldnt improve our chances but at least the air temperature was (only just) above freezing which was a bonus.
The river was indeed carrying a little when we arrived but it wasnt coloured up. It soon became apparent that fishing to the far bank was a non-starter because the river was rising quicker than we first thought and aswell as the increasing flow there also a lot of debris coming down too. We placed our baits along the margins and sat back to wait.
After about an hour my right hander signalled a positive take and i struck into a Jack of around 4-5lb which surprised me a bit as it had picked up a rather large Sardine which would have been more suited to a much larger Pike. Not that im complaining of course!
The fish had some impressive bite marks on it which shows there might be one or two decent fish in the area for future visits.

That was the only action we had between us for the rest of the day but the river conditions were getting worse and worse as the session went on. Might have to wait till the snowmelt has flushed through before my next trip out.

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