So yesterday was the start of the river season, yipee! Anyway i just had to get out on the river, particularly as i've just join a new angling club with some prime river stretches. As i only had a few hours to fish i decided to do a bit of Spinning for Pike rather than the Bream fishing, which can be excellent but can also require a lot of patience as the Bream on The River Tees are notoriously nomadic and it can take 2-3 hours for the 1st bite to come. Anyway the river was fairly clear (which the Bream hate) so spinning was a no brainer really. Armed with my 8' Spinning Rod and my favourite battle scared shallow diving lure, i began fshing. Its a stretch of river i've never fished before, the banks are quite steep and there's lots of over hanging trees, bushes ect. Good hiding places for the Pike but it makes fishing difficult.
An hour in and i hooked my 1st fish, a Jack of around 2lb which promptly jumped out the water and spat my Lure back at me! Next cast and another fish. This was a better fish. The rod looped over and the fish ran towards the middle of the river, then it dropped the Lure, damn! A few more casts in that spot proved fruitless so i moved along the river. Again, very close in, another Jack of around 3lb took my Lure and was on, but off again just as quickly. A bit further along the river i hooked into another Jack Pike. This one headed straight towards an over hanging bush. Attempting to move along the river and free the line, i stepped on what i thought was solid ground, how wrong could i be, it was a hole covered by long grass and through it i went, straight into the river! Not only was i up to my waist in water, i'd also wiped the side off my face along the nettle infested river bank! I clambered out with full wellies, a soaking wet back pack and a face that felt like it was on fire! Still hoping the fish was on i wound my now soaked Reel to retrieve a fishless Lure.
Definitely time to go home. The pain off the Nettle stings was unbearable. It felt like a blow torch was being held to the side of my head! It took about 4 hours and a cupboard full of Pain Killers, Anti-septic Cream and Anti-histamines before the pain settled down to a bearable level.
Not one to be deterred i went down to the same spot that same night. This time i was armed with Barbed hooks (i'd recently crushed the barbs on my Trebles down but felt the lost fish on the morning was almost entirely down to a lack of barbs). This time i hooked another two Pike, and, you guessed it, lost them both! This time i knew exactly why i'd lost them. The use of an 8' rod on steep banks meant i had little control over the fish and it was almost impossible to stop the fish heading for the undercut river bank. Next time i'll used my 11' 6" Avon Rod which should give me much more control. Lesson learnt and this time i didn't fall in!
I also took my camera down on the evening and took a few snaps. The image at the top is were i lost 3 of the fish.