Wraysbury 2, Sunday 12th November, 2000
After a summer on Kingsmead 1 for the carp, I was looking forward to a change of scenery and tactics. Popups had been swapped for dead sardines and after a few emails during the week, the crew had arranged the first pike trip of the winter. One nice drive on a sunny morning down the M40 later, I arrived in the car park. It was 8.30 on the dot. Steve was already running about as I unloaded the rods from the car. A quick recce had revealed another angler on the car park point, one angler in the first bay to the left of the entrance, 2 anglers on the causeway and the wind pushing towards the station.
Tactics were then discussed and the plan was to start right up by the old dear's garden, leapfrogging back round the car park. Enough fishing to last us the day.
As we started to trudge round, Jim arrived. We told him the plan and he said he would catch us up, so we left him to sort his barrow out. Round the first corner, Gaffer was setting up for a mornings PVA bag hurling. Our talk of pike and dead baits convinced him to follow us round for a social. His PVA bags would keep those pesky carp away from our sardines. Jim arrived and we set off. By the time we slipped and slid to the stile by the horse field, we were a procession of muddy anglers. Steve being the muddiest, as he had a new one-piece suit on.
The wind was pushing from right to left, so I opted to fish in front of the island on the bar. A dead trout was swiftly hurled to the front of the bar, a sardine deftly flicked halfway out. Jim sat the next swim down from me, and fished baits in front of the bar off the island. Steve opted to fish next to the stile and hurled a sardine and half a herring out. It was no longer than 45 minutes later, with Gaffer set up in the swim between us, Steve’s right hand rod belted off. In true induced take style, it was as soon as the kettle had been put on!
The rod arched over, the line was singing and Steve was grinning like a madman. "Feels like a nice fish" he said as it got nearer to the net, which was wielded by Gaffer.
A quick last burst of energy and the fish was in the folds of the net. A swift haul out of the water and she was on the mat. Steve turned the fish on its back and removed the trebles as the crowd gathered. The scales went round and stopped at 21lb. A new personal best Pike for Steve. First run of the day and it’s a twenty! Well done mate, Cheers and slime all round! A quick pose for the cameras and she slipped back into the water to eat fish and grow bigger! Steve continued grinning like a madman for some time.
By now the numbers had increased with latecomers Dip and his mate fishing towards the causeway. After another half hour, we decided to up and move. The next likely looking spot was the bay at the entrance to the causeway. Get those popped up trout out! A sprat float fished to the weed beds bobbed around until mid-day before we made a move closer to the car park end.
I left the rest of them fishing the bay by the car park. Jim was happily sat in the Willow on the garden bank. He was fishing to the islands again. After hunting about, I found a few baitfish splashing about on the other side of the point. Looked good enough! Trees and branches were everywhere and the path was underwater. Round the corner was a fishable spot, which got me roughly in the area. I crawled through the undergrowth and made it to the swim. An underarm flick and both baits were on the bottom of the drop off. The float fished dead drifting back until it stopped. Half an hour later the float shot under, I began to tighten down as the float popped up and stopped moving. Waiting for ages, I eventually reeled in to find a half a sardine, with hefty bite marks in it. A fresh bait was cast to the same spot and my eyes didn’t leave the float.
Another 2 hours saw me head back to the others, splashing through the flooded pathway. I joined Jim in the car park swim. No one had caught anything else, not even whilst spinning. Steve had packed up, needing to get back to fix Jo’s car.
Jim and I sat it out until dark, patiently waiting. Float fishing and ledgering deads for our lives. The Grebe’s were diving and we were both in danger of a pick up. Still no pike, although the birds were coming up eating fish. Another cup of tea and we decided to call it a day, mentally preparing ourselves for the next session.