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A family paddle. 22nd June 2008

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It’s summertime again and my wife fancied joining the girls and I for a paddle for the first time this year…the lure was double-edged – a paddle up river and a drink at Geldeston Locks, a favoured haunt and an ideal target for a paddle. Personally I needed the break after photographing two weddings yesterday and not getting out since Thursday. Life is hard…


We left home to a very windy overcast day and by the time we’d picked up the Trident and got to our launch point at Beccles the sun had come out although the wind was still going to take some effort to paddle against when it was head on (lots of bankside tree shelter for the majority of the journey though). Flo took the Prowler 15 with Abigail (3) in the tankwell and I had Eloise (5) in the tankwell of the Trident, both the little ones in wetsuits and PFD’s. I also had a my two trolling rods out with the same lures as the other nights – the beauty of leaving stuff set up and hanging around – Rapala J13’s in Firetiger and Blue.


Launching by the pool we started paddling upstream against the wind and current but as we weren’t intending to race anyone it was an easy enough paddle. Within minutes Flo had spotted a Kingfisher and there were bright blue and green dragonflies everywhere – it’s such a beautiful paddle up there.




Surprisingly it took a while, maybe half a mile before the first pike grabbed hold of the blue Rapala…




There seem to be absolutely loads of these swimming around at the moment and surprisingly they pull well when down-current feeling far bigger than they actually are. Anyway, number one went back in after the girls got a good look at it.




Numbers two and three followed, similar size






And then I struck into something far stronger. I called my wife over and gave her the camera as it peeled line off yet again and the rod arched accordingly…this was a strong fish and it was heading alternately out into the current and back for the reeds and lilies. It took a few minutes before it came in




At around 10-12lbs.


Back in the water it swam away with a flick of its tail and we carried on up river and carried on with the mini jacks…we eventually caught up with the girls as they’d stopped to look at a ‘family’ of dragonflies




Eloise counted up as we went along…5…6…7…8…and immediately after dropping the lures out after number 8 and less than 500 metres from our destination the yak stopped!






The rod bent over, the line screeched off and we had a fight on our hands. A slightly bigger fish this time, thicker and full of energy, playing me against the current all the time. We’d just battled against strong winds for half a mile, then repeated some of it as the previous one had been unhooked and now we were heading backwards again, fortunately into a reedbed after not too far. Flo was not going to give up her hard-won paddling and refused to join us as the fish ran again and again, thrashing the surface at times until finally it was subdued enough to chin it out




Across my lap I admired the markings and then slipped her back into the water and away.




The Lock Inn was reached and tying up to the mooring posts we stopped for a picnic of smoked salmon rolls and crisps, olives and designer salad (spinach or something) and a well earned ale, the girls enjoying themselves




And me and Flo too




See? I know how to show a girl a good time! Marriage guidance? Pah! Get your wife wet regularly and things are fine.


After basking in the wind and sunshine for an hour we swapped passengers and headed back. At times we could just sit with paddles out of the water and make a couple of knots or more – perfect trolling speed – but things had gone quiet. It was halfway back before we had a run and Abigail was able to watch the battle from close up. Pike number ten was again a baby of around a pound.


While we were looking at swans




My wife and Eloise were watching a 2ft snake swimming past them!


We were nearly back when




The rod was hammering away in the holder and the Firetiger became invisible




This was a bloody good fish again and really pulling me about. I got it up to the surface for a better look




Flo rounded the bend and wandered why we’d stopped again. Which was of course the moment that 12lb or so of Pike decided to jump out of the water and tail-walk! I heard a ‘Yippee’ from her and then Abigail tell me it had splashed her!


The lure was down the back of its throat so I brought it in to deal with






Those J13’s are fast becoming my favourite river lures – they’re catching me some good-sized fish as well as the babies. They run too deep for the Broad but they’re just right for the river it seems.


A short paddle later and we were back to the pontoon. As Flo came in a few playboats headed upriver.




So, can you stick a child in the tankwell, and will they enjoy it if you do?




I guess so! A cracking day on the water, my PB pike from the yak and from a lure, at 11 fish my most pike in a day and a happy family. Time to load up and get some rest before the next session.

Wetter than an otter's pocket.

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Lucky Lucky Man Mark! The only fish my wife has ever seen are those in the fish market.. and of those we have to push through as she can't stand the smell! :yucky:


I took a half day and spent 6 hours in the yak and only managed a perch that got off as I was trying to get the camera out of the bag. Looks like I'll be ordering some more rapalas. Nice catch report.. I mean day out with the family by the way. :notworthy:



Piscator non solum piscatur.


Yellow Prowler13


Ask me at 75...

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Indeed Jeff - and your motto of piscator non solum piscatur says it all! You know, when i first started trolling it was months before I got a pike but was getting loads of perch - haven't trolled one up for a year now. I think it's a speed thing - pike like it slow, walking speed, maybe less - perch will take at a faster lick and like topwater jointed lures it seems here. Stick with it! For piking froma yak I'd say Rapala Magum CD11 and 13, Rapala Jointed 13's, Shakespeare Big S' and rapala Super Shad raps. They're the ones I always go for - I have loads and loads of lures and most of them get ignored. Most of them were bought as presents for me so aren't what i'd have chosen or are wrong for the conditions I fish in so maybe it's partly that but alkso because the others work so well it's a confidence thing.

Wetter than an otter's pocket.

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I'll be trying again here when the water recedes a bit. Maybe with some color in the water I may have better results. I ran on Sunday with the gales and rain. There were standing waves on the river where I usually enter from the canal. Unfortuately I didn't have my camera with me. I'm still getting an order together for basspro or cabelas for next time!


Steve Burke had some interesting information in a recent thread (2005) on light and color variations with different species. Maybe the lure color has something to do with your lack of perch??


Do fish see colour?



Piscator non solum piscatur.


Yellow Prowler13


Ask me at 75...

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