A couple of weeks ago I got a real shock when looking at my bank balance. The savings I had hoped would last me until I head to Jersey in April had all but disappeared, leaving me with no option but to get job hunting. Luckily for me, with Menai Angling opening a new store in Llandrillo, a great opportunity presented itself and after a meeting with Gareth, I had myself a full-time job again.
Now, I have always had it in my head, that even whilst working full-time, I'd still be fishing at every opportunity I get including evenings after work, but I soon realised that this wasn't going to happen, in fact after a 10 hour shift all I wanted to do was go to bed lol. I guess this deserves the classic saying 'Welcome to the real world.'Anyway, having worked nearly 90 hours during the last 10 days, my current 2 day break is the perfect opportunity for me to get back onto some fish and I certainly haven't wasted my first day.
With ridiculous winds sweeping North Wales at the moment, I made the choice to head back to the mothers house in Cheshire on Sunday night, with the intentions of a having a first light session on the Perch and Pike. Alarm set for 6am, it was time for an early night.
Up and out on time, I found myself at my chosen mark just before sunrise with almost perfect conditions, things were looking spot on for a few fish. This optimism was short lived though, for after 2 hours wandering along the canal, I was still fish-less and now a few lures lighter as well, the only downside of using 4lb line straight through. However my luck soon changed as I wandered a stretch that didn't look particularly 'fishy.' I decided to stop for a few chucks despite the lack of noticeable features and to my great surprise I soon had my first fish of the session on the bank, a nice stripey of 1lb 7oz and 35cm that took a charteuse shiner grass minnow. A few casts later, I managed to find an underwater snag and lost the lot, something I seem to be good at recently on canals.
Going through my lures to choose another to whack on, I remembered the nories spoontail shads that I'd been sent by Nick Marlow recently and thought why the hell not, I'll give them a go, they look smart. Rigged texas style on a 1/0 Skip-in-the-shade jighead, I first dropped it in the margins to have a look at the action and my god was I impressed. They have an awesome side to side rolling action and a great tail action which really looked the business, time to put it to the test. Casting as close to the far bank as I dared, a simple slow twitchy sink and draw retrieve drew a savage hit on the first cast but I failed to set the hook. Flicking to the exact same spot with my next chuck, I once again had a good take. This time I just left the fish to take the lure, feeling the headshakes on the rod tip as it slowly arched over, then I set the hook.... FISH ON and it was a decent weight! After a cracking fight and some nervous moments at the bank due to not having a net, I got my thumb in its gob and lifted it from its murky lair, it was indeed a beauty. Taking the scales down to 2lb 5oz and measuring 39cm on the ruler, it beat my previous best lure caught perch by 7oz, what a result!
Now on a real high, I walked a few metres along the canal and tried flicking to the far bank once more. After nothing on the 3rd cast, my 4th cast again provoked another good take and fish number 2 had fallen for the spoontails in super quick-time, this one slightly smaller, but still a cracker at 2lb 3oz. Then it went quiet again and I started to regret not taking a net along to retain them, perhaps releasing them back into the area had spooked any others that may have been hidden there, oh well!
Extremely happy, I then made my way back to the car having more than a few casts along the way, which resulted in a couple more lovely stripeys of 1lb 11oz and 2lb 1oz. I did picture both these but the photos didn't come out very well so I won't bother uploading them.
So how to sum up that session. Five perch between 1lb 7oz and 2lb 5oz, three of which would have surpassed my previous lure caught PB. It's safe to say that for me, that was a truly epic session and a brilliant way to spend the first of my days off.
Thanks for reading,
P.s If you can get some spoontail shads then I'd highly recommend doing so. Next time I'm out I'll try and film them underwater to give you all a better idea of how awesome they look :)