It’s been half term this week and I decided to take a few days off of work to spend with the boys. The thought of staying in bed on a freezing cold morning and not getting up at 6am and joining the millions of other commuters, was bliss. Instead, I got up Thursday…at 6am, on a freezing cold morning and took Matthew fishing… 😉 Well, as least I wasn’t at work.
Today’s venue of choice was Slough House. Matthew had spent the previous afternoon there, surveying the lake and talking to the regulars about what was being caught and where. He was also buoyed by the news that the lake had recently been stocked with 8 new twenties.
We were the first to arrive (of course) and waited for about an hour for the bailiff to open up. Matthew was insistent that we arrive early to ensure he got the swim he wanted. At least the car was warm.
Once the gate was opened, Matthew was out of the car like a shot, scurrying off up the spit towards the swim he wanted. I followed behind shortly after, with the barrow piled high; we really have to learn how to travel lighter, although I was looking forward to getting the bivvy up unfolding the chair bed, getting the kettle on and slipping into a nice snug sleeping bag.
The sun soon broke through the clouds and it stayed sunny, although chilly, the whole day.
After a sausage sandwich breakfast (I do secretly love the whole camping cooking), things started to liven up. Matthew had suddenly started to get a few runs in quick succession and after a chat with the bailiff, he realised that he had been casting directly into and over a ‘knot’ of catfish, that had been occupying that area of the lake for the last few days. That was it, the boilies and pop-ups were discarded and out came some very large chunks of luncheon meat and it didn’t take long.
Soon after the change of tactics, Matthew’s first detector went off and whatever was hooked was heading straight into the middle of the lake. After a 15 minute tussle he managed to net his first fish, a lovely cat. But no sooner had he unhooked his opening catch, than his second rod whistled off too. This one, he told me, felt bigger. Another quarter of an hour passed before Matthew had managed to net his second cat of the day. The first weighed in at just over 19lb and the second at 20lb.8oz. He was delighted.
Plenty of photo’s later her released them back into the freezing water and hastily re-baited.
The rest of the morning was fairly uneventful except for the odd knock. However, things started to liven up again after our chicken Super Noodle lunch. He’d had both rods out for a couple of hours and was contemplating switching back to his favoured Scopex Squid boiles for a while before heading home, when his left hand rod beeped into life. He hurdled his landing mat and grabbed his rod and struck. He was in again and even I could tell, from the bend in his rod that this one was bigger. Matthew played it cautiously, letting the fish take the line when it wanted but then slowly recovering with each wind of his real, inching the catch closer to the bank. When it did finally break the surface, our thoughts were confirmed, it was a biggun’. I carried out my usual netting duties and soon cat no.3 was in the bag.
It turned out to be a whopping 33lb.3oz and was the perfect end to the day.