Monday, September 03, 2012

Little greedy predators.

A while ago I contacted fellow blogger "Frazerio" who writes the excellent "I Am Therefore I Fish" blog and asked him if he would like to meet up. It turns out his real name is Keith and the following deal was struck. In exchange for Keith taking me fly fishing on the River Esk I promised him his first ever blenny. I know who got the best end of that agreement. Blennies rule! Anyway, after several emails and other things getting in the way we finally met up for an hour a few weeks ago and fished the River Esk for just over an hour. I say fished but it was more like casting practice for me and Keith got the only fish of the short session, a small brown trout. I enjoyed the day though and we agreed to meet up again. The following week I was away to Applecross so we met again on Thurs last week and I suggested a trip to the Forth & Clyde Canal to target predators on soft plastics. First stop was the section of the canal next to the Falkirk Wheel that never fails to produce a few fish. I also wanted the chance to catch up with Tony the perch again should he be around!

We fished the basin next to the wheel and whilst there were plenty of roach around the predators weren't so plentiful so we headed along to the pontoons east of the basin. It was a good move and I soon had the first fish of the day safely on the dock, a small perch. Up until that point Keith had been using a Sidewinder Shimer Eel to target pike but was keen to try the lure I had just caught my perch with. I unclipped the Lake Fork Live Baby Shad in Golden Shiner and 3.5g #4 AGM Finesse jighead and gave it to him to try. I removed my fine wire perch trace and put on a heavier wire so I could scale up slightly and target pike. Having got off the mark I was keen to fish a few Relax Kopyto shads that I recently ordered from Germany. I went with "Crystal Glitter Black" as I felt it resembled the roach with its nice red accents and fished it on a 7g #2/0 AGM Football jighead. Even at very slow retrieve speeds this lure has a fantastic tail action and a lovely roll to it as well. Add a few twitches and its an awesome lure. The pike agree and on only second cast with it and I was in!

Mistaken for a roach... Kopyto Shad was swallowed whole by this little greedy jack...
...with a big greedy mouth.

As we worked our way along the pontoon casting along the edge of it before fishing in between the boats and to the other side we soon had a few more fish hooked and lost before Keith landed his first fish of the day, a tiny pike.

How big are those hands!
We then had a short break and grabbed some lunch before heading west to a couple of spots on the canal past Banknock. At the first spot there was a nice little stream flowing into the canal and a couple of other anglers were fishing in the flow there so we headed a bit further along. Action was quite slow until Keith landed his second small jack of the day.

Another little pike falls victim to the irresistible Lake Fork Live Baby Shad.
I then had a go with some weedless surface lures over some lily pads on the far side and had a couple of swirls near my lure which got my adrenaline pumping but no takes. We then headed to a second stretch and whilst I continued to target pike, Keith had soon located a shoal of perch and quickly landed one.

Nice little perch for Keith meaning he'd caught a fish at each spot we fished.

I switched back to a Lake Fork Live Baby Shad and had a bite or two but couldn't hook one until we headed back towards the car. With my last cast I felt a solid little take as I slowly worked the lure back towards me and my second perch of the day was soon lifted up into my hand.

Last cast before we left produced this little angry perch.

Another enjoyable session with Keith and this week I plan to make good on my part of our deal which means a saltwater session. I'm looking forward to a little bit of species hunting around Dunbar harbour. Keith is just looking forward to catching his first blenny!

Tight lines, Scott.

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