Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Forced to fish.

Lillian wanted me to take her fishing today and after a bit of begging and grovelling I reluctantly agreed to take her. I quickly checked the weather and decided to head inland to escape the wet and windy east coast. We jumped in the car and headed to the Forth & Clyde canal to the section next to the Falkirk Wheel.

Lillian was excited at the prospect of catching a pike or perch so to get her ready I began explaining the basics of targeting predators with soft plastics and started of with a Lake Fork Live Baby Shad in Golden Shiner on a 3.5g #6 AGM Finesse jighead. I was just explaining the idea of bottom bouncing when I felt a little jolt. Fish on! Lillian readied the net and the first jack of the day was soon landed, photographed and returned.

First fish of the day. A small jack.
A close up. Just in case you can't see it!

We moved along a bit and I started explaining to Lillian about the way predators like to use shade and structure to lie in to charge out of to ambush their prey. With this in mind I cast between a couple of boats on the far bank and started retrieving the lure. Wallop! A better fish this one and didn't feel like a pike. My suspicions were quickly confirmed when the fish came into view. A lovely big canal perch. Again Lillian was ready with the net and after a few spirited runs from the fish it was over the net and landed. A bit of an old war horse it had some deep scarring around its tail, a lucky escape from a pike the likely cause no doubt which I wish I had photographed in hindsight. Weighed at 1lb 1oz and put back to fight another day.

In the net after a few final runs.
A nice big canal perch.

As we walked along the bank Lillian was asking me lots of questions and just as she was asking me about what other fish were in the canal I felt a few little knocks and then the rod tip arced over ever so slightly. I reeled in and this greedy little micro jack was responsible.

How cute is he. Greedy too!

Definitely the smallest I've ever caught. So cute. Lillian wanted to take it home but I put my foot down and said no. I then decided to switch to a larger Lake Fork Live Magic Shad in Talapia, again trying to imitate a minnow, on a heavier 7g #2/0 AGM Ultra Ball jighead. We moved along to a pontoon with quite a few canal barges moored up and I worked the lure using a faster retrieve with the odd jerk. Working the lure from the reed beds opposite back past the boats a bigger jack shot out and had a go but when I struck the lure came out of his mouth and he bolted. A perfect opportunity to educate Lillian on the use of a stinger.

I switched over to a Savage Gear Soft 4Play in Dirty Roach and rigged up the stinger. A couple of casts later another jack shot out from underneath a large floating dry dock and grabbed the lure. Couldn't have planned this demonstration any better as it was hooked on the stinger!

Stingers will be employed more often in the future!

By now Lillian's head was ready to explode with all the info I had bombarded her with so we called it a day. Next time she might actually have a go!

Tight lines, Scott.

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