Winter has started to show herself in fits and starts, with some sub zero temperatures causing a lot of venues to freeze over completely. Lately, the fishing has been quite testing for me and the boys; Neil and Ty did a few after-dark trips on the Exeter canal, braving the cold weather in the hopes of a giant perch. Sad to say their efforts were rewarded with nout but runny noses and blue fingers. I myself have also suffered some gruelling blanks on both the canal and river, but our sheer persistence and obsession payed off, so I have a few nice fish for you to feast your eyes on.
The Perch have been doing a good job of hiding from me. I have fished a couple of venues recently with bugger all to show for it perch-wise, but other species such as carp have made an appearance to brighten up the chillingly cold long slogs in search of old stripey.
Talking of carp, we did a spot of winter river carping on the Exe. I have seen a couple of carp frequenting a spot of the river where I walk the pooch, so it would have been rude not to have given them a bit of bait and get them on the feed. Ty and Neil dropped down to the spot on a rather mild morning to see if they could meet a fish or two. At this point I was in bed, when my phone beeped to alert me I had a message. I lazily rolled over to grub around for my phone. The message was as follows; "just had a pb 21lb 7oz common get ur ass down here!". Needless to say I was in the motor caning it up the road in the manner of someone that had just held up a bank!
I greeted the boys and congratulated young Ty on his first river carp. The boys very kindly shifted up the rods to allow me to drop a bait over the spot. It didn't take long before my rod was away with a one toner on the alarm. This time a smaller, but just as welcome, river common of 13lb 6oz. Ty's fish fell to a large stack of corn whilst mine took a fancy to a garlic and cheese stink nugget from Sonubaits, tipped with a bright yellow pop up.
Neil had his sights on something a bit toothier than the friendly river carp and opted to fish for pike. A bloody good job he did too. It became apparent we also had a few decent crocs in the area. Neil banked a hatrick
of doubles which weighed as follows 13lb 3oz - 18lb 4oz - 19lb 10oz.
Well as you can see we had a great morning on the Exe once again. On a down-side, there have been a few large carp found mauled by what is most probably an otter. A lot of the large fish I have caught from the river have had horrible injuries inflicted on them by something? I know that there is a hell of a lot of controversy regarding the otter debate but I love my fishes too much, so as far as I'm concerned old Tarka can suck my bank stick! As anglers, all we can really do is hope and pray that the bloody things are not as savage as we think they are. But hey that's nature isn't it? The idea of introducing more otters into the country's river systems would be about as good an idea as Steve Gerard signing for Everton. It may look good on the team sheet, but I imagine he would be shot dead within weeks. As would the otters if the problem got much worse. Put yourself in the shoes of a fishery owner who has put his life's work into building up a stock of beautiful fish, for them then to be devastated by an otter.....Not nice! Did you know that Everton beat Man city tutha day?,lol thought I would just drop that one in! Anyway, could this be the work of an otter?
Putting all that otter stuff aside the Exe continues to thrill us with big fish action on a regular basis......What a water. And not forgetting to big up Moxy on the capture of his first 20lb pike! I wonder if that beast Neil caught is 30lb yet? hmmm.We'll have a bloody good go at finding out I can tell you that!
'till next time
Wrap up warm!