With the rapidly shortening sepia toned days of Autumn drawing us ever closer to the fire side, this is the time of year where I spend a last couple of weeks down on Windermere ilooking for big pike. It is always a bit of a lottery as these are particularly moody fish and while some days are filled with expectation , others just seem a futile excercise in trying to look busy while sitting around waiting.for either a run or another cup of tea!. When Windermere is good it can be very good indeed and we never really know what will turn up. Mind you, as long as its not really wild there is always a chance and as with a lottery, you have to be in it to win it.
Hence the other day when I had a rare day off and took a look out to see what the lake was up to after lots of overnight rain. One of my Loch Awe lads came along as wingman and we did a fair bit of sitting around. It was too windy to fish in our favoured spot so we took the opportunity to try a couple of untested area. Half way through the third brew up the glorious sound of a baitrunner clicked then another. Is it just boat swing or is it…”yes, it’s a run!” and a fast wind down to feel the weight and up comes the rod to set into that glorious curve as something big and solid moves away somewhere down below.
With the fish rested in the net, then lifted in to be unhooked, weighed (18.12 lbs ) and a quick picture she was out of water for a matter of seconds and swam off none the worse for the adventure. Back out goes the bait and as often occurs, within seconds there was another feeding fish . This one gave an equally hard fight and Dale ended up with yet another big pike to his credit. And apart from one suicidal jack at last knockings that was it. But what a delightful way to spend an Autumn day admiring the brown study landscape and the cloud covered fells as a back drop.
Mind, last week I had a look at the Annan with Steve Walsh for a last ditch shot at salmon, and that was pretty good as well. We only saw two fish all day but as one was on the end of my line, (sorry Steve) it made for another interesting autumn day.
But here’s the mystery solution to something that has puzzled me for a while and thanks to my old chum Dr Keith Hendry of APEM fame for the answer.
As regular readers of this blog are aware I stop perch fishing at the start of Autumn because the fish move into deep water and on capture from anything over 30 feet in the colder months the swim bladder errupts into their throat. So Ieave them alone. But the puzzle was : why does this not happen in summer??
Out on Grasmere the other day with Ian and Keith I asked the question and was given the answer- Boyles law !!!
Remember all that stuff from school science days that you thought you would never use? …….Well Boyles Law concerns expansion of gases in relation to temperature, and that folks would seem to provide an answer to why perch ‘blow’ when you catch them deep in colder water.
So there we go, end of the lesson. I have another few weeks of piking then it’s into the boat shed for repairs and hopefully finish the long awaited fishing book that I have been working on for far too long.
And Goodbye John Wilson… good angler and influence on many a young angler (`even if he did bend rules on L Awe)
Dale with an old lady friend
And the sun goes down on another pike fishing day