February weather and the 8lb cormorant

Hard to believe that this time last year we were snowed in, with drifts over the road. Now its rain and serious winds but we are not as badly affected as elsewhere. It does make you wonder about the wildlife damage as well. We live in curious times. Up here on the fishing front we seem to have managed to make the best of the times we are out but sometimes we do have to re-schedule the day if its really wild and we have had a couple of those recently.. Windermere can be a wild old place when there’s a south westerly gale and I don’t compromise safety.. But then the wind dies down for a day or so and there is nowhere better to be and we have had some very enjoyable times out there.

Because the fishing can sometimes be hard going, you have to either hit lucky or have a few favoured places. We seem have been doing both and these are a couple of typical fish on deadbaits.. I don’t mind sitting it out to meet pike like these. But apart from some trolling scousers in a flash boat, at the moment there’s not a lot of anglers out there, which probably tells its own tale.. besides which, If it does blow up you need to know what you are doing. So be careful. Or wait till it settles down.

So.this bird business…You know those times you couldn’t have timed it better if you tried???….well

The Cormorant.

Dale Mordlock and I were sitting at the top end of Windermere, some distance off Brathay Rocks and it was one of those calm, reflectively misty mornings when you really feel there’s a chance of a good fish. Approach quietly, settle gently into place and position baits out at various points along the drop off. With a brew in hand we watched the floats and waited.. Away in the distance a cormorant was going about its business and as we looked, it dived silently.

“Ever had one pick up a bait?” asked Dale as the bird re-appeared then dived a little closer to the boat,

” No, never in a lifetime of fishing”…. says I,

At which point the Baitrunner on the free lined house rod screamed and kept on going as the fastest run in pike fishing history set off down the lake, came up for air, flapped its wings then dived again..

I will spare the details of the next twenty minutes, alternating between chaos and slick, but with a good rod, and an experienced hand there’s a lot to be said for it. You cannot stop one when its underwater so you have to heave when its up for air!!. and they are a nightmare at the side of the boat !

Mostly I hate Cormorants for the damage they do and would have no qualms about shooting one but this bird was caught with a single hook in the wing .

So the answer to the question is yes!

They do eat sardines as part of their 5 a day. and I still don’t like them.. Their eyes are reptilian jade and is spite of having this one by the scruff for weighing, it flew off wiser but unharmed. (Even if it did have a go at me!)

Meanwhile, I’m out again in the morning if the weather permits…Hmm

Tarra and stay dry


Now there's a happy man Gavins best so far

Now there’s a happy man Gavins best so far

Dale Mordlock and a Good 'Un

Dale Mordlock and a Good ‘Un

Graham Smith - one of two upper doubles on a hard day

Graham Smith – one of two upper doubles on a hard day