I'm sat with Olly Cadman trying to finalise a website and the prospect of leaving the Environment Agency after 27 years is becoming real. I am in the fortunate position that I am now able to pursue working in a field that many people would consider their ideal job. I guess in a few months or years I will know if this is the case for me! After some guiding for charity and showing a couple of good friends a few tricks I realised I often get as much pleasure helping others catch fish as I would catching that fish myself. This was brought home to me last spring when I received a call from John Osborne who wanted me to be the first to know he'd just broken his PB tench on a rig and bait I had shown him a couple of weeks earlier. I'm hoping that he won't be the last to do so.
I don't think there are many set guidelines for tutoring angling and my hope is I can tailor the tuition to what the angler wants. This could be relatively short sessions perhaps looking at rigs through to longer sessions lasting 24 hours or more. Initially I shall be looking to take anglers to a couple of day ticket venus, Linear and Bluebell, however I will be happy to meet you at a venue of your choice if you prefer.
Enough of the future and time for an update of recent fishing trips on Cop Mere. Cop is a stunning natural water that is ideally suited to piking from a boat. Last week I tried drifting and laying on dead baits but all was quiet so I decided to cast a copper spoon about and first cast had a pike of about 9lb followed shortly after by a much small one. Given they seemed keen on moving baits I decided to try trolling and on a circuit of the mere had three runs, one was dropped and the other two produced jacks. Just as I was reaching the point where I had started a further take resulted in much more solid resistance and after a spirited battle an exceptionally fat pike was netted.
I immediately suspected there might be signs of something in its gullet and after unhooking her I could see the tail of a tench just visible. I could actually feel the tench in the pike's stomach and if you look carefully you can see the bulge in the photograph above.
A short return trip a few days later produced a take within 10 minutes and I immediately knew it was a good fish. In the gin clear water I got a great view of her twisting and turning close to the boat before coming to the net. I wondered if she might scrape 20lb but the scales confirmed my suspicion she would fall slightly short at 19b 10oz. Shame she hadn't just eaten a 3lb jack! Unfortunately I had forgotten my Nikon so a self-take wasn't possible but the iPhone shot on the mat is surprisingly good and you don't have to look at me as bonus!