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Solo Chew Croc Hunt - 4th/ Sept 2017

 
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lakefisher
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:42 pm    Post subject: Solo Chew Croc Hunt - 4th/ Sept 2017 Reply with quote

I went for a spur of the moment CVL Croc Hunt today Very Happy

Arrived just after 8 with a solo boat available - paid up and got my boat number - so all gear in the boat sharpish and off to my usual hunting grounds around Stratford.

Almost flat calm at first, but the breeze picked up around 9.15 from mainly Westerly, with a touch of N & S making itself felt on odd occasions. At one time as the wind shifted - I was doing curved drifts Laughing Cloud cover most definitely overcast. Very Happy Water clarity was 4 to 5 feet and the temperature a little lower than my last visit at 18 degrees.

Set up multitudinous drogue-less drifts, with absolutely nothing to shout about, other than the odd chase from inquisitive Rainbows until 1.30 PM, when a follow from a Girl of around 15 pounds got the adrenalin going slightly. Went thro' loads of fly patterns - colours - sizes - depths - retrieves before the follow. She took a fancy to a silver wiggle tail but wasn't hungry enough to hit the fly Rolling Eyes
An hour later, I had just exchanged the silver wiggle tail for a Gold one - delivered a decent cast, counted the fly down and was halfway thro' my sloooow RolyPoly when a sharp "RAP" happened - - Bl***y rainbow I thought - Then everything went solid - and I could feel a headshake from the depths Cool

Get the camera ready - I think this ones "Green" Very Happy
She was coming in without much of a scrap - just headshaking heading for the boat - her head touched the surface - and she didn't like it - showing her displeasure by going absolutely ballistic - Full afterburners toward the Wick side of Stratford - Full flyline and a large chunk of backing duly ripped from my reel and a hell of a bend in my Redington CPX 10#.

Rod screaming into the corks, fingers hot from applying the brakes - This was definitely an awesome girl Very Happy

Sidestrain managed to turn her and I regained a modicome of control - Brought her towards the boat when she surfaced - and the "Oh my God" moment happened - grab a swift snap - this could be all I see of her as she's going again ........



And go she did - taking off for Wick at high velocity - and taking back every last inch of my hard won line and backing. Rolling Eyes Embarassed

By now I'm trembling - almost panicking - and turning the air blue with finest Anglo-Saxon due to her total lack of cooperation Laughing

Eventually, She started heading boatward again - and looked almost ready for the net - This one, I am not even going to consider chinning - Grab what could be the last Pic - and then grab the net



Fortunately, She went in first attempt - so more pics were possible - but with no other boats in sight - me solo and not wanting to mess Her around - She was quickly weighed using my McCleans weigh net, swiftly unhooked still in the net ,but supported by my sladle that She almost went the full length of - as you can see from the photo, only lightly knicked in the scissors, no dentistry required Cool and back in the water to be lovingly cradled - admired and gently released after ensuring She was fully recovered. At least thats my excuse - I just needed a little more drooling time Laughing Embarassed






I was absolutely delighted to see my scales pulled down to 32 Pounds - A brand spanking NEW Personal Best - bettering my previous PB by a whole 4 pounds

Quick shot of my home tied fly that did the deed



Still trembling and sweating like fury, it was then off to the lodge for an iced drink (one glass of Orange Juice - £3.10p Shock) - afterwards, tried similar bits of Stratford with no result - but how do you follow that Rolling Eyes

So off home early - but couldn't resist phoning Alan (Allrounder) to give him the news Laughing

A genuine Red Letter day for me which has been a long time coming - An extremely chuffed Lakefisher Cool

Cheers ......... Tony Very Happy Very Happy Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant blow by blow account there Tony. Cool

Just wish I had been there to share your joy and take some pics for you. You're going to struggle to best that beastie!!! Laughing

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on a smashing capture. Beautiful fish and a great report.

Bet your still shaking.

Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Tony Cool .Great report and fish Very Happy So nice to see after all the time and effort you have given.I bet youre still smiling Laughing .
Enjoy mate. Smile.Steve Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smashing stuff Tony! Take a selfie stick next time mate! Very Happy


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done sir, a most deserved fish to a most deserving angler. Enjoy the glory.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has your wrist recovered yet Tony? Very Happy

With pike being quite long lived and a lot more intelligent than they are given credit for, I wonder if it is getting harder to catch them on flies and lures as they wise up? If those big trout under the salmon cages in NZ donít take lures anymore once they have seen a few, surely pike are the same?

What an amazing catch!
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's definitely got harder since the halcyon days of 2012 and before, Dave. Back then almost any fly worked and it was very unusual for both boat partners to blank. Normally you would expect at least a couple each during the day and to lose far more than you caught. They weren't always big fish - most were under 10lb with the odd double thrown in - but pike in single figures can be a lot of fun on a fly rod. Cool

These days even the top pike fly fishers suffer many blanks during the season and in my experience you don't get the number of 'hits' or follows that we did back in the halcyon days. Now it is a case of accepting that you are going to have to fish hard all day for a couple of hits and when ... if ... they come you hope beyond hope they will stay attached and turn out to be something special rather than a Jack. I think this is probably down to angling pressure as there are far more pike fly fishers on the lake than there were back then, and unlike many trout, pike are returned to fight another day.

I love fishing for rainbows on Chew but when my 18lb fish eventually came to the net a few weeks ago my legs were shaking so much I had to sit down to regain my composure. Love them as I do, I just don't get the same adrenaline rush from a 'pea in a pod' reservoir stocky. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally agree with Alan's thinking. Success whilst fly piking has seriously diminished over the last several years according to my catch records. Five years back, you could regularly expect to have up to 4 or so fish each in a day afloat with roughly similar numbers of follows and distant hits that didn't hook up. You could also expect to be pretty much alone on the lake, apart from JH and the odd budgie chucker for company.

Recently, my recorded catch numbers have been drastically reduced, to such a degree that a couple of follows and one or two hooked, constitutes a really good day Rolling Eyes

Increased angling pressure, with more and more fly pikers going afloat - I've counted up to 12 boats on one day Shock and the pike possibly "wising up" to see our flys as dangerous may well have something to do with the lesser returns. Strangely, many of my once "goto" flys no longer produce any result whatsoever Embarassed

But I for one, will not be giving up anytime soon Laughing I still get a massive buzz from my successes - especially when it turns out to be a leviathan that goes to 32 lbs and represents a new PB. Doesn't have to be that big - like Alan, I'm happy just getting hits and follows with the odd double figure fish to the net.

Thanks for asking Dave - the wrist is just fine Laughing

Thanks also for all your kind comments Gents Cool

Cheers ...... Tony Cool
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cracking fish Tony! Well done mate!
Bet you are still buzzing!
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lovey lady there well done Smile
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