Saturday, 9 February 2013

Searching For A Pulse

Not long ago a small package arrived containing some Berkley pulse minnows and along with it plans to use these with a small selection of other lures was born, the idea being to spend a few hours  fishing the canal in hope of the odd perch latching on to them, with the recent snow freezing the canal and sadly an ill pet to look after, those plans had to be shelved.

It was nice to finally get down the canal and helped somewhat to lift that oppressive feeling that comes with being told you may soon have to decide if your pet has to be put to sleep or not. The day was cool but sunny and had almost a touch of spring to it, the canal glistening with a light scattering of sheet ice in the more open sections, but with plenty of clearer areas to run a lure through. This waterway is absolutely bursting with character, heavily forested sections with marginal mangroves, tank traps complimented by the remnants of old bridges, most spots have a feature or two that make an angler say to himself  "just one more cast".

One such spot had a lovely looking tree trunk and tangled roots, the perfect looking skulking area for a perch or two, alas nine casts later and my lure was lost forever. Now I am never happy losing fishing tackle, but losing lures is something I really hate and it was with some chagrin that I replaced the lost one, I also feel Berkley could perhaps be a little less stingy and include more weighted jig heads in the pack.

carrying on downstream my mind set on an area where the towpath narrows before widening into a woody opening, the lure making a calming splosh as it repeatedly entered the water. I was giving each spot about 15 casts before moving on, further downstream I met another lure angler who was seeking the same quarry, we chatted briefly, leaving me with whispers of perch, I made my way further afield, trying each and every bit of the canal, in hope that I might get the odd perch that I was dearly searching for.

I will say this now, I have never seen time fly by so fast as when lure fishing, before I knew it the time was 2pm and by now I had managed no follows and a new personal best in the shape of an enviroment agency crayfish trap, replete with perhaps ten or twelve of the critters, one of which looked like it was doing a fairly good job at imitating a lobster for size and attitude.

I decided to have a rest every so often, eventually stopping to have a snack before slowly luring my way back to the car. Although I did briefly switch to a mepps style spinner, the majority of the trip was spent using the pulse minnows.

Cast, twitch, vary retrieve and so it went, by 3pm the battery on my headcam had packed in and I had covered quite a few areas when I spotted a lot of bubbles going from one side of the canal to the other and to all intents and purposes it looked like something had been on the chase, looking along the opposite bank, I made out the shape of a perch of perhaps 1lb, moving briskly upstream, I decided to chance my luck and see if I might tempt a follow or more, ten casts later I convinced myself that it was not going to be happening and that it was time to head home, like a lot of waterways this place does seem to sometimes switch on  later in the day, so I was not suprised to see a tench that looked all of 6lb swim past me, even in the slightly coloured water and fading light you could see its dark olive back and creamy orange belly, yet more food for thought! Never enough time..

It had been an enjoyable blank and I don't say that for the sake of having not caught, I don't do to much lure fishing  and this had been a thoroughly enjoyable trip. My only worry is that I should imagine purchasing lures could if  I'm not careful become be a bit too addictive.


  1. One of the many things I love about reading of your goings abouts and casting of lines, is because your outlook is always one of any angler's should be. Lovely day, even a skunking, in countryside such as that. And Mark, my many thoughts are with you and your cat. Hard times, those...hard times. Pulling for you both. - Erin

    1. Cheers Erin,

      I often think that if you can't enjoy the lovely surroundings when fishing and at the same time have hope for the what ifs and what might be, then perhaps all is a bit lost really.

      Thank you for the kind words, it is not easy to see him like it, we got him in the winter of 94, I remember it well as I had bronchitis at the time, he was the last of the litter, all ears and a bundle of fur and claws.

  2. Its like heroin :o) Each shiny lure looks like it could be THE one but they never are. I recommend you get a few spinner baits though, they're great for pike and perch and a Big S with a rattle inside is a must ;o)

    Sorry to hear about your pet troubles, its the big decision we all have to make eventually, but the animal usually let's you know when its their time. I hope this soon resolves for you.

    1. Dave, I am beginning to think that you're right each lure looks not only deadly, but so nice that I could see people just collecting some of them and never using them!

      Will take your advice and have a look at some spinner baits, managed to pick up 9 shads with weighted heads for £2.50.

      I am afraid I can't make that kind of decision though Dave, at least not yet, he is dropping weight like a brick though and his purr although there is more faint than it ever was, I could say he has had a good innings at over 20 years old, but thatcertainly does not make it any easier to deal with, they become an integral part of the family and he has always been treated as such, usually saying goodbye to me when I go fishing and running to greet me at the front door when I return.

    2. I know what its like, we lost all three cats in the space of four months and saying goodbye to a dog is particularly heart rendering but you have to remember that what is often the hardest decision you have to make for yourself is the best decision you can make for your animal.

      I'm sure you know all this and will do what is best for all concerned.

    3. Cheers Dave,

      Tippy passed away at just gone 4am this morning, just outside of the bathroom. I have been holding his still warm body and said a few words for what little he ever asked for,yet gave so much more back in enjoyment, love and affection, bless him.

  3. Oh dear , Mark, what ever you do , DO NOT get lure fever,
    I have (hopefully) just got through the worse of it.
    When you first start, you must have every different type of lure, in every colour, and every size, then you get to realise that you only use about a dozen or so on a regular basis.
    I now just take a few soft lures- shads and grubs + a few crank, jerk and spinner baits. I used to trolley the whole lot all around with me just in case. !*!

    1. Marc,

      I can understand how that could easily happen mate, I have actually purchased 9 shads with weighted heads for £2.50 and some grubs/worms as well. Fingers and toes crossed that the bug doesn't bite too deeply.

  4. My thoughts are with you, Mark.

    I used to lure fish quite a bit. I even took to ordering 'Bulldawgs' from America. I now have half a hundredweight of the things in me shed.


    1. Thanks Alan,

      I can take comfort knowing he is at least no longer in pain and perhaps looking down on us whilst playing with his little catnip mouse.

      100 weight in musky lures! Crikey that is a serious amount in lures!

  5. Mark,

    Been their done that with a pet.Had the old boy put to sleep on April the seventh at 18.50,coming up to three years.Not that I am counting ;-0.

    But as time goes on and it does take time,you'll look back and smile.That I do know.

    Chin up ;-0

  6. Cheers Jason,

    We buried him on Tuesday, it makes you see things clearer, this little chap like many animals didn't ask much yet the love and loyalty they give is unequivocal. Meanwhile us the supposedly "evolved" species spend time bickering over small things and generally screwing each other over.