I got down to a local stretch of the River with smelt as bait, and cast towards a dead tree on the far bank next to some slack water. I didnt have to wait long at all for my rod to start moving, i gave it 10 seconds or so before hitting into the fish. I thought that i must have snagged the tree, because it didn't move or do much and just felt like a solid lump. It wasn't until i managed to give it some stick that it came to life, and there wasn't much i could do about it when it did move! It surfaced after 4 mins or so and it was then i realised it was a double. I managed to get the fish near the bank before it went off again, and this time it was heart in mouth time until my clutch slipped at the right moment. Every time the fish surfaced, my estimate of it's size got bigger, and 6 mins into the fight i was guessing about 15 pounds. Suddenly it was over as the fish came into the net which my brother had skillfully placed. It wasn't until i lifted the net that i realised i could have a 20!!!
It weighed in at 23lb, with the net taking up 1/2lb so i settled at 22.5lb! Not bad for the first fish of the year.....
|22lb 8oz pb|
Nothing else happened for the rest of the morning, but i wasn't that bothered!!