It was not until the Saturday I was out again, I should have been taking part in the AT Silvers qualifier at Larford but that has been put back to 31st January. The rut has re-established itself and peg 10 at Bowood was surprisingly clear for a Saturday with 4 other cars parked up- busy for Bowood! I did the usual and put a sardine out on the pike rod while setting up the pole, three balls of groundbait deposited at 10m and 3 roach in the first three put ins on maggot, then nothing which is usually a sign of bigger fish moving in or a pike. Five biteless minutes later the pellet waggler I use as a pike float bobbed before moving off on a run, a firm strike and the reassuring jar of a fish being hooked. It felt like a good fish and fought well but I was surprised when it came to the net with it only weighing 9-15, a fish that definitely fought above it’s weight!
The roach and rudd returned and after a further 6 fish I put a piece of corn on, the result was a longer wait but a better quality of fish. I had planned to fish until 12 and by 11:55 I had 25 roach and 15 rudd for 5-03. I began packing the pole up when the pike rod went again, this time a more dour fight but a pike of 11-08 was soon in the net. A conundrum, should I stay or should I go? I decided to stick to my guns and packed up after returning the pike. As I was loading the trolley one of the anglers from the top field came around loaded down. He had had a fruitless morning and had decided to move around, after a chat he decided to drop in to 10.
Tuesday sees me back at Bowood and the rut continues- peg 10. Started as before and had 5 fish then went on corn. First drop in the float disappears after a couple of minutes and the strike is met with a solid resistance as if I had caught the bottom before the bottom starts to move! I knew immediately this was a pike as that is how pike seem to feel initially on the pole, however I was on my no5 elastic, 18 hook to 0.10 Shogun. After a couple of runs and tail walks I managed to get it back to the top 4 which is what I would need to land it on, when the pike rod goes! The top 4 goes between my legs and I strike into pike number 2. I managed to keep this one away from the one on the pole and netted it in the pike net, dropping the handle onto the platform and securing it wit my foot I then continued to play pike 1! Finally getting it into my normal net. I weighed this one first 9-04 and released it the n pike number 2 was unhooked and weighed in at 8-12.
Roach and rudd continued for the next hour or so when pike 3 came along- on the pole again! Same scenario, bite solid mass, slowly plods off, then wakes up and tail walks a couple of times. Got back to the top 4 when with no extra pressure from me or the fish the hook pulls out! I should mention that these pike are hooked in the mouth (usually in the scissors) which is why I am able to land some of them! Half hour later the same thing happens but this time there is a sudden parting as my no 5 elastic finally succumbs to the abuse it had been receiving lately and snapped 12 inches above the retaining bung. I consoled myself with the fact that at least the pike would be able to get rid of the rig easily given it was a 0.10mm hooklength. I had one further encounter with a pike, a jack of 3-07 again on the pole taking corn! My 35 roach and 20 rudd went 6-05 to give me a 27-12 total.
I missed the Wednesday as it was raining quite heavily and I had some jobs to do but intended going Friday after our early morning walk, however Thursday saw the temperature drop to -1C even at 9am with a heavy frost, and Friday was 0C with dense fog when we went on our walk to the Pondtail bridge. The sight was not good, lots of foam on the water but the colour of the water had turned a pale grey/mud – truly horrible so I decided to give it a miss and go on the Saturday.
Saturday arrives and four cars already parked up. I was hoping 10 was clear if not I would drop in 8 to give anyone on 10 some room. Unfortunately there was someone on 10 and 8 and although they said there was room to go on 9 I opted to go on 6 to give them room. I was not hopeful on 4 with 4.5ft of water but gave it from 9-1 fishing. No runs at all and went on the corn after the first 4 maggot fish would weigh an ounce in total. There were lots of small yearling fish attacking the corn but I managed to winkle out 15 roach and 10 rudd for 2-04 before I left. The angler on 10 had 3 pike in that time (apparently 2 before I arrived also) fishing two pike rods, the angler on 8 had one just as I was going. I am coming to the conclusion that my original standpoint of not fishing Bowood at the weekend might be reinstated, I am giving Sunday a miss and have decided to end the month on Monday by walking up to peg 11 in the top field to complete that side of the lake.