Anyone who's been fishing with me knows I believe in luck, I've got a lucky fishing hat (which I wear even if it's too hot), I always put the rod wraps on so the logo is the right way up and I always put the first livebait back. I'm trapped fending of bad luck and thinking up stupid new ways to improve it.
And I have had a run of luck so far this season, I don't think I've had a run quite like it before. Fishing in a tough river I've had 98lb of barbel in less than three months. Dan on the other hand is having a run of bad luck. Really bad luck. We've been fishing the same swims, same bait and he hasn't caught anything like the fish I have. It happens, in fishing, a lot.
Yesterday afternoon we hit the river, after popping into the local tackle shop and stopping off in Dan's favorite pub for a game of pool (he kicked my arse). We went back to the spot where I had the four pounder on Wednesday, Dan was after barbel, I was after one of the big roach I had seen there in the closed season.
After 2 hours without a bite I tried a tiny bit of our experimental new bait on a size 16 hook to light line, the rod hooped over and I connected to a big fish. We could see it in the shallow water and both thought it was the double we were after. A long fight on tackle designed for roach with several heart stopping moments when it powered off downstream before Dan got the net under it. A long lean 8lb 1oz barbel. Taking my total weight for the season to over 100lb.
We moved downstream, I switched back to bread trying to tempt a roach while Dan still targeted the barbel. We found a swim that looked like it would hold both our target species and waited. Dan had two or three good bites that looked like the rod was going to hoop round but it didn't. On the third or fourth time he hit it anyway, and connected to a fish. We both thought it was a barbel until it surfaced and I slipped the net under a 2lb 6oz goldfish (ornamental koi).
What a beautiful looking fish! Dan was delighted. With the light fading we moved downstream. As we walked to the next swim I mentioned to Dan that that was it, his luck had changed, and just as I said it he skidded along in a massive dog turd!! It doesn't matter, fishing luck is different to everyday luck. (And sometimes Jack's Pike just writes itself).
We rounded things off with an eel to me before Dan had yet another mitten crab - his favorite.
Tomorrow we're off to the Thames, Dan is targeting the barbel and I'm after a pike. Now where is my lucky pike plug?