Tuesday, 18 August 2020

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...


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Although its a spaghetti western the Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a great metaphor for my fishing successes, trials and flat out failures...

Today was to be no different.

Lets start out with the good.  I have very recently been sponsored by Inspired Angling Services.  Run by the fishing extraordinaire Julian Chidgey.  Now, a quick Google of this fellow will bring up a raft of incredible catches.  Suffice to say he has been in the game a long time and certainly knows his stuff.

His company Inspired Angling Services specialises in lures and are designed by the man himself and they are good, very good!  As you would expect from someone who has caught more enormous Pike and Perch than I've had hot dinners.

Being part of a sponsored team is quite a daunting prospect especially as I am relatively inexperienced at lure fishing and haven't been back in the fishing game for all that long.  However I do have enthusiasm on my side and can happily say I'm pretty obsessed with all things fishing.  A second string to my bow is the fact that I'm on holiday for 2 weeks meaning that I can strike whilst the iron is hot and get the first catches in.  Hopefully striking fear into the hearts of the other team members...

So without hesitation I headed down to the Somerset Levels.  Conditions were pretty good with the water level up a bit, but the ubiquitous lily pads and duckweed were out in force.

      Good: It wasn't raining and I was about to go fishing
Bad: Plenty of weed to contend with
Ugly: Nothing in this category (yet)

I started off fishing around the little bridge I was standing on.  Using the Snack Shad 38mm paired with the Wasp Weight Jighead 2grm.  I have had the Pink Snack Shad for quite a while and is my go to lure for Perch.  Its not in the best of condition if I'm honest and has taken a beating!

It wasn't long before I had a few hits and then a Perch took the bait!

Good:  Its a Perch!
Bad: Its in the shade and you cant see the colours very well.
Ugly: My horrible pink hands

Not long after this things went from good to bad...

I snagged up in a bramble hedge and lost the lure.  But not to fear!  I had another one in green.  I eagerly continued .  The world (or water in this case) was at my feet.  I had caught a Perch within 10 minutes of my arrival.  Sure, I had lost my favourite Perch lure but I had a replacement.  All was well, for a bit.

I hooked up into something very big and heavy.  It wasn't a fish.  In fact I have no idea what it was but it wasn't budging and my little ultra light rod wasn't up to the task of getting it out.  Lure number 2 lost in the drink.  Hmmm....

But the bad wasn't done with me yet.  After my snag up, the braid on my reel decided to turn into a particularly nasty looking, blind crow's birds nest.  There was braid emanating from every orifice.  I muttered and swore.  Before bringing out the scissors.  I didn't hold out much hope.  Thoughts of going home were increasingly at the forefront of my mind.  So much for the glorious, 'strike whilst the iron is hot' start.  If Mr Chidgey were here he would have probably thrown me in and cancelled any form of contract there and then.

The good I had not broken my rod
The bad:  Look at the picture
The ugly: Those pink hands are back.  

Somehow I cut through the correct bit of tangled knot and was able to continue but I had to be careful as I didn't have a lot of braid left!  It was all or nothing now.  I delved into my lure box and pulled out the Pike E Shad in white with a red tail.  I hadn't used this lure before but the red tail had to be a winner.

The good:  This lure is superb in the water.
The bad:  I only had one of them
The ugly: Those link pink fingers poking through

I was really impressed by this lure.  It looks so good in the water and isn't too big meaning that you could easily catch both Perch and Pike without any difficulty.  Also you can simply fling it out and wind it in and you still get a great wobbly action.  But if you let it sink and slowly draw it up it looks very much like an injured little fish.  Ideal if you happen to be a hungry predator.

The good:  Nailed fair and square in the chops
The bad: Nothing, all good here
The ugly: I accidentally pulled out the power cable to my GoPro... 

Closer look at the lure

Now we are entering the final scenes of the good, the bad and the ugly.  I cast to a small patch of duckweed and lilies and slowly retrieved the E Shad lure.  It was then a slim torpedo swept out of its hiding place.  It hung high in the water for just a moment before gliding effortlessly into the lure.  A quick snap and the lure was in its jaws.  I struck lightly and I was in.

An incredible fight ensued.  My ultra Light rod arching heavily toward the water.  I kept the tension high but the pike's shear strength still stripped of some braid.  Another fisherman (who I later found out was an ex student!) quickly came over and extended my landing net for me.  My heart sank as it dived under some thick weed and I couldn't feel anything but heaviness.  It had come off...

Then movement.  It thrashed furiously sending water and duckweed everywhere.  I plunged the net under its powerful body and brought it in, along with snails, lilies and algae.  Got him!

The good: Pike PB I would think.  I needed a bigger mat!
The bad: I got utterly soaked and pretty much fell in when landing him/her
The ugly:  My GoPro had stopped recording.(see two pictures above).  I had missed the take and the epic fight.  As a consolidation I did get a quick video on my phone before slipping him back. Was still gutted though as it would have been awesome on video.

So it is with a mixture of good, bad and ugly feelings I conclude my catch report.  I did have a YouTube video planned but I was too upset at not capturing the footage I wanted of the Pike that I decided to write a blog piece instead.  Which I have actually quite enjoyed doing.  Hopefully the boss enjoyed reading it...


  1. Well done on the sponsorship. I've always thought a few of us ordinary anglers should get to test tackle, as we are where the monies made. If we can catch on it then it must be descent.

  2. Were you using a wire trace or mono?