Having had a dismal summer trying – and mostly failing – to catch barbel on the Kennet, word was out that the Thames was witnessing a dace population explosion, so Andy and I decided we should take advantage of it.
Out came the match float rod, closed face reel and stick floats that hadn’t seen action for a few seasons and a couple of sessions were spent trotting the stream. Both sessions were very productive, resulting in around 150 dace each time, plus a few roach and perch. They weren’t big by any means, but it was good fun, with virtually a bite a chuck, and made a nice change from sitting behind a pair of motionless barbel rods.
During both sessions, a number of dace were attacked by pike as I was bringing them in. So for the next few outings, I indulged in some lure fishing, catching a few jack pike, but nothing weighing above a couple of pounds. The pike that were attacking the dace were larger than this, but I couldn’t seem to find them when actually fishing for them.
In October, my dad had a bad fall which put him in hospital for nearly four weeks, and he is now permanently in a bad way, which has somewhat curtailed my fishing since then. I did manage a trip in December, trotting the Thames in an attempt to locate some of the bigger roach that apparently had been showing, but the river was up, swirling and not really suited to float fishing and I blanked. That was it until March.