Friday, 25 July 2014

Man vs mink (new eel p.b)

After catching my target perch on the previous couple of outings I decided to renew my eel campaign. During my 3 eel sessions this season I haven't managed to bank one yet, although I have caught some nice fish, the 'snigs' have remained elusive.

I decided on a change of venue for my latest session, the lower stretches of my local river. The reason for the change of venue was simply that it is 5 minutes from my front door to the riverbank and I have caught plenty of eels (bootlaces) there in the past.


I was on the riverbank by 2030hrs and had 4 rods in the river soon after, the rods were setup as follows -

Rod 1 - Dyson rig set to fish 2ft from the bottom (right margin)
Rod 2 - J.S rig with ledger stem fished mid-river
Rod 3 - J.S rig with ledger stem and block end feeder filled with chopped worm, fished mid-river
Rod 4 - J.S rig over a bed of dead maggots (left margin)

I took roach and sand eel dead baits and also had plenty of worms to use.

Baits in the water - sit back and relax
I didn't have to wait too long for my first run, just after dark the backbiter on the 2nd rod lit up and line was peeling from the spool. Eagerly I was at the rod within a second, I took up the slack and struck into thin air ! The next run came to the 3rd rod, again line was peeling from the spool, I waited slightly longer before striking but again I struck into thin air !








Just before midnight I had a run on the left hand margin rod, I hurried to the rod took up the slack and struck. I felt the kick of a fish then things went solid, I was snagged. As I was reeling in a large branch it started fighting back! I brought it to the surface and I could see the white underside of an eel on the end of the line but the line was also wrapped around a branch. After a bit of a tussle I netted the eel and managed to untangle the line from the branch. On checking the net it was obvious that this was a definite p.b. I quickly unclipped the trace, weighted the eel, took a quick photo with the phone and placed the eel into a sack which was staked in the margin.

A quick photo of  a new p.b
The margin rod was baited and recast, just as I was settling down on my chair the 2nd rod went again. I rushed over to the rod and in the excitement I managed to slip into the river, I quickly dropped the rod and grabbed the vegetation (nettles) to pull myself onto the bank, needless to say when I eventually got control of the rod the eel was well gone.






Spot the mink


After a few choice words I sorted myself out and once again I had 4 baits in the water. I was sitting back enjoying the peaceful surrounding when the bushes starting to rustle, this went on for a while. It sounded like two or more animals were fighting/mating. Initally I thought they were rats, then then noise they started making made me think they were cats, something ran from the bushes and entered the water, otters? Eventually I realised they were mink.





Spot the mink II



The mink were extremely active and didn't seem concerned by my presence, I think the scent of my dead baits and the eel in the sack sent them into a bit of a frenzy. A mink tried to attack the sack, shining a torch on them even throwing stones didn't seem to deter them. In the end I had to keep my head torch on the brightest setting and use a storm pole to keep them away from my gear and the sack.









After a good 45 minutes they finally got the message and left me alone. Needless to say I didn't get any more takes whilst all this was going on. I had a final take at around 0410hrs, which again was missed. I took a few photos of my new p.b eel and released it back into the warm water.

The first of the year
A new p.b 2lb 7oz
Pleased with the first eel of the year and also a new p.b, I was shattered so I headed home to get a few hours sleep.

2 comments:

  1. Well done on your pb Darren, it brings back memories of my younger days fishing for eels on the Llynfi river. Tight lines, Mark

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    1. Thanks Mark, hoping for a few more before the summer ends

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