I had trouble finding a place to park…began no great fishing tale ever.
The forecast rain hadn’t arrived and I made an impromptu exploratory trip to investigate a new place. I’d heard that the confluence of the Rivers Ember and Thames was a good place to try for pike. I made my way to a spot on the Thames just across from Hampton Court Palace. This is a busy place, and I had to park far from the river; access to the waterfront is tricky too. The inevitable downside of urban fishing.
The most natural fishing spot at the junction of the two rivers was already taken, so I made do with a spot nearby upstream. I rigged a small soft lure on a 7g jig head – this would also interest any perch. A titanium wire leader and my new PowerPro 30Kg braid completed the setup. I flicked the lure into the Thames. At least the strong braid meant I didn’t lose any lures to snags; the lure’s hook bending out before the braid snapped. With no interest from any predator species, I made the long detour around to the south bank of the River Ember and tried from that side. Not a bite. I packed up and drove a few miles upstream to the place that was successful this time last year.
I stood in the same place as last October and cast the same Mepps Aglia lure into the same stretch of water. Mute Swans bothered me, dogs bothered the swans, but I wasn’t bothering the fish. I hooked a surprising number of freshwater mussels but none of the target species: perch, pike or otherwise. No other anglers were present on this stretch. Maybe they know better?
Sunset came and went. It was a shame to break a run of ten successful fishing trips and I was loathe to leave. I kept trying until it was quite dark. This stretch of river just doesn’t hold the numbers of fish I conclude.