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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Nice Pussy

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I'd had a couple of cats earlier in the season, so Dad was keen to join the fun. Love 'em or hate 'em cats are here to stay.

Personally, I'm quite a fan as long as they're born and bred in England and kept in a lake were there is no risk of them escaping.

There is such a lake near to where I live and I've had a few over the last couple of years. Most of them have come on sweetcorn intended for the large bream that also frequent the lake. This year I've specifically targetted them with beds of groundbait (to attract small fish) and pellets.

Dad has not caught a cat so he dusted down the bivvy and joined me for a night. Conditions were perfect - overcast and warm. We decided on a swim with a good bit of open water, but snags around were I believe the cats hole-up in the day before their night-time rampages.

Bait was a disgusting concoction of dog food (Vitalin), trout pellets, old frozen maggots and "high" hemp, all balled out to an area of gravel at about 40yards. Big bags of pellets were then heaved out on strong line and large hooks and the wait began.

Throughout the night it was evident that a huge shoal of bream moved in on the groundbait as we got a series of bleeps and aborted takes as these fish (mostly >8lbs) attempted to get the double 18mm halibut pellets in their mouths. Eventually at about 0200 things quietened down, probably because the bream had cleared up all the bait, but maybe because the cats were on patrol.

Either way, it was only a while later before a screaming run occurred and dad blundered out of his sleeping bag. I don't think he was actually awake at this point and due to the ferocity of the take both alarms were sounding, so in a confused manner he stood in front of the rods trying to work out which one to strike!

Eventually he made a choice, but unfortunately by this time the cat had dropped the bait. They have very hard boney crushing plates and if the hook is in this then the hook hold can be suspect.

The bait was recast and this time we'd only just settled back down, when it was off again. As dad was more awake this time, his strike was more organised and calm, but unfortunately the result was similar, although he felt some weight this time.

Frustrated, and with first light starting to show, Dad said I should take the next run. About half an hour later, and really on the cusp of dawn I had another run. Fortunately I was able to hook this fish, and following a typically awesome fight dad netted a nice cat.

I was rather apologetic, and even more so, when another run occurred a short while later, which Dad hit and proceeded to skate in a bream of about 7lb!

Next time!

 

 
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Comments (1)

Ben Eveling Mar 07, 2012 09:41 PM
Good post Tom. It has been a while now. Can we have the next installment?