Image Above: The Prototype, magnetic weight shift balsa minnow lure
I knew I should I have stayed at home before I set off. It had been raining hard for almost a day and a half before the weather broke and a weak sun managed to hollow a disc in the clouds. The lake water had turned the colour of strong milky tea, the kind of tea you would accept only in politeness while looking for a plant pot to tip it in. Normally when the lake colours some visibility remains even if it is reduced to a few feet but today I could have been dropping my lures into molten lead.
I had come to test a new lure which in fairness is not the same thing as fishing although catching a fish while not pursuing them is always a bonus. The lure was a Phox Minnow with a new magnetic weight shifting system. I wasn’t looking for distance particularly but to reduce or even eliminate the tumbling that normally plagues lightweight lures on the cast.
I don’t have a great record with prototype lures I have a tendency to test them to their limits and then a little beyond so there is always a little trepidation when tying on a new crash test dummy. Rigged and ready I found a nice open area of bank and swung the rod, there was a sharp click as the internal weights shifted and then the lure sailed out over the lake. There was no tumbled or spin just a long arcing flight with the line pealing out like a vapour trail, I half expected a thud and then the rumble of a distant explosion as the lure touched down.
I am not used to early success so I casted again and again, and then some more, and then a bit more and again and then after I had decide to leave I stayed and casted some more. The lure worked again and again and despite the water being a slightly wetter variety of mud and the chances of catching a fish being slim to nothing I was enjoying myself.
I eventually left the lake and made the short walk up the embankment to the canal. By comparison the water looked almost pristine but in reality visibility was only a little over eighteen inches. There was another problem to contend with; the wind had stripped the last of the autumn leaves from the bankside trees and they hung in the slow moving water suspend like mines. I wasted too long collecting flora.
Later I clipped on a spinner bait in the hopes of avoiding the leaves and maybe luring out a pike by vibration rather than sight. Instead I moved from flora to collecting the kind things that canals are more famous for holding. A brief but not exhaustive list of my haul follows: A complete open golf umbrella, a hood from a jacket, a pair of trousers, part of a pair of jeans, an Asda plastic bag, a Tesco plastic bag, a cloth draw string P.E. bag (haven’t seen one for years), part of a rod case, a long piece of what looked like video tape. Eventually a pike made a feeble strike as the spinner passed but it missed and rolled at the surface before returning into the murk.