19 October 2002

Milnthorpe: Fishing the Canal.

Old Eric says :-) In my early teens when we lived at Kidside, Milnthorpe I would sometimes go down to the canal at Crooklands fishing. I didn't go too often as I would have to be in the right mood. When I did the day would be sunny and still and summery, quiet with the sound of the bees moving from flower to flower.
I would get some sandwiches, tie the rod on my bike and ride down to the canal a mile or so away. Always to the same spot, just before the canal bridge where it went over the canal onto the Crooklands road. I would park my bike and go along the right-hand side by the bridge and, a short way down there is a wide pool in the canal were a culvert from the river runs in. This was my fishing spot. There were roach, rudd and other corse fish in the canal and though I never seemed to get the big ones, I did get good size ones. On one of these lazy fishing days I was just browsing and I felt a bite on the line and the float was down. It felt like a good sized fish and as I played it for a while I slowly pulled it up. It was a good sized roach and as I half lifted the roach up out of the water in the centre of the pool, the water suddenly exploded. All I remember seeing in the space of a moment was a large head, a larger open mouth and some sharp teeth and the roach disappearing. After the shock wore off all I saw on the hook was the roaches head and nothing else. What I had witnessed was a pike in action.
The lazy day disappeared, I was now all keyed up , a larger hook--the largest I had went on the line, I fished in earnest for roach, caught them and run them as live bait and tempted that pike, I knew he was down there lying on the bottom in the deepest part. Evening came I was still there and no movement from that pike, I reluctantly went home.

Pike (fish)

A freshwater fish of the genus Esox found in temperate regions of Eurasia and America. It has an elongated body, up to about 1.4 m long, a broad flat snout, and a large mouth with strong teeth. It feeds voraciously on fish and other animals. The common pike (E. lucius) is olive-grey above with silvery under parts and pale spots. Family: Esocidae; order: Salmoniformes

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