Standing looking at a mass of tackle on Wednesday night I was blank on what I should pick out for a decisive strike on an unknown river after the mighty bullhead. After perusing several rods varying from 3lb to 1.75lb test curve I shook myself back to reality and searched out my 6lb test curve beach caster. Sorry I mean my huckleberry Finn signature bamboo cane which should be more than adequate for the job in hand.
The next issue re this unusual trip was what bait to take. After deciding to wait and see what they had at Lanes on the day I found myself confusing the poor chap who served me by asking for half a pint of mainly natural pinkies with a few large maggots, a few fluro pinkies, a pinch of red squats and the same of white squats. The look I got back was priceless to say the least but after a simpering smile he went off and returned with only could be described as a half pint mini mix.
With Jacky out for the night at the works quiz I had the car to myself for a spot of adventuring. It did turn out to be a real adventure trying to find my secret spot as I had never seen it before. I found out about this spot from Andy, who every time I said the word bullhead insisted I should go here instead of following someone else's lead. And yes Andy you were spot on mate.
Upon arriving three kids were throwing stones into the little river but a scowl from an rough looking angler had them back on there bikes and off up the lane. My first view of the babbling water did not really inspire me but after a little wading around I spotted a deep rocky hole near the bridge and low and behold it was full of minnows, but underneath in between the rocks I could see the odd little fish pop out.
It was on...
With only the top metre of the Huck s and three feet of 1lb line attached, a size 22 hook and a BB shot to get the bait down I crawled a tiny path worn bare by a million kids carrying a million nets. Only problem was that not one of those million kids were over three feet tall or any wider than breeze block, whereas I am both so it was a bit of a squeeze. It was just like being a kid again hiding in the bushes poking my rod out.(Mm that does not read as well as it sounded in my head as I typed it..!) After throwing in a few freebies, half the minnow population of the western hemisphere shot out from under a bush next to me. But as they followed the wrigglers off down stream I was given a free shot at the fellas below and bagged one first cast.
Here's a tip for any budding bullhead hunters. I noticed that they seem to be very territorial sticking to their own little area and defending it venomously. So you have to locate one catch it then move your bait to his neighbours territory and so and so forth.
After previous unsuccessful attempts I really thought it could take all night. But after fifty minutes I had caught twelve bullheads for between 2-3oz. Including two whoppers which added up to over one ounce between them, making them definite specimens.
Goliath and Hercules
Turns out trying to take a picture of twelve writhing bull heads is al lot harder to do than taking a picture of any other fish I have ever caught. It took me nine attempts to get this one decent picture and it aint that good.
Any way with a challenge point I never expected to get in the bag I hopped back in the car rather smug and with a few hours till I needed to go and pick up Jacky I headed off to do some barbel watching on a bit of river I fished many moons ago to waste some time.