I was joined by Andy for my final foray to my new perch pool and I was beginning to rue the day I had waxed so lyrical about what I thought was the potential of this place. The biggest perch we had seen was barely longer than my little finger and I hadn't even caught it either. Things weren't going well with the warm spring-like sun beating down on the water. I had nearly diverted this session to the now well-conditioned river but after spending hard earned money on bait I wasn't about to waste any of it.
So far, since arriving and feeding generously I'd had not much more than a few small rudd and two dog eared hybrids to show for my efforts. The whole thing was made worse by the constant attentions of the small roach that although very interested in my half worm hook baits that were far too small to actually eat it and thus my float danced incessantly with the nibbles from hungry little mouths.
The last cup worth of tea was cooling in the flask and not wanting to waste that I reached behind my seat for the container. After draining the last of the warm sweet tea into my enamel cup I sat back, enjoying the hint of warmth that radiated through the metal cup. With only a single swig left I put the cup down on my bag. Just as I turned my head back in the direction of the water I caught sight of my float as it slipped away. Perhaps it was panic at the sight of a proper bite that did it but I jerked into action repositioning my feet as I struck. The instant I moved my right thigh, or more specifically hamstring, went into an instant spasming cramp. Anyone who ever gets these savage cramps anywhere in their body has my greatest sympathy, I can assure you. I have had plenty of these almost debilitating cramps at various times over the years, but never one whilst I was playing a fish. The only thing I could do was stretch out my leg straight and squeal loudly like a great big pansy. Oh and yes the lake which was on the last two occasions deserted was on this occasion quite well populated on this day figure that. After only moments of trying to ease the cramp my tense body cursed me once again with a second cramp in, if I am correct, what is referred to as the external oblique or possibly the transverse abdominis. Now I was literally lying prone across my seat rigid like a board squealing like a stuck pig and half laughing while trying to hold my rod in the air and play the first decent perch of the day.
Luckily though Andy was there to help and did the decent thing and sat giggling like a twelve year old girl in Justin Beiber's presence. Honestly in the end he could barely get up he was laughing that much as I writhed around playing the fish, truly embarrassing myself. Somehow and somewhere my hand found my net and stabbed it under the perch just as Mr Lewis arrived to help. Even more to his amusement with the fish now landed I went about performing a strange rain/cramp dance were I hobbled around in the sloppy mud trying my best to elevate my pain whilst swearing loudly for all to hear.
It turned out to be a real doozey and literally after ten minutes I still hadn't shifted it. I had no choice but to bite the bullet and power through the pain to sort out the perch. The damn cramp wouldn't let me even bend my leg to kneel on the floor and every time I did the pain shot through my leg. With little choice I just unhooked the perch quickly weighed it at spot on two pounds before grabbing a mat shot then releasing away from my peg.
It had been a while since I had cramp that painful and it left me looking a little more than pitiful hobbling up and down the bank for the next half an hour sliding all over the shop in the mud, trying rid myself of the echos of that painfully hilarious cramp.