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The River Thames is on my door step, a magnificent river that I have match fished from the bank many times but never launched a kayak onto. Myself, Keith Ward and Jim Marsh had been discussing a trip on it for nearly two years but we just never got around to it.

However all that changed a few days ago. I have done a couple of radio interviews on the UK’s only dedicated fishing radio show, Fishermans Blues hosted by Nigel Boherway to promote kayak fishing and he seemed so interested that I pinged him an e mail asking if he wanted a taster day. The response was immediate, and after a quick chat with The White Water Canoe Centre at Shepperton, a demo Cuda 12 was made available and plans were made. Nigel had spent the previous week in Nova Scotia catching 500lb Tuna but listening to his show at the weekend it was obvious he was as excited at the prospect of kayak fishing his local river as he had been at catching these monsters.

Keith and Jim were keen to join us as was another friend Eddie Edwards who has been following my kayaking adventures for years and jumped at the chance of a trip on his local water.

On Tuesday Morning I had advised the novices to travel light, just bringing the basics for a day’s pike and perch fishing and was glad to see they had listened only bringing what tackle they could carry in their pockets. Myself and Nigel launched from the Canoe Centres demo lake whilst the others launched directly into the River from Keith’s Canoe Club. Despite some apprehension both Nigel and Eddie took to it instantly and were soon paddling off exploring all of the areas they would never have seen from the bank.

We headed upstream to a large weir pool where various streams come into the main river. On the way I picked up a nice pike, whilst Jim found one that had eyes bigger than its belly attacking a lure at least as large as itself. With plenty of water to explore everyone was soon finding a few fish.

Nigel picked up a couple of small pike in the fast water of the weir pool whilst the rest of us found small perch drop shotting in various places. After a few hours we leisurely drifted back down the river picking up a fish here or there but mainly just enjoying the scenery and the company.

Back at the launch site I left Nigel in the Canoe Centre pricing up the new Cuda 12. I have a funny feeling he will have a new addition to his fishing armoury very soon.

I headed over to Keith’s canoe club where he suggested going for a beer. Never one to turn this down I was a little surprised when he started dragging out two Canadian Canoes. The pub was on the other side of the river downstream, so we paired off and started paddling, not in a straight line, and not in co-ordination but eventually reached our destination. I have now decided this is the only way you should travel when going for a drink of an evening.

Discussing the day’s events it soon became clear both the new guys had had a ball. They had both been nervous to start but by the end their only regret was that they hadn’t discovered kayak fishing twenty years earlier. The three old hands have discovered a new venue that we will definitely be visiting again.

A perfect day, great company, great fishing, a great venue and two new converts to our pastime.