Sunday, 8 April 2012

Spring in action

 With the rivers closed, and the probability of most pike having their thoughts on reproduction I've had a bit of a time out from pike fishing. I've pretty much stayed away from all things fishing, internet forums, magazines etc to try and keep my mind from it and started a few DIY jobs at home, which are still no where near finished I might add. Today I decided to get out and just have a walk, rod in hand, and see what is happening out there in the natural world. 

Deer in the distance
A big part of the enjoyment of fishing is more than just the fish. I get a buzz from the pike smashing the lure, catching a quality fish, the sight of a pike following and turning away or striking and missing makes me even more hungry to fish. It's great when you can have a monster session and come home with a smile that lasts for weeks. With not being able to go fishing for a while, today I was just glad to be out and among the peace and tranquillity of some local ponds. I even left the barge rope heavy braid at home to try and keep me away from even targeting the pike. I was hopeful of a perch or two but knew the ponds can be a bit weedy, even at this time of the year, so wasn't sure if that would work against me. The sight of a deer in the distance on my walk to the venue gave me a smile, it was good to be back out again.

Salmo Slider in jack pike catches the jack pike

On the fishing front I didn't do too well. No sign of the perch no matter what I did. Spinners kept picking up the weed but I could manage to navigate some small lures not too bad. I even had a bash with some surface poppers just to see if I could tempt a hungry jack pike but no luck there either. I stuck with it, keeping mobile to hit as much water as possible and figured fishing up against the reeds would work surely. The pike love to hang out in the reeds and especially the smaller pike, staying out of sight of the big girls and waiting in ambush for something small to pass them by. I spotted some action in the distance, a pike was chasing something. It wasn't a big one but I cast at it anyway with a pike lure. I couldn't tempt it to take my lures and after a while gave that one up. Working my way back I did think about going straight home but opted to give it a bit longer. Working my way in to an awkward peg to cast along the reeds I spotted the slightest bit of movement, a disturbance in the water and so cast straight at it. A bit of commotion and I was in to a fish. Using lighter line meant I couldn't bully the little jack so when it went for the reeds I had a bit more of a fight on my hands. It then dived for some sunken weed and that's where the fight ended. No I didn't lose the fish, it just gave up. Head and eyes covered in weed it just wanted to hide and so I was able to just pull it in the rest of the way. Yet again another jack pike fell to the Salmo Slider at this venue. No monster but I wasn't after one. The pleasure of being there was enough and the fish was a bonus. Not too long later I managed another jack of similar size, which I unhooked in the water since this one wasn't entangled in weed. I'm happy with that, two jacks are better than nothing, shame I didn't find those perch.

So apart from the fish, and the deer I spotted on my walk to the pond I managed to rack up a fair few sightings. It's not always easy taking photos when you're lure fishing because you can guarantee something happens while you're reeling in. The best bet would be to sit and chill for a while but I'm too busy wanting to fish. Despite that I did manage to get some photos of the wildlife.

The swans are always easy to to snap. They are so photogenic and seem to know they are being photographed.

Surprisingly the grebes weren't too tough to capture. Usually quite distant they did come a little closer. 

Little Kes wouldn't keep still, well not when she was close to me anyway. She always seemed to be on the other side of the pond and I couldn't quite get close enough. However when I was walking back to the car she practically hovered over my head, but yes you guessed it, the camera was in my bag at that point!

Busy as they are, you can often get close to the coots. As you walk to the pond they'll scoot out of the reeds but once they realise you're no danger they get on with doing whatever it is coots do best. 

There's often so many ducks around I don't give them much viewing but these two caught my eye. They were quite far away but they puzzled me a little. The female seemed to be following the male for whatever he had in his beak. I couldn't say for sure but it looked as though the duck had caught a fish! Not sure if you can make it out in the photo.

Now this one was easy to get. There was no way this beast was going to outrun me and so I clicked away.

I wanted to capture the heron in flight as it came in low over the trees but I didn't spot it quick enough so had to settle for it perched on a platform on the opposite side.

Something else most people seem to miss out on seeing. Pretty much every session can be magical in it's own way and when you finish off with a sight like this, while most people are sat watching TV in doors I might add, it makes the whole experience something to remember. Tell most people you only caught two tiddlers on a cold spring evening and they wonder why you bothered and put it down a s a failure. Most of us fishermen though know there's so much more to our sessions by the waterside.

2012 pike tally
 Doubles 11
Total 23
Largest 22.5lb

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