Friday, 18 May 2012

That Friday feeling

I've been itching to get out with the lure rod again, especially more so after my nightmare drubbing at the hands of my family elders last weekend. But fishing had to be put on hold, at least for a little while while I crammed in some final revision for a three hour management exam at work. I should have been studying since September but kept putting it off, often for the thrill of pike fishing instead and I always said to myself that the exam was a long way off. Well last week it dawned on me that the time had come so any thoughts of going fishing had to be forgotten about until after Thursday. A bit of a shame really since I have been on afternoons all this week and so I would have had plenty of morning time to get out fishing. I think I did pretty ok in the exam anyway, so on my return home Thursday evening I scoffed down my chicken salad and chips and then dashed straight for the drill. As I got set up, working out the fiddly instructions for the new window blind which now seems to be an annual thing in our house, the missus asked me "are you going fishing tomorrow?" Damn, does she know me that well?

 The rest of the evening saw me sorting my lures out. Giving them a tidy and sorting them so as to easily fit in a couple of extra purchases to my collection which had recently been snapped up second hand. I still didn't know where I was going, either have a bash on the local canal or some small flood ponds. I set the alarm for stupid o'clock, but the dog waking me early spoilt my sleep and so by the time the alarm went off I was a little too sleepy to get up and snoozed for over half an hour. That meant there was only time for a pot of tea and the breakfast had to be left, there wasn't time. As I was setting up on the flood ponds, having decided to go there only the second I'd started the car in the drive, I was glad I'd not had the breakkie as a local lad was wondering up towards me. I think I'd pipped him to the peg, even though I would be staying mobile today, I was here first so was going to give it a go. I cast in my rainbow lip lure and first cast I had a take. I struck and felt the fish for a brief second but no hooks set. Then I noticed the pike had a white blob on it. It looked as though it had been attacked by another pike. For the next ten minutes every time I brought in the lure I could see this blob following. I changed lures but couldn't get it to take, eventually I ignored it and just carried on regardless, It wasn't a monster anyway. In the same spot, I managed to have another follow and take from a small jack and yes I managed to miss that one too. By now having gone through a few lures I'd decided to settle for a smaller SG lure, 13cm Ghost silver pattern. It seemed to work well and since the water had an extra foot of water in from recent floods, it meant I could work it above the weed which often causes me so many problems here.

6lb 11oz pb tench from 2009
I then spotted another angler on his way to me. This chap also seemed to want the peg I was in and as he approached, tackle still in his car, we had a brief chat. You meet all sorts of characters on the bank, some good some bad and this chap, who turned out to be called Steve, seemed like one of the decent fishermen. Having an idea he'd wanted this peg I offered him it. He happily accepted and nipped back for his gear. He was after the tench. There's some nice ones in these ponds, my own pb comes from them, not this actual peg but one close by and there's rumoured to be some even bigger ones in too. I ended up chatting to Steve for a bit and we exchanged a few stories and it was nice to talk to a decent bloke who also knew a bit about fishing. Throwing a handful of small pellets in and delicately dropping his bait on top it reminded me of many a barbel anglers approach to fishing and as our conversation lengthened he told me he did a bit of barbel bashing too, no surprise. It's a pity the weather isn't yet quite right for the tench as in this short session of his before work he didn't manage to pull one out but no doubt he'll be back, especially if we get a bit of sun sometime soon. All the best for you and your missus Steve when the little one finally shows up. It seems the baby is as overdue as that sunny tenching weather!

As Steve packed up I got back in the swim and threw my lures around. Yes, back came that battle scarred pike again and yet again just following and not taking. I moved on to the next swim and started throwing my little lure about. It wasn't long before I had a take and this time I had the fish on, and then off. It darted about six feet right in front of me and then the hooks came out. Another small jack but it was a shame not to have one by now. But plenty of signs of promise as at least I've seen some fish today. The water being crystal clear made it pretty easy to see what my lure was doing and I could clearly see if anything was interested. Time to move on again, keep mobile and cover some water and hope to drop on a fish. As is often the case, first cast in my next swim and a pike smashes the lure again only this time not only did I hook in to it but after a brief scuffle I actually landed it. Boy that is a nice feeling again. A fish of around six or seven pounds and one which brought me a nice smile. The commotion of the battle and ferocity of the take made me think back to last weekends faffing about for carp and the difference in fishing experiences. Blanking aside I can forget that bit, it happens in any type of fishing, but this is why I felt so down after last weekend. I missed the thrill of the take, the fish smashing into a lure, crashing out of the water, violent head shakes and tail walks. I love lure fishing.

No time to rest and I cast back out and again a pike hits and I miss. I felt it but the hooks just didn't set. I'd already checked my hooks and knew they were sharp but had I not done so I'd have been giving them a sharpen by now. I ventured around to the other side of the pond and start working my lure. I'm kind of in the corner of the pond, and it looks absolutely perfect for pike. Reeds along the edge fashioned in such a way that anything swimming in to this corner is sure to be smashed by a hidden predator. As I approach, the resident pond grebe is filling his face with silver fish, I'm excited for the cast already. Boom, we're in again. Another jack crashing out of the water and then steaming off, boy these fish can fight. A lady dog walker on the banking behind paused a while to watch as the fish thrashed around. I played it cool like you do, and pretended it was nothing special, but it was nice to have an audience for once, even if it was just her and her dog. A few more fan casts of the swim and with no more action I move on another twenty yards to cover the next bit of water and yes, here we go again. Another pike smashes into the lure, flipping out of the water in and almighty explosion. Wow this is fun fishing. Same drill, cover the water again and move and as I move to the next swim it's another watery explosion. Fish number four in less than an hour and as I'm playing it my phone rings. I ignore that, I can ring them back when I've unhooked the fish but by the time I do their phone is now engaged. So I chuck my lure out again and wham, fish number five, this is absolutely crazy! A quick chat to my old man on the phone who is heading for Scalm Park again for the weekend and then I'm back chucking my lure about. Last night as I was sorting my gear out I explained to the missus, who then pretended to be interested like I do when she's talking to me about decorating or whatever, that this particular lure holds the record for most fish in an hour, a total of seven pike. It's also a lure that I haven't even used that much, that bigger lip lure is the one with most time in the water. Boom!...well not quite a boom but it is a hit. A violent fight ensues but only from the pikes point of view, as I easily pull in my smallest pike for quite some time. A cute little predator that brings the hourly tally to six, just short of my record. I'm happy with that. After a frustrating last weekend fishing followed by a week of study and busy busy week at work that Friday feeling felt even more jolly and as I headed off to work for my final afternoon session of the week I had that buzz back in side me. At work I was thinking about pike fishing, I was trying to figure out where the big girl might be hiding, I was back thinking about all things Esox and I liked it.

Savage Gear Ghost silver lip lure

2012 pike tally
 Doubles 11
Total 29
Largest 22.5lb


  1. Nice session. I was back on the lures again this week. I can't be doing with all that, fiddling around with swimfeeders, or pole rigs and that sitting around mullarky.
    There is nothing like the sudden adrenelin rush that you get from a good fish smashing into your lure ! Or any fish as it happens !

  2. Totally agree mate. Got out this morning for a couple hours again and caught three small jacks. The whole roving lure approach is just so much more appealing to me and when you add to it the thrill of the fish following or striking the lure it's just immense!