Thursday, 5 July 2012

A pikers dozen

I decided to leave fishing for a few days after last Sunday when Jack caught his four pike. As Wednesday night drew in and I saw the forecast for the weekend I figured that there is a strong risk that my river will be unfishable again by then. I set the alarm for 5am but at 4am I was already looking out of the window at the grey clouds. I've still not got all the decorating done in the bedroom, I'm getting closer but we have no curtains up so each morning I wake up as the room starts to illuminate. I rolled over thinking there may be no point going but by the time my alarm went off at five I said stuff the rain, got up and sorted some food for at work and off I went.

I'd not yet fished my new location early morning so set off for that one, the same peg where I had ten pike in an hour. Arriving at the bank I had a bit of a walk up the long wet grass to my peg so it was bang on 6am when I started to fish. First few casts and all was quiet. I stuck at it and it wasn't long before I got my first response from a fish of around 6lb. I quickly followed that up with one around four and a half pound. It was worth getting up after all and if that rain could just hold off a little I could even manage to stay relatively dry. A third fish took the lure and gave a right good scrap for a small one, probably only about three pounds. I moved downstream about thirty meters to cover more of the water and I was thinking I had a chance of a fish or two from this area as it was a bit bigger than the last bit. I set myself a target of two more fish and I would be happy. A four pound jack crashed in to my lure and then another around the same size took the lure less than ten feet out and that was five fish in around half an hours fishing. No monsters among them but it was great fun.

This new peg hasn't thrown up any decent fish yet, no doubles at all and most of the fish have been about five pounds. I took this in and then had a think about whether to stay here and probably catch a few more jacks or go to my other swim in the hope of something a bit bigger. I decided to stay, it was great fun catching anything and if I didn't keep fishing it I'd never catch anything bigger here. The next half hour threw up two lost fish, three missed takes and another five small jacks. That's the record equalled, ten pike in an hour and again it's the rainbow lip lure that does all the damage. It was now coming up to 7am and I made the quick call to move swims. I might stay here and catch the odd jack or it might even go quiet and I find myself chasing nothing for the next hour. I had to be at work for half eight so off I went.

I got my gear in the car the heavens opened and I was glad I made the move when I did. As I drove to my next swim the rain lashed down and all looked bad but as I neared my target the skies suddenly cleared. Travelling light I chucked my gear on the bank and made my first cast. The river looked to be rising slightly and if that rain kept coming like it had been then this weekend will surely be off and maybe I would get those curtains put up and the rest of the jobs finished. A few more fan casts and no sign of a fish so I inched my way up river and then not too soon after a pike smashed in to my lure not far from the edge. A scrappy battle and a decent healthy seven pound fish was caught and released. I'm so glad I did get up this morning as that's not a bad little session at all.

There's still plenty of time though and so I edge up the river even further. At this point, the bit of slack water I've been targeting, that has lots of fish activity and lots of small fry, is getting smaller and smaller. At this point, I can cast ten feet and then my lure is into raging rapids rushing off a point in the bank twenty feet up river. This bit of river has produced a lot of fish but when the water is lower there is more of an area to fish, right now it's just about as big as a snooker table maybe a touch more. But, this bit of water is pretty still and any fish moving up river will come to this point, a bit of a bottle neck and I wouldn't imagine that many would even attempt to push through the fast water. So I flip a cast out into the fast water and then quickly pull it out and in to the slack. Slowly flicking the rod to make the rainbow flash but not move so much, I'm looking down on the river stood about three feet above water level. The water is slightly murky but I can mostly see my lure as I don't let it go to deep here as there's a few snags about. Just as the lure reaches the edge of the river, roughly where I am normally stood when the river is a little lower, a massive swirl and the arching twisting body of a large pike emerges and engulfs my lure.

I'm in. The pike doesn't quite know what to do and i'm glad it didn't head for the fast water. That joy turns to anguish as the pike decided to cart it across the growth in the side of the river bank. I've got strong braid on, but this fish was charging through all sorts and at certain points I had five or six feet of nettles and all kinds of river growth in between me and a fish trying to carve up the bank side. I kept thinking all this growth could help pull the hook free, so I tried my best to keep the line tight and try to pursuade the pike to come out. I had one heart stopping moment where it all went slack as the line got caught and I didn't know where the fish was but thankfully I reconnected and then got the fish in to a bit of clearer water. By now I'd marched about thirty feet down the river but was much more confident about landing the fish. I had the net ready and the first time I saw her again she was right beside it and I quickly scooped her in. Get in. I secured the hooks and then put her in the sling for a weight and I was happy with the result, 16lb. She was a short fat thing with a massive head and one which I later noticed had a tail to distinguish it from all others. This was a another new fish to me and one I hope I could catch again in a few years time to see how she's doing. Awesome mornings fishing!

2012 pike tally
 Doubles 19
Total 117
Largest 22.5lb
Bonus Perch 3


  1. Wow! what a session!
    and what a fish to finish on.
    I'm hoping to get some pike on the lures,
    from my local river,the Medway,
    over the weekend,weather permitting.

  2. Can't grumble with today's sessions it was a fantastic bit of fun with a cherry on top.

    Just googled your river. Don't worry it's no where near me! lol It looks promising, some good features to target. Good luck and I hope the rain holds off for you.

  3. Glad you've joined the PAC marshman & guess we'll see some of your great write-ups in Pikelines soon.
    RO~RA88 East Cheshire & High Peak

  4. Thanks Steve. If I thought I could offer a decent article I might just do that.