Monday, 10 September 2012

Firetiger brightens the mood in failing light

Having a crap day at work, stuck on afternoons and a still only Monday, what a downer. To make it worse, I can see the light fading fast as my shift draws to a close. I'm not even going to have chance to throw a lure about. As I make my way to the car there's still ten minutes of light left easy, time for a fish then!

The river had been clear and in clear water I tend to use bright colours. I stuck on the Reel Eel in Firetiger pattern and you could still see it easily. I tried a couple of swims but no joy. Light was fading fast, but still time for one more swim to try. I threw out the eel, it landed and I started to retrieve. I can remember thinking, "any second now keep focussed" and then BAM!

The fish stayed low at first, but the water is pretty shallow here and I got it's head up and to the surface. It's head came out of the clear water and I couldn't see the lure. This pike had swallowed the whole lure and so I was confident it was a solid hook up so I gave it a bit of stick to get it in. I failed with the first net attempt and then there was a bit of a stalemate where the fish never moved away or closer. She then turned her head and that let me guide her towards my net and she was in!

On the bank, the stinger treble was hanging out of the mouth and tangled in the net. I managed to get it out of the lure weave net pretty easily (thank god for that purchase) and then I decided I needed to make that stinger safe. Those stinger hooks on the larger reel eels are quite big and I didn't fancy that in me. I got the cutter out and snipped it off, then got the forceps and safely secured the treble in those and put them to one side so that I didn't end up kneeling on the treble later in the dark.

I opened the pikes mouth and could hardly see the lure. It was way way way down it's throat. I needed to work fast because light was fading and I'd left my head lamp in my other bag. Luckily there's only a single hook to find and then I spotted it as I looked in through the gills. I got the pliers in easily and pulled the hook free and then had to drag the lure out, at least it wasn't a hard plastic right down there. With the hooks safe I put her in the net and got her in the water for some oxygen. I left her in there for a good ten minutes, it was absolutely pitch black by now but there was no way I was letting any fish go belly up on me. She had an occasional wriggle and I figured she was doing pretty well. Time to get her out, weigh her and get  a few photos.

In the pitch black using my mobile I could make out she was 17lb and that was very pleasing indeed. You only need a fish like this on the lures every now and again to keep you buzzing and I've probably had more than my share to be honest. The pictures aren't the best, heads and tails missing in some but I managed to get a few decent ones out of the lot and I'm happy I could get a souvenir. What an absolute stunning fish. I can't describe how much a gorgeous fish she was, in perfect condition and a proper example of a river pike.

17lb pike

2012 pike tally
Doubles 30
Total 188
Largest 22.5lb
Twenties - 2
Bonus Perch 35
Largest 2lb 7oz
Bonus chub - 1


  1. Well done Paul, just goes to show it's always worth a visit even if it's only for a few casts. Another cracking fish.

  2. Thanks Lee. You just never know what is waiting for you. It only takes one cast to land a dream fish.