Sunday, 21 October 2012

Catch up blog - Slow two weeks ends in nice mid double.

I've not been out a great deal this last few weeks. The river has been up, down, up down (repeat to fade). I really wanted to have a good bash on the river before the colder, slower months came in but the rain made my peg a right old mess. I really should have just gone somewhere else, there's plenty of water for me to try but I didn't have the enthusiasm for it and instead opted to try my luck for ten minutes here, twenty minutes there, on the river no matter what condition it was like. Mostly it's been full of rubbish, murky brown and a waste of space but me being me I still had a go because you never know.

A few weeks ago I took Neil with me to my peg in the hope of a bit of action but not a great deal happened. Neil had one fish hit and then shake the lure before he could get a grip of what it was. I then had a follow before finally hooking a fish. I guestimated 6-7lb at the time but as Neil says it was probably a little bigger.Good bit of fun but a pity we didn't get a bit more action. Gorgeous pike though!

I then had my little spell of bad river conditions and little to no fishing and what bit I did I wasn't even hopeful of anything. Still, just to prove theories wrong, on the odd occasion I did get a hit or two from pike so they were still about and hitting lures in the wrong text book conditions. One of the days I was in Morrissons and ended up buying some sprats and a few mackerel. The next morning I had an hour before work with them tied to something called a float, which moves about and goes under if a pike gets a hold of the bait. What a strange way to fish this is? Not a great deal happened but I did manage a small jack of about 3 or 4lb so it was a bit of a success. I might try it again one day who knows. However I need something to do while I'm stood at the side of the river watching my float. I ended up taking photos of random things to amuse myself and pass the time. I managed a Facebook style photo. All that was missing was me pouting my lips and giving it the big V and I'd have been a right cool dude, or just looked even more of a twat like everyone else who does that over and over on Facebook (repeat to fade again).

Winter hat is out

One of the local noddies?

With this weekend approaching I was keen to get out and do a bit of serious fishing. I then got a message from Matt asking if I wanted to get out for a session and so we opted for Sunday, but wrote off the rivers since we didn't want to have those plans ruined by more rain. Instead we decided to make use of the free time to go exploring a little. We'd got some water we wanted to check out, some canals, drains and rivers and so we met up bright and early (poor choice of words) at half past five. It was absolutely pitch black and there was a nice fog rolling around. Navigating the small roads at this time with thick fog made for fun in itself. A couple of times I drove right past the turn off and had to go back to find it. We also managed to find a small bridge that was our only crossing for miles blocked off as men were working on it (Sunday morning at half five?) We eventually made it to our start point and it was still dark, but within five minutes or so we could see the light was winning that battle over dark and fog and we could see enough to fish so off we went.

We were fishing the ultra lite set ups and Matt stuck on a kopyto lure while I opted for a small SG lip lure thinking we'd have a good chance of finding out what was in the water. Within minutes Matt had a take on the drop which caught him by surprise and he missed it but next cast or so he was in and it was putting up a good fight. But what was it, small pike or another decent perch? I pushed out the net ready for what ever it was and as it came to the surface we were surprised but very happy with the catch. It was a chub of about 3lb and a great start. Not too long after and Matt had another fish take the kopyto and would you believe it, another decent chub probably a little smaller but still pushing 3lb. I'll save the trophy shots for Matt on his blog write up but I took this photo of him releasing one of the chub and like it so I'm showing it off.

I quickly switched to the kopytos and then as I walked up to the next peg I scared a small jack out of the shallows, then first cast had another small jack hit my lure and shake itself free before finally I managed to hook in to one and land it. A small fish but at least it was me off the mark. I also then had a tiny pike hit the lure right in the edge but it flicked itself free. We thought we were in for a bumper day but it went quiet then and we didn't get much more. We continued to go exploring and finding out what was further along, trying a few casts when we felt we might pick up a fish. It was tough going but it was still early so plenty of time to drop on a fish or two. The fog still hadn't subsided and we could only see a hundred metres or so in front. We knew eventually we needed to be on the opposite bank but had no idea where we might be able to cross and with our view distance cut short we just had to put our heads down and get on with it until we dropped on a bridge. We finally made the cross over and then worked our way towards the next lock where we were sure there would be some perch action and we were right. No big stripeys but we had some fun catching a few small perch with the odd larger one of half a pound to three quarters mixed in. Matt had been suffering a little with hot then cold spells and was obviously starting off with something that'll have him cuddling under a blanket and having the missus take care of him for the next week. We decided we'd covered lots of ground and so made the call to go back to where we'd started, to have another bash and then get in the car and head back home. We passed a small cafe and I suggested Matt get a warm drink inside him but he told me he was ok as he had a flask in his bag. Back at our starting peg Matt then got out his flask for a warm up drink, but dropped the flask shattering the glass inside. It hadn't even lasted 24 hours with him as he'd only bought it the day before!

Back at our start off peg it was much more quiet than before but Matt managed to pull out a small pike which took his species tally for the day to three on the lures. We set off home but still had one last bash at a canal lock we passed on the way though yet again nothing showed. I dropped Matt off sometime after late lunch time where he probably fell in to the house and then fell fast asleep, with probably not much sympathy from the missus either. It was a good session and we learnt plenty. I'm sure we'll target those chub again and the water we covered should do better for the perch at least when it's a little warmer, we'll be back.

I headed home, but on the way couldn't get the thought of trying my luck at my local river out of my head and the car seemed to go there in auto pilot. I decided to take both light and heavy set ups and started off with the kopytos to see what was about. I soon hooked a small jack of about four pound which put up a great scrap before finally shaking free just short of the net. Not quite a notch on the bed post but a good bit of fun anyway. I flicked through a few lures before finally getting the heavy lures out. I tried the real eel first and had one take. I saw the pike grab the lure but my hooks didn't stick in to anything. I tried a few more casts and then put on a lip lure in blue/silver. I then had a pike follow three times and hit the lure three times and I managed to miss it each time. I've no idea why, just guess that lady luck wasn't on my side then. I kept at it covering the water over and over even though I felt I'd missed my chances. Finally I had a take and this time it stuck, and not only did it stick but it took about twenty yards of line with it. Jet powered pike on board, hold tight! It then made a sharp turn and then launched itself well clear of the water and I could see I had on a good fish. It crashed back in to the water and then went in to a death role, wrapping itself up in braid and then unfortunately the fight was over. I didn't lose the fish, it just couldn't do anything by now as there was so much line around it. I then had to pull it in backwards but luckily not too far as I could reach out with my telescopic net. The hooks came out easily but the line was a right old mess so I just cut it off. I wasn't faffing about risking harm to me or the fish.

Well worth my time calling in on my way home, you never know what's in store on this patch. Had lady luck shone on me one more time I could well have had another good double because ten minutes later I had another take, felt the tug and saw the fish but the hooks pulled. Shame because that was another good fish and who knows what it might have weighed. Can't grumble though and I'm happy with the day and the finish to it.

Fifteen pounds bonus fish

EDIT- i've just realised this fish is a repeat capture. I caught it three weeks ago in the same spot and it's put on half a pound. It fought like a demon back then and I named it The Brute, and today it put up a massive scrap again until it got tangled in line. What a fish, what a fish!

The Brute goes back to fight another day.

2012 pike tally
Doubles 32
Total 206
Largest 22.5lb
Twenties - 2
Bonus Perch 54
Largest 3lb 12oz
Bonus chub - 1


  1. Nice one Paul, your on form yet again with the doubles. I'm still stuggling with jacks at the mo, but just bought a slightly beefier 8ft rod, so can invest in some bigger lures now.

    Blanked this morning out in that fog on the deadbaits, wished I'd have took the new lure rod instead, looks like they were still having it up your way !

    1. It's been tough Lee to be honest. River has been a mess but this might be the start of some settled water for them to feed. This bit of river always draws in a few decent fish so always a chance of a bigger fish. If you're getting jacks all the time maybe look for a new feature, somewhere the silvers are gathering.

      That fog never even parted up our way seemed really strange all day, had no idea what time it was or anything.

  2. What a brute ! Nice one Paul, you can certainly feel the difference in the pikes strength at this time of year, can't you ? They really have some go in them,
    I have had a go with the dead baits too, but I couldn't get used to sitting watching a float,one and half sessions was all I could take,I also tried twitching/wobbling a sprat, good bit of fun, but they don't half stink you up.

    1. It's an animal is that fish Marc, I hope I can catch it when it's a twenty it will be one scary beast.

      I've still got some bait on the freezer but it might end up as food for my pet river pike. Maybe I'll have another hour or two one day when I'm not feeling energetic but you can't beat the thrill of a take on lures. As for stinking you up. I made the mistake of wiping my nose after chopping up a macky. I could smell fish all day!

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