Sunday, 6 January 2013

2013 account opened, finally.

It's been really tricky to get out. The river has been awful and there was no way I could get anywhere near it to fish. I should have gone elsewhere, fished a still water or a canal or even changed tactics but to be honest, I just wanted to lure fish the river and nothing else. I only ever go fishing when I want to, not because I should be, so unless I had the urge to go to a canal or whatever I wouldn't be doing that. I didn't have that urge, so I didn't go out.

Saturday was the first time this year the river had been anywhere near right, but I was tied up most of the day being dads taxi and all the rest of things a father and husband needs to do. However, late morning I'd got a few things out of the way which gave me a window of opportunity and I took it without hesitation. It was only a window of just over an hour but that was one I couldn't miss since I had a feeling that everything would be spot on if I got to the river.

The water level had been dropping for a few days but there was so much water up in the hills it didn't quite run off as quick as normal and so when I got there it was still up a couple of feet. But pleasingly, the water clarity wasn't too bad, a couple of feet visibility was spot on and I was hopeful of my chance of a fish.

Recently I spent some Christmas money on a couple of lures from a mate of mine who makes his own. Matt Holmes over on Fooling Fish makes some of the best looking lures you will ever see. He's also a top angler too and no doubt we'll be getting together many times this year to bag some more fish. I'd been meaning to buy some for a while but never got around to it, until I went and bought a new jerk bait set up, and so wanted some nice lures to go with it.

Matt Holmes lure

So I gave his lures a good chance. Usually you go with a lure first that you know catches but this means it's usually the same lures that grab the fish. So putting one of Matt's lures on first I felt gave it a good chance of a fish, but after twenty minutes or so of getting used to the lures I'd not seen or had a fish. Time to ring the changes and so I stuck on another recent purchase, one i've had success with already and comes highly recommended by another top angler, Mr Woodchucker. Well I was only in to about my fifth or sixth cast with the Squirelly Burtwhen I felt a bang and then a commotion as the pike crashed clear out of the water. I was in to my first fish and the usual thoughts of losing it ran through my head but after a good tussle I had it on the bank. A nice little fatty, easily ten or eleven pound but I put it straight back without a photo or weigh as I wanted to make the most of my brief time.

It went quiet and I ran more changes but to no avail until finally settling back on one of Matt's lures to get me some practice with it and get used to what I can get it to do. The colour of the lure shone out and together with a tantalising side to side action, either tiny swings or big wide ones, I knew already this lure would catch me some fish. Then finally I had a follow but I only spotted the fish as I was lifting my lure out of the water. I reckoned the pike hadn't seen me though and so I just flicked the lure back out about fifteen feet past where the pike was. I was running out of water but just as the lure was within about four feet of the bank it ran in to a bit of current, and so I could gently twitch the lure to make it do it's stuff and the lure just hung there in the same spot. The pike couldn't resist this and it shot up from the depths and I was in to a little jack of around five pounds. A nice way to christen a new lure, and now I know for sure it works.

I was running out of time so made the usual casts about the swim making sure to cover as much of the area as I could. There's usually certain spots that you catch a pike from, maybe not every day but often and so I always make sure to hit these spots. But also similarly I always make a point of casting to places I never normally catch from, because if you don't cast there, then you will never catch from there will you? I chucked the lure up the edge into an area that produced two years ago when there was a clump of weed there, but produced little last year when the weed wasn't there. I'd maybe got the lure in about six feet or so when a pike crashed up from the depths and took the lure. I saw the fish and knew it was a low double at least and then it dived deep and went out of sight. The next time it popped up I could see the lure swinging wildly from the front lip, so I kept tension so as not to let the hooks flip out. I finally netted it to find another stocky fish, this time weighing in at fourteen pounds. A mad hour of fishing chucked in between family duties. I could so easily have put my feet up for an hour instead with a brew, but took the gamble and it paid off. Great result. I can only hope the rest of the year is as successful.


  1. WELL IN PAUL ! A good start to the new year!

    1. Thanks Marc, happy to be in to the fish again

  2. Looks a nice fat fish. Tight lines

    1. Thanks Mick. Fish look to be fattening up now. Some of the fish i've caught have been blatant 7 or 8lb at a guess in the summer, but now are fat 10-12lb fish. I can't help thinking about the 21lb pike I got in mid August and what it could be now if it's piled on the pounds!