Monday, 7 January 2013

These afternoon shifts aren't so bad afterall.

I nipped out for a quick morning session today before my week of afternoons. I decided to try a different spot, taking both the UL gear and my heavier stuff for the pike. I had about a dozen chucks of the Burt in my first peg to see if any pike were about but nothing happened so switched to the kopytos to try and find some nice fat river perch. I searched the water in a likely looking spot but no perch to be seen. Then I felt a strong knock and struck in to it. A brief tussle ended with the hook coming out and I didn't really get chance to know what the fish was. Big perch or just a jack? I got the lure in and checked it over. The brand new teeth marks cutting open a brand new kopyto told me it was a pike.

I gave the swim plenty of stick with the kopytos working them in all manner of ways but apart from one possible bump I saw no signs of perch. I switched back to the heavy gear, deciding to try and pick up a pike. From this stretch of water i've only managed one pike of about 10lb, I've lost a couple including one the other day which shook my Burt free.

Slack line take. Woody says these are common with the Burts but so far I'd not had one, with every pike so far absolutely nailing them. It didn't register at first but my natural alertness to what is happening told me something was different and so I immediately struck. Fish on!

Early part of the battle I didn't quite know what to expect as the fish didn't pull too hard and then also came towards me, before finally waking up and me telling myself this might be a nice fish. Thump, thump, went it's head. It stayed pretty much in one spot then and even with a bit of a tug from me it didn't want to come up. I wouldn't say I was thinking "twenty" but I was giddy at the thought of a nice fish from this area.

Woah nelly! Off she went and luckily, only yesterday, I'd decided to ease the clutch a bit on my reel. So far i've used a combination of a dip in the rod and a quick flick of the spool to release the pressure and then quickly free the spool and use my thumb to control. I doubt I'd have had a chance this time as the lunge was so fierce. I wouldn't have been snapped but the hooks could have easily been ripped out under the strain.

First sight of the fish and a beaming smile from me, she's a nice fish for sure. My first attempt at netting her only made her angry and she streamed more line of the reel. Then, I seemed to get the upper hand and she slowly came to the surface before I manoeuvred her over the net.

Now came the hard part. Perched precariously on a muddy bank, I now had to get us and my gear up eight feet of slippery assault course where I could then set about unhooking the pike. I got up the bank ok, but then got myself in to a right pickle. I unhooked the pike easily but managed to drop the lure back in to the net. A combination then of the pike wriggling managed to get both trebles in the most awkward of tangles ever. I finally got those out to find I'd then somehow managed to get the reel handle and the star clutch entangled in the net. Jesus wept what a farce! I can laugh now but I was in a right state at the time.

Finally sorted I decided to give the pike a breather so diced with death back down the bank side. I'd not even got her tail in the water and she was already making a lunge for the depths. I held her in the net a while before making the treacherous journey back up, a quick weigh and photo before back down again to put her back where she belongs. My biggest pike of the year so far at just over 17lb. A great start to the year now i'm finally back on the river!

Job done. Beaming smile and one happy bunny. I chucked a few lures, big and small for another hour or so with no joy before deciding to nip back home and have my lunch in comfort before going to work. I'm fast at typing too, so in between taking a sip of tea or a bite of my sandwich I thought I'd share my mornings work.


  1. Lovely fish mate and a nice story!

    1. cheers Jimmy. Trying to keep up with your success mate! ;)

  2. Hi Paul
    Nice session, good result to


    1. Thanks Darren. I'm well happy with a fish like that every now and again.

  3. Replies
    1. Cheers Marc. I actually blanked today would you believe it. But..... I had a follow from another big fish, easily pushing 18 or 19lb at a guess. Success and failure is only inches apart. It's what keeps us going back.

  4. Nice fish and top write up again.... tight lines fella