Monday, 30 December 2013

A year of change

With just one fishing day left this year, and not much chance of me getting out I decided it was time to sum up my year, if only to convince myself I've done all right. The last couple of months have been a bit poor, particularly pike wise due to a combination off all sorts of things. But actually looking back over the year it's been a cracker.

It was kind of strange in some ways as I often felt I hadn't really had a proper crack at pike, but that's also a little strange when you consider the following. I actually had a far better year this year than any other year. I've caught more pike, more doubles and more twenties than any other season of fishing but still I don't really feel as though this year has been a proper piking year, weird.

Not really one for setting goals at the start of the year I only had a couple, one being to catch a double figure pike on my light outfit and I achieved that quite a few times including a sixteen. So what was the other goal for this year? Well simply it was to get out and discover some new places. I didn't expect I'd find some secret un-fished water, just un-fished by me. I've been a little limited in my places to fish over the last couple of years so this year I was to go out and have a look. No big name waters, no places people had put me on to just a simple get off my backside and check out all the local venues that might throw up a fish. A quick count tells me I fished at least twenty new places, a couple I went to with my fishing buddies but the rest I was out on my own trying to find out what secrets lay in wait. Bonus on top of all that, much of the water I fished were free fishing and some of it no one else seems to fish.

Now that I think about my results this year, that's the most pleasing thing about it all. That I've managed to get out to all these new places and still catch, and still have an even better year than last year. My usual spots have been pretty much neglected. At the back end of the last winter campaign I bagged a 25lb pike and then on the first day of the new season I netted her again and I think that spurred me on to go look around. Most of the fishing I have done has been armed with the ultra light gear and that has reflected in my results. Comparing with 2012 where I only caught around fifty perch, this year I've done over five hundred. Some tiddlers and a few lumps but again, what is most pleasing is that many of these fish, including a few lumps, came from unknown waters. I also managed to catch a few chub though i never really went out and gave them a good crack like I thought I might and I even caught a couple of beautiful tiny brown trout. Plus of course I still kept catching pike where ever I went.

So again there's no targets for next year. I'm still just in the sport for the fun of it. Some of that fun comes from catching a whacker,  some is from watching the hoards of tiny perch bullying my lures and loads of it is about having a laugh with some good mates. Speaking of mates, how can I forget some of the results we've had. Some absolute storming days out with Woody on the boat where we bagged stacks of fish and even a few days where Neil and Matt joined in  also for double boating fun and fish. Woody dropped me on a river twenty early on in the year on a day that will be remembered by me forever, it was a proper winter fishing day that had everything. We also had a few eventful days where we came close to death and also saved a life. I can also take great joy in sharing a special day with Neil as I took him to my peg and he bagged his first ever twenty, what a result. If all that continues next year then it'll be target achieved for my fishing because I'm in it for enjoyment and that's it.

Good luck to all my fellow anglers out there and I hope you have plenty of decent days fishing next year. To anyone out tomorrow, the best of luck but remember this, if you don't manage to bag that twenty or that 4lb perch, there's always next year to look forward to.

Tight lines.

That twenty five


  1. Super report Paul, Best of luck for the new year....Pike on.


    1. cheers Sam. Hope the new year is kind to you and you get a few good bends in the rod.

  2. What a change of heart from the 7th December post! Well done mate on "regaining your mo-jo" and I look forward to reading your reports in 2014. By the way I have also started using very light gear in pursuit of perch and interestingly the unavoidable pike I catch are of a higher average size than when I target them on purpose. I reckon it must be a case of "matching the hatch" as the small 2.5' Kopyto's etc are more representative of the general size of bait fish. That or either the pike haven't wised up to small lures yet. All the best for 2014.

    1. Thanks Peter. Yeah a change of heart. Had a few fish recently though nothing of size or great numbers. Had a couple of outings with my mate Woody who was in the same mind frame and even though we didn't catch much we had a laugh. A few days ago I was working and he went out alone and bagged a twenty plus about nine more pike. Didn't do too much different, just things were right that day and showed us that it's often a fine line so that also helps ease the frustrations when at least you know you're not doing anything wrong.

      As for the small lures, I agree with you there. I think they can be a top lure for targeting pike if you use the wisely. I'm still seeing small fry about and they'll be a big part of the diet all year long for all predators. I know Matt can vouch for the small lures as he's done a couple of stonking pike on them this last couple of years.

      All the best for next year mate, hope the fishing is good.

  3. All the best for 2014 Paul, like yourself i don't feel like ive had that good a year but then when i look back there is many highlights and good fish. I think we are all greedy lol joking aside though i do think it is all part and parcel of fishing, you catch a PB but it is'nt long before your thinking about something bigger, or you want to catch more than you did last time etc.. Its what keeps us going.

    The difficult part i find at the minute is deciding where to go, it always seems like your having to think about going further and further away to find better fishing these days, allot of local venues are destroyed by poaching and theres always venues that you knew were good but you've also heard stories about them being poached so you never know if its worth the risk going to fish them. Then theres the weather and lack of stillwaters for when the rivers are coloured which all effect where we decide to fish. I think sometimes, and going into the next year personaly you just need to forget about what you know and just pick a spot and go fish it. theres so many variables that contribute to a day being a good one or a poor one that you can't always decide if the venue was just fishing poorly that day or if theres many fish there, then you have the decision is it worth going back to try again, its all a headache at times!

    look forward to fishing with you again at some point this next year, no doubt on a double boat day : )

    1. I know what you mean Matt. I watched an interview with Roy Keane (football if you're not in to it) and he said that the joys of winning were always short lived but the defeats seemed to last for ages. Same as when you're fishing isn't it.

      I've been thinking too about what you say regards just going fishing. I've fished loads of new places this year but also I've loads of known places i've not even bothered with. Sometimes I've been struggling for somewhere to go but totally over looked somewhere when really, giving it a go might have come up trumps. Next year i'm just off fishing. :)

      Good luck for next year mate, though you've got the golden balls at the minute so don't need any more luck. Keep in touch and we'll get out for a cold and frosty morning somewhere for a catch up and a few fish.