Tuesday, 3 June 2014

I'd not really thought about it until recently, but it's nearly here.

Yes it's not too far off at all. We're now in to June by a few days, which means it's not long at all until we can finally fish the rivers again. I enjoy the canals for a while, it's a change and it gives me a break from chucking big lures as I mostly just take out the ultra light rod. But when it gets to about now I start to get the urge to throw a big jerk bait.

This time of year the canal fishing starts to annoy me. My local ponds aren't the best either. On the shallow canals there's a mass of weed taking over so little cranks are a nightmare to fish. Half the casts are ruined before they start because they hit some bit of weed a foot below the surface. Add to that some sunshine and the boaters are out in full force. The annoying weed becomes even more annoying than you could ever believe. It's whipped up and thrown around making sub surface lures a waste of time. At the weekend we were catching fish on a small canal but by about half ten the boaters were out and after the fourth or fifth went past we had to come up with a plan B. Add to that further that the canal then turns a murky dark colour from all the mud that's chucked up and we're left pulling our hair out. However if you can get on them before the boats are out, or late evening when they have calmed down and all the mud and weed has settled down you can manage to get some fun using surface frogs. We've already picked up a couple of fish using this method and when the pike are in full, mental swing taking frogs off the top it's amazing fun.

If you haven't tried it yet, get yourself a medium lure outfit, some braid of around 40lb with a suitable wire trace and a couple of surface frogs. Decent makes that I've used are the Koppers Live Target and the Spro BronzeEye frogs. Both virtually identical and perfect in my opinion. You can fish waters you previously thought were out of bounds. Where the weed has taken over or a mass of lilies covering the surface you can cast these weedless frogs over the top and bring it right through everything. Slowly twitching the frog from one lilly to the next, stopping it on a pad and then giving it a few twitches through the next tiny clearing. Don't expect a take in the clearing though. Nah, none of that. These pike are mental when they're hitting the frogs and they'll smash right up through the weed and pads and you'll miss the first half a dozen fish just gawping at what you just saw. Honestly, this fishing is nerve racking, edge of the seat poo your pants stuff. You'll be left amazed, amused, confused and frustrated but when you finally hook one you'll have as big a smile on your face with a three pound jack as you would with a new pb.

Spro BronzeEye frog

Perfect for frogging

So what else pisses me off this time of year. Other anglers that's who. It's mostly just me, I don't like seeing others on the bank as I like it all to myself. Some canals at this time of year are full of pole fishermen and the general match angler. Some chaps you can chat to and pass the time of day but some of them are a right set of miserable old bleeders. Jesus Christ, apologies if you're one of the decent match lads but for those that are of the arrogant wanker type, kiss my hairy balls. You get right on my tits. Another reason I hate fishing the canals right now. The times I've been out over the last few months in miserable rain and wind, caught a few fish and right enjoyed myself but as soon as the sun is out all these folk come out to play. I swear one of these days I'm hitting the canals on my push bike and I'm riding straight through those thousand pound poles and off in to the distant sunset.

Is my frustration coming out? Can you tell I'm ready for some solitary pike fishing on smelly rivers no one fishes? Frig me, I can't wait.

MH custom lures Alphabet
So last weekend me and my buddy were out as usual trying to think of somewhere to catch a few fish. The tiny canal was the starting point and we had a few fish. I just had the ultra light rod while Woody also brought a second rod which he put a frog on. He fancied a dabble to see if he could wangle one out and after a few follows and fish missing the lure he eventually snagged one. However it was the MH Alphabet crank that did the trick. After a pike charged out a few times only to refuse the frog, he quickly made the switch and the pike took the alphabet first pass. A little later after some perseverance he finally had his first on a frog this year and it got us thinking a little more about using them. I wasn't having much luck until I put on small jerkbait. It was one I picked up in a second hand shop, hand painted by someone but it looked to me like a small Salmo Slider. At least I was using jerk baits and I enjoyed that and then not long in to it I bagged a jack. Then a little later I put on a Rapture Swimmy I'd had sent to me by Lure Lounge to try out. A soft lure with a diving lip. One of those soft lure swimbaits that you just know will bag some fish and I had a jack in no time at all. The canal muddied up not long after that so we had to go elsewhere and this also meant a change of tactics.

Rapture Swimmy
On the new canal it was jigging and small cranks. A much larger canal with more depth, less weed and loads of match men. Oh heaven! It was after lunch time now and we'd lost interest in serious fishing and just had a play around. I don't know how it came about but we ended up trying to catch fish on every lure in our box. If we caught on a Kopyto we switched to a Rapala and when we caught on that, on went a Yogi. In the end we'd caught fish on about twelve or thirteen lures. Proving that it's often not the lure but what you do with it. It was good to have a mess around and catch some fish, light hearted fun and a good bit of sport. We've a few more weekends to get through and this week we'll be trying to think of something or somewhere to go that'll keep us beaming and not just going through the motions. Lure fishing for us is meant to be fun. We love to catch the river monster or the huge spiky dorsal Sargent but in between those sessions we just like to have some fun.

Not long now.

Savage Gear Manic shrimp

Relax Kopyto shad

Tungsten jig

Rapture Vibra Shad

Rapala Jointed shad rap


  1. Can totally sympathise Paul, I too am total fed up with the canals and in particular boat owners! What is it with them, Why are they such miserable feckers who seem to hate fishermen with a passion!!!!

    Anyways only 12 days left to wait mate. Roll on the 16th, cant wait buddy!!!

    1. Boat owners and match anglers think they own the waters.

      What's your plans for the rivers Glen? I don't want swims, locations or anything. Are you chasing anything in particular or just off fishing?

  2. Plan is to be up before dawn and be at the river ready to fish. Not sure which river yet, although I plan to hit a couple of them through the day. I suppose alot of it will be down to the weather and the condition of the rivers. Fingers crossed its not a wash out!!!

    As always Paul, going for anything that will take a lure! haha However really want my 1st chub this season and also want to catch off the surface on a frog perhaps, so plan is to take the ultralight's and the medium setup to throw some frogs about.

    How about you bud? You chasing the big girls again? Another opening day 20lb'er perhaps? Will you be fishing your regular spot or going to be try elsewhere?

    1. Last two opening days have been fantastic for me. The twenty last year in the first ten minutes and the year before I did something like ten pike in an hour and then went home so as not to spoil myself. Not made any plans at all yet. I'm on afternoons that week so I can be out early if I want, but not bothered booking time off. As you say though, it'll probably be a wash out anyway. lol

      No plans for the year either but I will be out and about. Fished quite a few new places last year, some I kept to myself too so I've those to go back to and see if they produce again. I never had any monsters but had some good fish with potential for more i'd say. Again I'll only fish my spot occasionally.

  3. Sounds good buddy.

    I know your getting new found fame recently, haha, however if you still mix with us mere mortals, we will have to get a session sorted for the new season bud.

    1. I can mix with you but i'll have to charge you, class it as guiding. lol. I might actually have sat 21st free. Message me on Facebook and we'll sort something for then, if not another day.

    2. Do I get mates rates then! haha

      Will give you an FB message bud and we can sort something out.

    3. No, mates rates normally costs me. Going out with Woody each week costs me a sandwich and a pork pie at least, as he usually forgets his food. Plus he's started rolling up with one wire trace.