Sunday, 22 June 2014

My start to the river season.

All through the closed season, I like many was waiting, and waiting and waiting for June 16th. At times it seemed like it was years away but finally we're all back, it's great to be back.

Savage Gear lip lure
Luckily for me I have been on the dreaded afternoon shift but I don't always mind it too much as it allows me to get out on the bank most mornings and come the 16th I was up and about early doors. I'd got a few things to attend to mid morning so I could just get in a few hours of fishing and enjoy myself. Last year I bagged a twenty in no time and the year before I did ten fish in less than an hour or something so this year I was expecting to come back down to earth with a bang, as far as opening days go. Going with that mentality put me in the right frame of mind for a bad session, and just to go and enjoy being back on the water. Once I'm there, stood by the river there's really no rush, no urgency and no waiting any more and I actually just enjoy it. On that first morning it feels as though I have all the time in the world to do whatever I want and there's no rush or no need to catch. A fish would be nice though.

It wasn't to be a spectacular session fish numbers or size wise. I had a few half hearted follows to the point where you were tapping the pike on the nose with the lure and it wouldn't take. I knew it was going to be one of those days after that. I ended up missing two fish but landing three. A happy return, if not as spectacular as previous seasons, but I'm well happy to be back.
After that first session I was in a totally chilled out mood. There was no rush to catch a monster or have an epic session and so no major plans were made for the following day. I just decided to get up and go fishing and see what happened. I then spotted a photo on Facebook where Nathan Edgell had caught on his surface frog. Now I normally use those on still waters simply because there's usually weed and the waters tend to be of a good depth and clarity but I decided to have a crack on the river. So far this year for a few months at least there's been no massive floods and so the weed has had time to spring up in a few spots. Somewhere to aim for and to expect a pike or two laying up. So that was the plan, have a chuck and see what happens and I wasn't to be disappointed at all. After ten minutes I was shaking like a shitting dog. I'd had four surface hits and managed to not hook one of them properly. They were on and then off and crashed about in spectacular fashion.

I did hook one properly, had it on, played it right to the net. As it was just coming over the net, the pike thrashed it's head and the frog shot out. Oh so close! But with this kind of fun there wasn't even any need to land a fish, I honestly didn't care. If you've never done it before, get some heavy braid, a strong rod and a couple of frogs and just go out. Cast out, wind in and try your best not to strike at everything you see, just react to the rod being pulled out of your hand, that's the time to set the hooks. Get yourself over to Lure Lounge and grab a couple of Koppers Live Target frogs as now is the time for surface fun.

After the mayhem, it went quiet on the surface so I had a bit of time left, switched to the usual and bagged two pike, one on a Burt and one on a SG low rider. Two fish in the bag, loads of spectacular fun on the frogs and another great morning.

Squirrelly Burt

Koppers Live target frog
So I'd now got a bit of a frog bug. The adrenaline kicks in, you get the shakes and the visual spectacular show is out of this world. I had to go back and have another go just to get my fix and that's exactly what happened. Wednesday morning I was back with the frog for an hour and again I was in for a treat. Surface to air missiles were being launched from a submarine in my peg. Ha ha, you have done some frogging haven't you? Hooking up with these hits isn't the easiest, I expected to lose far more than I bagged but I was now due a fish to the bag and finally it happened. Success on the river with my Koppers Live Target frog. I even managed it again the next day landing another pike, a two toned fish I know I've caught before so that was pleasing to see again.

Koppers Live target frog
All in all a good first few days of fun on the river and I'm glad to be back. There's going to be more like this, more options and it's just going to get better and better, I can feel it in my water!

Savage Gear lip lure


  1. Great read as usual Paul and great start to your season buddy. I was out today and had 14 perch and 4 pike, nothing massive but great fun!

    regarding your burts, have you messed about with them at all? reweighted them? If so how much weight did you add? I have got a couple of really shallow runners that I have yet to catch on, so though about modifying them.

    1. A couple are ok as they are, shallow but dive to a few feet rather than just shuffling across the surface. The shallow divers are great if you have one for 4-8ft water. If they just shuffle across surface then you need to modify. Some of the unweighted are shite and just do that. Experiment with a lump of lead super glued to the front and see what you make it do, shave a bit off if too heavy. If you are happy then you need to secure the lead better or eventually it'll just drop off. Some just epoxy that lump of lead as it is or you can drill a hole in the front end and pop the lead in, but i've never done that.

    2. Cheers Paul. I have three, that I have never caught on! haha one weight that seems ok gets down to about 3/4ft and two unweighted, one that does get down about 2ft but then rises like a cork and one that just shuffles, like you mention! Will have to try and experiment.

      What do you find catches the most fish bud? Suspender or slow riser?

  2. The first one sounds ok, but does it sit flat in the water or nose down? I have both versions that are like that out of the box. Usual set up would be to have it nose down so if it doesn't you could add a tiny amount of lead to the nose just to tip it.

    The two floaters sound like they do need work, I have some like that which I need to tinker with. I would set one to suspend and one to float. The suspending one should then keep going down as you tap the rod and you can work that deeper where the other you can count down to say ten foot and then let it up again and so on.