Thursday, 29 November 2007

Rig Revolution

Remember that river session I had a few weeks ago when I hooked, but lost, a big pike? Well today was the first opportunity I've had to get back there and try for it again. I'd love to tell you I caught a humungous pike and removed the corroded trace from its jaws but I'm afraid it didn't happen. Plenty did happen though.
The big fish I'd lost escaped because it had gained the sanctuary of a snag which I was fishing tight up to. This time I fished a few yards further upstream so there would be less chance of a big fish getting into the snag but I also made an elementary change to my tackle, I exchanged the 18lb mono for 50lb braid!

Arriving just after first light, I gently lowered a legered mackerel into the swim and set the rod on an alarm with a dropoff bobbin as indicator. I was quite shocked when, just two minutes later the bobbin fell and line started to peel from the spool. I picked up the rod, clicked over the bail arm and WHOOOSH...

...I struck into thin air.

A sardine took the mackerel's place on the hooks and this was also lowered into place. It took a little longer to get action this time, maybe five minutes, but when it came, all became clear. Pulls, bleeps and twitches on the bobbin signalled the attention of something that certainly wasn't a pike. I reeled the bait back after a few minutes of this and was confronted with the sight you see in the picture. The belly of the bait had been eaten off. Chub were almost certainly the culprits and I resigned myself to a morning of the bleeps.

I got lots of these silly indications over the next hour or so but then they stopped and, coincidentally, a dabchick entered the swim. Dabchicks, or little grebes as they are also known, are shy, secretive little birds and great swimmers and divers. This one popped up and down in front of me for several minutes before fleeing the swim in quite a panic. Was there something there that had alarmed the dabchick? The answer was soon to come as the bobbin dropped and line peeled from the spool. A spirited fight ensued and I soon put the net under a lovely pike of 13lb 6oz. Another of just under ten pounds followed and then I hooked, but lost, a fish that might have made fifteen.

As a finale, I set up a second rod with a secret experimental rig on it. Can't say too much just yet but this rig just might revolutionise river fishing for pike when I finally spill the beans. First cast produced a double figure pike and I followed that with an eight pounder on the same rig.

Watch this space!!!


cowboy1 said...

Eric, thank you for your recent great talk at Portadown. With reference to your comments about stuying maps, i have been looking at os maps of Ireland (the Discovery series) There are no contours showing on the lakes. Or at least not on the maps I've studied. Is there a different/better series of maps to use to find contour liens on the lakes?

Eric Edwards said...

Sorry, I've looked but can't find a good source for Ireland. You can find individual lakes by typing in "bathymetric Lough Neagh" for instance.
Scotland is very well served in this regard but it seems the work has not been done in Ireland.