Thursday, 30 April 2009

Home Thoughts from Abroad

April's a tricky month, full of decisions. Do I continue pike fishing? Do I try for a spawny bream or two? Do I go for early season tench fishing? I usually split it between all three but this year I decided to stick with the pike and take the opportunity to fish a couple of waters in different countries - and neither of them England!

The Welsh lake I like to fish is one I've introduced to you before. A beautiful tranquil place with crystal clear water and the hardest fighting pike I've ever found. The fishing there is usually very good and the pike respond to all methods. I usually use livebaits and lures but this year I decided to try trolled deads instead of the lives. It was a poor choice I'm afraid, the trolled deadbaits failed to raise a single fish but in fairness the lures did little better. A handfull of small pike and a solitary double figure fish of 15lb 10oz was all I could manage. The fifteen was a lovely fish mind, fighting fit and still quite fat for so late in the season. It took a replicant in deep water.

I had been using a new replicant in perch pattern, my old one having been in the wars a bit but I have to say I was disappointed with it. The newer replicants are stiffer in the rubber than the old ones and have to be retrieved much faster in order to get the tail to waggle as it should. This means they are impossible to fish deep effectively. I chucked it around for a while with no response but eventually took it off and put the old, ragged one back on. The response was immediate, the pike taking it on the first cast.

This was an opportunity for me to try out my new echo sounder as well. It's an Eagle 642c with GPS - doesn't it look good? If you follow the track you might even be able to work out which water I was fishing.

Moving On...

The other water was in Scotland. It's a place I've fished before, many years ago, and fancied trying again so I treated myself to a three day session. I have to say that I didn't catch a lot of fish but I didn't mind that. This was an exploratory trip, searching out the water and its depths and filing away the information gleaned for future use. I wouldn't have minded if I had caught nothing at all but as it happens, in amongst the jacks there was a rather nice fish.

Livebaiting is illegal in Scotland so it was a combination of lures, static deads and trolled deads this time. Once again the trolled deads failed to score and while I did manage to catch a fish or two on static deads, the pike would only take them if they were suspended off the bottom.

It was a different story on lures with a fair bit of action. Most of the fish I hooked were small and a good few of them fell off on the way in. I watched a couple of them hit the lures and noticed that they were just nipping them with the end of their beaks.

One fish didn't nip though, it totally engulfed a purple Fox Raider and wasn't I glad it did. Completely spawned out, it went 23lbs 8oz!


David Edwards said...

Nice trip Eric....

Chester Predators said...

I too have found the new Replicants too stiff and have partly resolved it by trimming them slightly on the wrist so to speak before the end of the paddle tail to get some action into them. It works but is not ideal. I have just 2 left of the original soft ones in green and yellow and they outfish all the new ones.
Mike Ashcroft
P.S. I have been continuing to fish the water you mention with lures too and have had alot of success with those large Manns Grubs, Black/silver metallic and pearl fished down deep.

fishblogger said...

some real nice pike there good job

john at