Saturday, 13 February 2010

Little Tommy Tucker

It's been a quiet winter for me, both on the fishing front and on the meetings front. I usually get asked to do a number of slide shows throughout the season and in truth, I've been asked a few times this year as well. I turned most of them down this year as I wanted a bit of a rest really but Steve Gould of the Thames Gateway region of the Pike Angler's Club was very persistent and I agreed to go down and sing for my supper. I really enjoyed the evening, it was a good turnout and the members there were both knowledgeable and appreciative. Steve put me up for the night and treated me to a days piking the following day. I would love to be able to tell you that we had a bumper catch but it wasn't to be. I managed three fish, two on baits and one on a floating slider but the largest only went eight pounds or so. Poor Steve was fishless on the day but I expect that was because he put me in all the best swims.

After my trip to Kent I had a weekend at Blithfield with Joe to look forward to. Boy was it hard! I don't think I can remember a time when so many people blanked, unless you exclude the early days when little was caught except the thirty pounders! We opted for plan "A" again that is, an hour on the shallows casting jerks to begin with followed by a sojourn into deeper water. We were really quite surprised to find that the shallows were devoid of pike. They are there every February, no matter how cold the water is but this year they were not and after an hour of flinging wood and plastic about we admitted defeat.

We tried the awful deep trolling of soft plastics which just everyone on there does these days and I'm almost pleased to say we didn't catch. It works ok does that but boy, is it boring! In a way the method's spoiled Blithfield by being so successful since so many people now do it as a first resort. That said, it leaves large areas of the reservoir untouched now so I guess there is scope to try out other methods with little competition.

With no fish on the shallows we decided to try fishing just off the shallows in 20-25ft of water and it was here that we had our only success. I picked up a very pretty fish of 19lbs 6oz on a perch pattern replicant fished deep and slow. Yet again my best Blith fish of the season (so far) came on the cast rather than the troll.

Trolling deadbaits on the second day I did get a take from what I think was a big fish but it came unstuck after a few seconds - c'est la vie!

Next came a trip to Chew Valley reservoir with Kevin. Chew's been fishing it's head off with some absolute monsters caught but our trip coincided with a sharp drop in water temperature. We had two days to fish, the first from a boat and the second from the bank so it meant two lots of tackle - the car was pretty full!

We spent most of our time fishing the deep water whilst on the boat, using both deadbaits and lures and surprisingly, it was the lures that caught most of the fish. In fact, almost everything came to bright yellow replicants fished deep and slow. Kevin had a couple of doubles while I struggled for a time but it came good for me in the end with a beautifull 21lb 3oz pike. If I'd caught everything that hit my lures I would have had a bumper day but the pike were being rather shy so it was a day of bumps and bangs rather than fish in the boat. At one stage I had a slack-line bite on the lure which I missed but I continued the retrieve and watched as the pike, a good 25lbs, followed it to the boat before wallowing around a bit and sliding away back into the depths. It wasn't to be tempted again.

Day two, off the bank was an interesting day. We chose shallow water this time and with special rigs I was able to leger baits out at around 120 yards (cast, no baitboats here!). The long casts seemed to work as I got six runs before Kevin got his first one on a bait cast much shorter. Nothing big was caught but we both got fish into double figures and went home comparatively happy.


Surfer Jerry said...

Hello Tommy, I really enjoyed reading through your blog.

I have a pike related blog that I have just started working on and I was wondering if you would be interested in exchanging links to help get the word out about each others blog?

If you are interested here is the link to my blog:

just email me your link to and I will add it to my blog roll.

Thank you for considering my website.

Eric Edwards said...

Don't think so. I'm afraid your site is full of inaccuracies.