Wednesday, 10 November 2010


November. The season's well under way now and it's been a busy time for me. The first day of the month saw me at Llyn Brenig with Luke Kelbrick, son of Dave. Brenig was tough, as it usually is, with fish showing but refusing to take. We had several follows, a few bumps and at least four fish lost on our lures. We each ended the day with a single double figure pike, a ten pounder to Luke and a fourteen to me. If Brenig pike are a little small and hard to catch, they make up for it in their appearance. I doubt you'll see prettier pike anywhere.

I didn't hear of any twenty pounders being caught, the biggest being seventeen so it looks like Brenig has continued it's slide into obscurity. Will I fish there next year? We'll see.

A trip to the syndicate lake resulted in a blank. I used an inflatable boat to deposit deadbaits all over the place and sat waiting for a run all day but none came. This is a tough venue but there are massive shoals of roach so i really believe there's a big pike in there somewhere - a change of tactic next time I think. I shared the lake with a solitary carp angler and we both agreed that the lake looked fantastic in its autumn colours. I wonder if the pike do!

I had a great day coaching for a local club. Since gaining my angling coaching qualifications it's given me a new lease of life and I find coaching just as satisfying as fishing itself. Around thirty members turned up at the venue and I ushered each to his chosen discipline where, hopefully, he would learn a thing or two about pike fishing. As usual it fell to me to give the instruction on lure fishing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The feedback from the participants was fantastic and I felt we'd done a really good job for them, for the club and for pike fishing.
Here's to the next one.

More than anything I want to catch a big river pike this season but like every year the elements are conspiring against me. I had arranged with a friend that we would have a couple of days on the Wye, a river I've never fished, and I've looked forward to it for a while now. As you might expect, the day before we were due to go it bucketed down, especially in Wales. That meant the river would be on the rise and probably not worth the long drive so we cancelled. Instead I took the boat out to a familiar place and had a few fish.

It was to be a two-day trip and as I arrived on the morning of the first day I could see it was going to be a bumpy ride. There was a strong north-easterly blowing and with it was a shower or two - some of them pretty heavy. It was something of a "shake down" trip for me, the first time I'd had the boat out on a big lake for many months and I was slow at getting myself organised. The worst mistake was that after getting out to the spot I wanted, sounding the depth, noting the shoals of fish on the sounder, picking a spot and then spending a good fifteen minutes setting the anchors solidly to make sure I wouldn't get blown off the mark, I turned to set up my rods and realised I'd left them in the car! I had a good laugh at myself for doing that.

I was limited in the spots I could fish effectively due to the wind but I finished the day with three fish, an eight pounder, a thirteen and a seventeen. Not too bad you might think but all of the fish were in poor condition. The smallest had a busted gill raker, the thirteen had an ugly ulcer on its flank and the biggest was blind in one eye. All three were painfully thin and it had me doubting whether I should be there at all.

I slept in the car and next day I had the baits in the water at first light. The wind was a north-westerly now and it was cold but the sun was bright and hot, a day of contrasts. I moved a few times and picked up a solitary fish in each swim. Three of them were small, indeed I'm sure one was the same eight pounder I'd had the day before, but the last fish made the trip worthwhile. At 21lbs 10oz it had taken a small smelt and was in pristine condition.

Here's to the next trip.

1 comment:

Paddy Pike said...

One fish each and a Blank at the club, It seems to be happening everywhere we go, And will you go back next year, I think you must,
Althuogh you caught plenty to around 8Lb, The pize catch was the 21lbs 10oz Pike its a real tip top class looking Pike,
Very well done on all that you caught,