Saturday, 27 November 2010

The North Wind Doth Blow

Late November and winter has really set in. We've had a couple of hard winters in a row and it's starting to look as if this one will go the same way - whatever happened to global warming? The wind turned to the north this week and it got very cold but that's the nice thing about pike fishing really. While most people in this country abhor the cold and stay tucked up in their cosy houses the average piker loves it and can't wait to get out. Wind, rain, snow, we take them all in our stride and concentrate on the matter in hand - catching snappers!

So it was with me this week, I had a few days to spare and set out in the boat. Denis was with me for a couple of days and then i had some time on my own. It was slow, very slow. I was still smarting from the loss of the very big pike from last week and wanted very much to make amends so we fished hard but little came our way. Indeed Denis didn't have a single run in the two days he was with me while I picked up just a couple of fish, the biggest being around the fifteen pound mark. I don't bother weighing many of my pike these days and I photograph even fewer. It's kinder to the fish to get them back into the water as quickly as possible and after all, how many photographs of mid-double figure pike do you want? My estimates as to the weight of fish are usually pretty good these days, though I tend to under-estimate a little but I don't really care if a pike weighs 15lb 2oz or 15lb 8oz. If it looked like it might go 18lbs plus I would weigh it though.

I'd had some trouble with the trailerboard whilst towing. I took a bend rather tight and since the cable was tied up tightly (to prevent it from dragging along the ground) the turn caused the plug to pop out whereupon it dragged along the ground and got nipped off by one of the wheels. I had to repair this so it meant an hour's drive back to civilisation to find a parts supplier where I could buy a new plug and then a drive back. It was dark by the time I got back but I'd managed to find a chip shop in a small village along the way so Denis and I enjoyed a fish and chip supper under the stars.

I repaired the plug the next night after Denis had gone home and bedded down early in order to get a dawn start on day three. Next morning it was rough and cold with a stiff northerly blowing. I set out into the wind intending to find shelter on the leeward bank but it meant a long slow bumpy ride against the waves. It was worth it when I got there, there was enough shelter to fish and anchor comfortably and I knew it was an area that could produce fish.

Results were quick in coming, indeed I had a float legered mackerel tail picked up on the first cast within five minutes and immediately on pulling into the fish I could tell it was a big one. After a slow, dogged fight I slid the net under a nice big pike which went 24lbs 14oz on the scales - very satisfying. I took a couple of pictures and put her back just as a second rod was away. The other half of the mackerel was on this one but the pike was substantially smaller at around fourteen pounds.

I took just two more pike during my trip, a jack and a scabby nine pounder so all in all it was a slow trip. I'm only averaging around one run a day at the moment, hopefully that will improve as the winter progresses and the fish really get on the feed. That's thirteen doubles including two twenties since the start of October, the season's shaping up. As I write I've just had a text from an old friend to tell me he's just caught his first thirty pounder. It's a good time for some, North wind or not!

1 comment:

Paddy Pike said...

Great fishing 13 doubles is a great start to any piking season, Great write up and picture, Pass on my regards to your friend for catching his 30lber, Wel done to you both, Great fishing,