Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Better Progress

Another trip to the new river saw me trying out some new areas in search of the fish. It was quite a walk to reach the spot I fancied so I travelled light, no brolly, no flask and no food. I was going to rely on my woolies and waterproofs to keep the weather at bay and the forecast had warned of strong winds and rain so I knew what to expect. Or at least I thought i did!

My research had suggested I might find some good swims in this area and when I arrived at the riverbank I wasn't disappointed. The fast water upstream had given way to a smooth glide with around 200 yards of slack water along my bank. There were many trees and bushes lining the bank so I couldn't access all of it but since many of those trees lay half on the bank and half in the water they added to the attractiveness for the pike.

The wind was fierce but thankfully it was coming off my back. I had no chair (saving on weight) so was forced to sit on the cold ground until the rain started - that's when I stood up so as not to get too wet. The first swim I tried was the widest one on the stretch with a large slack area just in front of me. I dropped in a legered smelt, put the rod on an alarm and clipped on a bobbin. Five minutes later the bobbin was off and dangling in the wind as line ran steadily from the spool. I pulled into the fish and was treated to a lively scrap before putting the net under a good double figure fish. At 16lb 9oz she was my best fish from the new river and was in superb condition, fat and solid with not a mark on her.

I carefully slipped the fish back and put another deadbait in the same spot before huddling down under the high bank in an effort to shelter from the storm force winds. Half an hour passed with no further action and I decided to try another of the many fishable swims I had available. The next swim produced nothing though and after another half an hour I moved on once more. Swim number three was a tricky one, a bush trailing in the water just to the left and a fallen tree in the river to the right made it a tight spot and the bank was high. It was going to have to be hit and hold tactics here and then netting a fish would be a problem.

I lowered a sardine in just a few feet from the bank in seven feet of water, attached the bobbin and sat back. Two dogs on the far bank took exception to my presence here and stood barking for all they were worth although the roar of the wind sometimes drowned out their noise. I pulled my hood up as the rain grew heavy and watched as they got wet, stupid creatures!

Then the bobbin was off again and my only thought was to hit this fish before it could reach the sanctuary of the fallen tree.

I held hard, not giving an inch but the fish was powerful and the 3lb test curve rod buckled madly in my hand as the pike twisted and turned in the clear water. I prayed that the hooks would hold fast during that initial surge and they did, turning the fish away from the tree and back towards me where it could do little other than wallow, its energy all spent in that first rush. I had to lie flat on my belly to net her due to the high bank and then haul her up. It was good fish but on taking out the hooks which were just in the scissors I could see there was another trace inside her.

Normally I can remove any trace no matter how deep but this one was hopeless. So deep was it that only around four inches of tracewire were showing poking out of the throat along with the swivel. Teasing up the trace I could see I was never going to get this one out and so I left it where it was. The wire on it was feeble, maybe just ten pound bs and the swivel was a cheap barrel swivel. No proper pike angler would use such gear and I wondered how it had got inside this fish. There was no line at all on the swivel so I guess the angler had taken as much care with his knot tying as he had with his tackle selection.

The fish weighed 18lbs 1oz and I took a couple of pics to show you but they turned out a bit odd for reasons I don't quite understand. They were badly overexposed so I've had to darken them a bit but they aren't as I would like.

No more fish on the new river and next day I had a day on the Severn again. This was to be another Severn disappointment with three fish coming to the bank on deadbaits but none of them very big. The biggest just scraped over ten pounds and I'm thinking we should give up on the upper Severn as we're just not finding any better fish.

Just For a Change
Denis and I took the boat out on the big lake this week as well. It was all a bit slow with just a handful of jacks to both of us until late on the second day when I had a nice 16lb 15oz fish, again on a sardine. We had struggled to find the fish and it came as no surprise that no-one else fished the lake at all during those two days - it's obviously not fishing well.
When we did find them it was late on the second day and we couldn't make the most of it. No prospect of fishing another day with yet more gales due so we headed home.

That's ten doubles so far for the season, six of them over 15lbs so things are starting to take shape. If the weather holds out we could be in for some good fish I think!

1 comment:

Paddy Pike said...

Well youve had some really good pike there Eric, Very well done,
But as for the pike with the hooks down the throught you tried your best, A guy i was talking to tells me the hooks rot away in the stomach acid in a couple of days, I think this is nonsence my self, And they should not use rubbish to start with,
Well done again mate,