Saturday, 7 January 2012
Crikey what weather we've had. Back in September they warned that we were going to have yet another severe winter with sub-zero temperatures and snow. What we have had so far is, if anything, worse than that with storm after storm crossing the British Isles flooding the rivers and making it impossible to take the boat out. It seems every river in the country has been on a rollercoaster ride rising fast on minute and then dropping the next and catching the river right in such circumstances is nigh on impossible. My one trip to a river was fruitless, the water was high, coloured and rising and I blanked.
The only alternative has been to fish relatively local waters and take what I could get, which is usually not a lot in northwest stillwaters although I've had fish at least. The water I've been targetting is quite a large one, a reservoir but despite its size (54 acres) I've seen the water level rise by more than six feet over the last two weeks and it is currently quite full with millions of gallons tipping over the overflow. Naturally enough the water has coloured up during the process and this has influenced my fishing style somewhat.
I've managed three trips to this lake, although one of them was curtailed when the weather turned nasty once again and I've had pike every time. The coloured water has led me to fish smelly deadbaits so sardines have been on the hooks each time and of course these have had to be on the bottom where the pike have a better chance of finding them. I've also fished at least one rod very close in each time. Here the water is shallow and the light has a better chance of penetrating the murk down to the bottom. Every fish I've had has come close in, usually just one or two rod lengths out.
Three doubles and a jack have come my way, the biggest weighing 15lbs 15oz. The fish have been well fed but they've not been in the best of condition and in particular two of them have had red sore disease. This is a bacterial infection which is reasonably common in pike which leads to a loss of scales, sometimes in big patches and bleeding. They do recover from it in time.
I've included two pictures of the largest, one of the good side and one of the diseased side.