Thursday, 12 January 2012

Once in a While...

I know I moan a bit in this blog. The weather's always wrong or the levels aren't right or something else is giving me a good excuse for not catching. Just once in a while though, it actually all goes right and this past week that's what happened. That said, I got a little help from my friends.

The weather has remained mild but the strong winds and the rain have subsided now. That gave us a choice of where to fish but Denis and I weren't exactly spoiled for choice, we knew where to go. We got there quite early and, having a lot of water to explore we split up. The intention was to fish seperately for the morning and then meet up again at dinnertime and decide what to do next. I chose an area I'd fished before and was surprised to find another angler there when I arrived. He told me he'd had a mid double figure pike and we wished each other good luck as we each went about our fishing.

I dropped a legered sardine into a likely looking spot and didn't have long to wait. The bobbin was off within a few minutes and I pulled a 16lb 14oz pike to the bank. The fish was a bit of a mess I'm afraid, there were scars along its flanks and the bottom lobe of its tail was missing - definite otter damage. I put her back and moved on to another spot. Several spots and several moves later I had had no further action and as it was close to 12 o'clock I rang Denis and packed up to go and meet up with him.

Denis hadn't had anything and we decided to move on to a third place, a short drive away, to see what we could catch there. We had a bit to eat before setting off with our tackle on our backs and yomping across the fields. I left the first choice of swims to Denis and settled into a spot some three hundred yards away, again fishing static deadbaits. Before long the bailiff came by and we had a chat about the fishery and how it was fishing. He said he thought conditions were just perfect and I agreed, after all, that was why we had come here.

The bailiff set off along the bank checking members' licences but after half an hour or so he was back; "There's a chap along there having a bit of pike trouble." he told me, "Every time he hooks a roach a pike snatches it off his line." I didn't need an invite, the deadbaiting had produced nothing so I quickly packed up and set off with the intention of offering to catch this pike for him and get it out of his swim - I'm kind like that. When I got there though, I discovered that I wasn't the only generous soul on the bank, Denis was already there standing next to the roach fisherman - and he had a bent rod in his hand!

I helped Denis land the pike, an upper double, and he told me he's taken it on a lure on his first cast. The roach fisherman wasn't impressed however; "That isn't it," he said, "The pike I've been seeing is bigger." While Denis was unhooking his fish I decided to try to help the old guy out myself and began wobbling a herring through the swim. Nothing happened and before too long Denis had his pike returned and was ready again with his lure. He cast it in and once again he was into a pike.
It seemed it was lures they wanted and that left me with a problem - I hadn't brought any!

I put my hang-dog face on, cadged Denis's only other suitable lure off him and wandered off along the bank before settling in about a hundred yards away and lobbing out the lure. The switch from deadbaiting to lure fishing produced a spectacular result and I took a low double on the very first cast. Second cast the lure was taken on the drop and I landed another sixteen pound fish. Meanwhile Denis was into something much bigger and, dropping back my fish unweighed I went along to help. This pike went 24lbs 8oz, a super fish but the day wasn't over yet.

Over the next two hours before dark we continued to catch pike after pike, all of them over ten pounds and all of them on lures and by close of play when it was too dark to see we had amassed a catch of fourteen fish, five to Denis and nine to me. Two of Denis's fish broke the 20lb barrier and they both weighed 24lbs 8oz (different fish) while I too had a brace with fish of 20lbs 14oz and 23lbs 12oz. We finished the day delighted with our fishing and had a celebratory pint or two in the pub before retiring early for the night, keen for an early start next day.

Next morning we were on the bank before dawn and thrashing the water to a foam with our lures. Denis got off to a flyer with an eighteen pounder and followed it up quite quickly with a fine fish of 21lbs 12oz. I countered with yet another sixteen pounder but horror of horrors, it bit my lure in half! With no more suitable lures between us I set off to the tackle shop to buy some but when I got there I was disappointed. Despite the presence of a fantastic pike fishery right on their doorstep this shop catered only for the match angler. The choice of lures was restricted to a very big lipped rubber Storm lure, more suited to trolling than casting and a handfull of tiny spoons and jigs. I opted for the big one and took it back to the bankside.

First cast with this lure it was grabbed but the fish came unstuck after a few seconds. I cursed myself for not checking the hooks when I realised they were quite small and quite blunt and I replaced one of them with a hook from the damaged lure and touched up the other with a diamond hook sharpener. I was soon into another fish and pulled in yet another sixteen pounder on the new lure but a few casts later I hooked and lost another pike. It seems the profile of this lure wasn't a good one and it was a poor hooker. What's more it was very heavy and had a lumpy action so I was tiring quickly as I was using it.

Denis came down the bank, he'd cast his lure into a snag and lost it so that was it for him. He discounted the idea of buying a lure like the one I had since he could see I was struggling with it and his recent tennis elbow was starting to flair up again. I had a follow on the lure, a big fish, certainly well over twenty pounds but it didn't take and then a short while later I hooked and lost yet another fish.

We decided to call it a day at this and set off to fish the area I fished on the morning of the first day, a place where we knew we could catch on deadbaits. We only had one more pike there though and it turned out to be the same pike I had caught there the day before, the one with half a tail. It seems it wanted to get its own back on me for as I was taking out the hooks it thrashed madly and drove a barbed size four deep into my middle finger of my right hand. The hook was in deep and there was no way it was coming out so that was it for the day. I drove Denis home then took myself off to hospital to get it removed.

Was I bothered? Well after the fishing we had just had, with nineteen double figure pike, five of them over twenty pounds NO WAY!


Jeff Hatt said...

Wow! That is an amazing account of what must have been just a tremendous spell of fishing. I'm off piking on Saturday so I'll remember those lures and keep the deadbaits for later.


predatorcrazy said...

well done, thats some cracking fishing there. I struggle with lures as there are so many to choose from and i never know which ones to use.

Paddy Pike said...

Thats a great report and the pictures say it all, Good to see your enjoying the fishing,
Happy new year,

Bown Blogs said...

I know that swim ;-)

Danny Hale said...

Well done Eric, a great weekends fishing indeed.

Rob Thompson said...

Thats an amazing days angling ;)

Travelling Man said...

Nice when a chance like that comes to the surface - great season report.