Friday, 29 March 2013

Out Like a Lion

March, so they say, comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well this March has had other ideas, it's been the coldest March since 1963 and the fishing's been pretty tough. This time last year the surface temperature on the big lake was eleven degrees and the fish had started to spawn but this year it's actually been falling in recent weeks and now stands at a chilly 3.7 degrees, that's down from 4.1 degrees last week. It's actually day length that triggers spawning activity in pike and they surely want to spawn but they can't spawn in water this cold and so they just sit and wait.

I've eight doubles in March, I had twenty doubles last March and this year my biggest pike has been 17lb 5oz (two at that weight) while last year I had three twenty pounders in the month so both quality and quantity have suffered. What's more, the fish have been devillishly difficult to locate. They haven't been on their usual haunts at all and I've only had the little success I've had due to a perverse stroke of luck.

I set out in the boat one morning and headed to a favourite spot some two miles away. I have the spot marked on the GPS so it was easy to find and I soon had the anchors bedded in and four rods out with deadbaits on. I pulled on a few extra clothes to keep the chill east wind out and then decided to make a cup of tea - but where was the stove? I realised that I had left the stove on the bank back at the car in its camo bag so I had to reel in the rods, lift the anchors and go all the way back for it.

That meant that I had lost the first hour of daylight, the best time of day just now, and I cursed myself for my stupidity but I was determined to turn the situation to my advantage. I decided to fish a new spot that I had never fished before and if I blanked, well I blanked. Luck was on  my side however and I soon had a fish in the boat which weighed 15lbs 15oz. A little later I had another one, a fourteen pounder and although that was it for the day I've now visited this same spot several times and I've caught more fish from there.

The fish are very fat just now, a combination of undigested food (because the water is so cold) and spawn and there's surely a very big one to be had but with the fishing so slow, it will be hard to track one down. They're fighting exceptionally hard too, both on the water and in the boat as I'm trying to get the hooks out. The biggest downside I suppose is that it all seems to be happening in that short early morning window, the rest of the day seems to be a waste of time.

More cold weather due this week and I'm off to another water to try my hand there. This pike season isn't over yet.

1 comment:

Andrew M said...

Sounds like my frustrating start to the year, an interesting read anyway.