Saturday, 29 March 2014


Well the pike season has just about come to an end, and not before time really. I spent my last trip out in the boat on the big lake in very wet weather and discovered that I'd been neglecting my maintenance more than I should. The first problem became apparent very quickly as I was lanching the boat, my waders leak! Thankfully I'd taken plenty of spare socks and a couple of towels to dry myself off but it meant that for the entire three day trip, every time I needed to wade into the water (twice a day usually) I had to take my socks off and pull on cold wet boots. The waders are old and a little perished so they will be replaced rather than repaired but the next problem was more of a worry.

Two hours out in the boat and it was clear that it was filling up with more than rain, I had a leak there too! The leak wasn't a bad one, easily enough to live with for a day's fishing but yet another problem soon emerged, the bilge pump wasn't working properly. The pump is supposed to pump 360 gallons an hour but I doubt it was managing more than four or five. I tried backflushing it a few times and even blew down the hose which did make things a little better but the performance was still very poor. It's probably only blocked up but access to the pump isn't easy, I certainly wouldn't attempt to fix it whilst afloat, so that's another job on the "to do" list.

One bit of maintenance I actually did carry out was a service on my stove. This expensive operation (the service kit cost me thirty quid!) was carried out at home but it hadn't gone well and I think the stove is clogged up with carbon in places where I can't reach. It's performance was poor and I found I needed to take out the fuel filter to get it to work at all well - that can only make things worse in the long run so it might be time for a new stove.

All-in-all the trip wasn't going well. I managed to pick up a few fish but the fishing was hard, both for me and for the other anglers on the lake. I'm seriously considering moving on to pastures new next winter. Best fish of the trip weighed 18lb 3oz and was spawned out. I didn't photograph it, I have so many photographs of eighteen pound pike now and they all look more or less the same. I didn't have the GoPro switched on at the time of capture either but I did film a few other things. the eighteen was joined by others of 16lb 5oz one of around thirteen pounds, a scraper double and two jacks. That would have been a morning's fishing five years ago, not the result of three days at the most productive time of year.

I tested the GoPro out for waterproofedness (is that a word?) by lowering it to the bottom in 40ft of water on my lure rod. Given the experiences I was having with leaks that might have been a disaster but I'm pleased to say that all went well and I learned a few things from the exercise. Here's the vid, notice the noise you can hear. That's the sound of the line passing through the reel and the rod rings and being transmitted down the braid. It makes me think that the same noise must be transmitted to any lure that I might be retrieving. Is that a good thing or a bad one do you think? Look at the clarity of the water and how much light there is down there, quite astonishing I think. Look too at the lake bed. It seems sandy with a few little stones. There's a lot I can learn with this camera, I'm sure you'll agree.

I'll finish off with another vid., It's just a jack that I caught - maybe the last pike I'll catch for a few months. Note to self, tidy the boat up before making a vid!


Keith Dutton said...

Good read Eric, cant view the video on my mobile,iI'll give it a go on my laptop

Keith Dutton said...

Good read Eric