Thursday, 6 March 2014

Hit and Miss

Today I managed a full day on a still water, after getting up before 0430 hrs I was at the water for roughly 0630 hrs. Things were going smoothly until I went to put my waders on and I noticed a small tear on the back of the waders, I decided to carry on, wear them and hope for the best. After 5 minutes or so the tear was virtually from boot to boot and left me with no more than wellies ( time for some new waders ).

Luckily the water had dropped around 2 ft since my last visit and I would be able to manage in the torn waders. As I was setting up my first rod I dropped a backbiter in the water and then water got into the ripped waders as I was fishing the backbiter out, not the best start to the day !

Just after first light
I had 3 baits in the water before 0700 hrs and I had positioned the rods to leave me with enough room to have a throw with some lures. After 15 minutes or so I had a take on a Manta which turned out to be a jack.

1st of the day
The jack had a large scar on its back, which I'm hoping was from a much larger pike and not a cormorant or an otter. Whilst I was busy making breakfast I had a take on a dead roach, I saw the arm dropping but could see that I had left the bail arm closed ! As soon as the fish felt the resistance of the bail arm the bait was dropped. Around 50 minutes later a pike followed my lure (Savage Gear Freestyler) and tried to hit it 3 times but missed on each occasion, I recast and pulled the jerk bait through the same area again, the pike went for the lure again and missed. I quickly changed the lure and cranked it through the same area, the pike nailed it 1st time.

The leech covered pike that took a lure at the 5th attempt
An hour or so later I had a take on the left rod which was baited with a large section of lamprey, I lent into the fish and it felt heavy, the fish powered off but I managed to turn it and gain control, then the line went slack. After reeling in I checked the rig and trace and everything seemed fine, annoyed I baited with another large section of lamprey and recast into the same area. The lost fish felt fairly heavy and would of definitely been the biggest of my season.

After lunch the weather turned, what was a mild warm breeze had changed to icy cold wind with some heavy gusts thrown in as well. The change in weather seemed to turn the fish off completely and nothing happened for a couple of hours.

I was still annoyed from losing the last fish and was considering leaving and stopping by a stretch of river on the way home for an hour, however I had a quick chat with a local who informed me that the pike often have a feeding spell at around 4 ish. I decided to stay put, fish on and see what happened. At exactly 4 pm I had a take on another jerk bait (Hell Puppy) which managed to free itself within a few seconds. A couple of casts later I was quickly playing another small pike, this time fooled by a Salmo Slider, the pike was quickly unhooked and returned. The feeding spell didn't last long and was over sooner than I hoped, I decided to call it a day, although I did take my time leaving the bait rods in for as long as I could, no other pike were taken.

Slider caught pike
This is my third visit to this water and will be my last until June when I will be targeting a different species. In my 3 visits I have caught 7 pike with only 1 being a double, the water does hold a good head of doubles and I will be trying to improve this ratio next season.

Until June......

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