Friday, 10 October 2014

Midweek pike sessions

On Tuesday I fished a stretch of river that I had wanted to fish for a few years but for one reason or another hadn't got round to it. The stretch has produced a few twenty's and numerous high doubles over the years but access to the bank is quite difficult so it is largely unfished.

I was fishing with Mick and after meeting up and a short drive to the stretch we were parked up by around 0630hrs. The walk to the stretch was interesting, as it was still dark and I hadn't been there for a number of years, the 10 to 15 minute walk I had expected turned into a bit of a hike. Under and over some barbed wire fencing, up a few hills, through some woods and across a giant hogweed forest we arrived at the bank some 40 minutes later.

The river had swollen overnight and it was pushing through quite hard, there was lots of leaves, branches and fallen trees coming downstream. The fishing was hard going with the river conditions making presentation difficult at times. Despite regularly changing baits and tactics we both blanked.

On the way back to the cars we found a more direct route, but after 5 minutes I realised the tyre on my barrow was punctured and I had to push the barrow (off road) with the flat for the best part of a mile. As we were approaching the cars Mick noticed that we had 'parking tickets' on both out windscreens, luckily these were only 'parking warning notices' for parking on a grass verge (F*#*ing jobsworths!!!!)

Not the best of sessions but now we know the easier route I'm sure we'll be back and hopefully the river will be in better condition. 

On Thursday we fished a stretch further upstream, Mick couldn't get there until mid morning but I managed to drag myself out of bed and was on the bank before 7. I had my first take of the day 20 minutes later, initially the pike didn't really put up much of a fight and I thought I'd netted it at the first attempt but when I lifted the net the pike wasn't there. The fight started again but despite the fish trying to get into the marginal snags it didn't really last too long and I made sure it was definitely in the bottom of the net on the second attempt.

First of the day, caught on a 'fresh' supermarket sardine 
The pike went 10lb 6oz and was caught on a fresh supermarket bought sardine. Usually I buy my sea deads from a bait supplier or they are caught on summer mackerel trips, but I'm impressed with the quality and the price of the supermarket fish (£3.70 for 9 large sardines), I will definitely be stocking up the bait freezer with these for future sessions.

Sat back (on my bargain chair) waiting for the next take

Mick arrived just before nine and shortly after I had another run on a sardine bait, the pike was taking line, but unfortunately I had forgotten to tighten the drag (after the earlier fish) and I basically struck into thin air, the pike was gone and the bait had came off the trebles.

I decided to use an old large mackerel that had been in my bait freezer since catching it 3 summers ago, the bait was cast into a similar area as before. A short time later the mackerel was picked up and a pike was taking line, I struck but nothing was there. I got the bait back and could see that a pike had the bait but it was either a jack or I had struck to early. The same (mangled) bait was cast into the same spot and I was hoping that the pike would have another go. Half an hour had past when the backbiter sounded again, line was peeling from the reel, I waited a second or two longer than the last take and struck in a fish. The pike didn't put up that much of a fight and Mick quickly netted at the first attempt.
The second of the day (7lb 14oz) caught on a 3 year old mackerel

Mick had the next take, again this was on a fresh sardine. Line was peeling from the spool, but when he struck he didn't connect with anything. The bait was marked and it was definitely a pike, so he had either struck too early or it was a only a jack, either way we both agreed that it is better to miss a few take rather than deeply hook a pike.

Neither of us managed another take and as we were packing away I had a phone call, I was hoping it was to give me a start date for my new contract but it was in fact a call to say that the contract had been cancelled ! I had put a lot of effort in to get the contract offer so needless to say I was pretty pi$$ed off when I received the news, I suppose it will give me the chance to get on the bank a few more times whilst I wait for the next contract to come along......

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