Thursday 27 November 2014

A small jack in difficult conditions

I had planned on heading to a canal for a first visit but I was working late last night so just decided to stay local today. I had been keeping an eye on the river levels and they were up a bit but I was hopeful that they would be ok for the morning.

I decided on a static approach and I had baits in the water before first light. It was just after 09:00 when I had my first take, a jack quickly grabbed a lamprey, which had just been recast. The jack took the bait before I could set the backbiter, I struck but had a feeling that it would come off, which it did.

I recast into the same area and within 5 minutes the backbiter sounded, the jack was quickly landed this time, it was probably the smallest I've had this year, but still it saved the blank.

Smallest of the year, but it saved the blank
I had a couple more cagey takes (lamprey and smelt) but I couldn't get anything else to take a bait with confidence. The river initially rose about 2 inches, then dropped a good 5 inches before I left at 14:00hrs, I have a feeling that the river will fish well over the next couple of days, unfortunately I was probably a day or so early this time.

I'm hoping to get another pike session in in Tuesday, probably a still water but possibly the river if conditions are right.

Sunday 23 November 2014

Forum pike session

Today I met up with a few lads from a local forum, we fished a stretch of the local river hoping for a few pike. Conditions weren't ideal with the river being up and slightly coloured. After a couple of hours we started getting some strange takes, rod tips bouncing and baits stripped to the bone. Initally I thought these were crayfish but after a few more takes I started thinking they were eels. The river wasn't getting any better so before lunch a couple of us decided to move to a local pond.

The pond holds a reasonable head of pike, but like the water I fished on Tuesday they tend to be on the small side. Fishing on the pond was difficult and as time went by I thought that a blank was on the cards. Eventually a float fished skimmer was taken, nothing massive, a typical size for this water and the blank was avoided.

The blank saver 
We fished on until dark, hoping for another take but there was no further interest in the baits. The lads who stayed on the river had no pike to report, there was a dropped run and one of the many strange takes resulted in a foul hooked eel. Although the fishing wasn't great it was good to meet up with the lads, hopefully the next time we meet there will be some better fish to report.

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Double take

Yesterday I planned on fishing the river, I decided to fish a free stretch so I could use more than the one rod. It was still dark when I arrived at the water, however it was obvious that the river was still carrying some extra water as it was pushing through at some pace. I made the decision to fish until it was light so I could see how coloured the river was. After setting up I passed the time trying to take a photo of a robin that was begging for maggots.

As the sun rose I could see that the river was still heavily coloured and my confidence started to fade. I stuck if out for another hour but I could tell that 3 blanks would soon be 4 blanks if I didn't move elsewhere.

I did have a bit of interest on a smelt, the rod tip was nodding but I struck into nothing, the head of the smelt had been chewed, possibly by a chub. There was no further interest in the baits so I decided to go to a water where I (unsuccessfully) targeted eels this summer. I had a couple of jacks during my sessions there and although it isn't a known pike water I was hopeful of ending my run of blanks.

The water is still quite weedy so I had a cast around with a lead, found a couple of weed free areas and cast a deadbait (lamprey and mackerel) to each. I set the third rod up to float fish a bait (skimmer) over the weed. I also fished the maggot/whip in the margin hoping to snatch a few live baits for the float rig.

Within 30 minutes a backbiter sounded as the mackerel tail was taken, no line was taken so I took up the slack, felt a fish and struck. A pike was on, it gave a very good account of itself until it became stuck in the marginal weed and I scooped the pike/weed combo from the margin, the net felt fairly heavy and I was hoping the fish would make double figures. After removing about 20 pound of weed from the net it was obvious that the fish was no double.

First of the day 6lb 6oz
I took a couple of self takes with the camera as I'm still getting used to the settings. The top treble was still in the tail of the mackerel so I quickly recast to the same area. I carried on fishing for bits it the margins but I couldn't tempt anything with the maggots. A good 40 minutes after the first fish, the float started to move, bobbed a couple of times and then it flew under. The pike fought well and was probably a little bigger than the first, but the line went slack just before I could it into netting range.

I recast the skimmer into the same area and started twitching the bait back towards the bank, hoping the pike would take the bait again. The backbiter (mackerel) sounded again, this time line was peeling from the spool, I wound down struck and another jack was on. As I was drawing the jack over the net, I noticed the float going under again. I quickly netted the first pike, moved to the second rod on which the baitrunner was rapidly giving line. I disengaged the baitrunner, it was another jack, smaller than the fish I'd just lost and it came to the very quickly. Both pike were lightly hooked and were quickly unhooked. I had caught pike in quick succession before but never at the same time.

Two in the net at the same time a first for me

After the double take things went quiet, I gave it an hour and then moved to the opposite side of the water for the last hour. As I was setting up I spooked a pair of large carp (20lb+) which were sat in the margin. The rest of the session went by without further interest in the baits and I was home by 14:30 to do the school run. My next session should be on Sunday, a few lads from a local forum are meeting up for a pike session on the local river, hopefully the river will be in better condition and we can get a couple of fish on the bank.

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Another piking blank

I managed to get out for a short morning session, hoping to land a pike after losing a few lately. I arrived well before light and a bait in the water (sardine) by 06:10. I decided to fish the one area until it was light, then move downstream. The first hour and a half passed quickly with no interest in the bait.

I moved half a mile downstream and found an area with some depth, I spent about 20 to 40 minutes in a swim before moving upstream. I fished about 6 areas in total and tried a few different baits (lamprey, mackerel, sardine and smelt) but none of the baits were taken. I have fished this area a few times recently and it usually produces, this is the first time I've fished it and not had so much as a take. The river seemed in fine condition but I can't remember seeing a fish top all morning, I might leave this stretch for a few weeks and maybe try further upstream the chance I have to get out.

3 blanks in a row......

Sunday 9 November 2014

Another lost pike

This morning I had a short short session with Jim from Fishing days blog. We arranged to meet at 05:30 and shortly after we both had a bait in the water. We stayed in the same area for the first couple of hours but there was no interest in either of our baits. We decided to move downstream, Jim roved and fished a number of different areas while I concentrated on a smaller area.

Things were fairly quiet so I decided to have a play with the camera, I then realised that I had left the memory card in my laptop so couldn't take any photos. Just before 10:00 I had a take on a ledgered lamprey, line spilled from the spool as the fish moved upstream, I wound down, struck and the pike was hooked. After a few seconds the fish came to the surface and after a few more the line went slack and the fish was gone. This is the 4th pike I've lost in the last 3 sessions and it's becoming more than a little frustrating, I'm putting this latest lost fish down to not setting the hooks properly.

There was no further interest in my bait, Jim came back just before 11:00 and had caught a pike of about 7lbs and had lost a decent chub at the net. I'm hoping to fit a midweek session in hopefully I'll land a fish next time and remember to put the memory card in the camera.......

Tuesday 4 November 2014

A couple of difficult pike sessions

Yesterday I was planning on fishing a stillwater however it was too windy for the water I had in mind and the other water I wanted to fish is probably still choked with weed. I decided to fish a couple of stretches of my local river. I arrived at the first stretch before first light, the overnight temperature had plummeted, the river was slightly up and it was pushing through quite hard but I was still quietly confident.

After about an hour I had a cagey take on a lamprey but the bait was dropped before I could close the bail arm. After a couple of moves and bait changes I had another take, this time on half a mackerel. The pike was on for about 10 seconds before the hooks pulled, this is becoming a regular occurrence and it's something I'm looking at. I dropped the bait in the same area hoping that the pike would take it a second time. I waited an hour or so, nothing happened so I decided to move stretches.

It took about 45 mins to move stretches and get the rods back out. This stretch as produced a few upper doubles over the past few weeks so I was hopeful of a fish. An hour later a large smelt that had been cast towards the far bank was taken, a very positive take. I struck immediately and was into a jack, nothing massive (around 6lb) but it was a blank saver. The jack was quite difficult to unhook, but after cutting the trace I managed to get both trebles out.

Blank saver
I am still getting to grips with my camera so I took a couple of self takes, they aren't as good as I'd like but they are improving. After the jack there was no further interest in the baits and I headed home about 4ish.


I wasn't planning on fishing today, the kids were back at nursery/school, the girlfriend was at work and I didn't really have anything to do (other than the endless list of jobs around the house). A quick check of the phone saw a text from Mick letting me know where he would be fishing. I looked outside, the fog was starting to lift so I picked a few deadbaits out of the freezer, jumped in the jeep and was on the bank half an hour later.

Mick had caught a few small chub and a couple of perch on the feeder before I arrived. I dropped a large smelt into the deep margin. A couple of hours later the rod tip started nodding but the drop arm on the backbiter remained static, I didn't strike I was hoping that it would develop into a normal run but it didn't. The tip stopped moving, I gave it 10 minutes before checking the bait and the smelt had a few teeth marks on it. The bait was cast into the same area but nothing else happened. Mick was still catching the smaller chub on the feeder he also had a better roach of about 8oz and a nice perch that went 1lb 1oz.

Micks perch

I think the cold snap has put the pike off feeding, the weather looks to get more settled towards the back end of the week/start of next week, hopefully I'll be able to fit a session in to coincide with the more settled weather.