Tuesday 24 February 2015


I was aiming for a late season perch session on my local river today, but conditions weren't ideal so I had a sleep in and later than planned headed out to a still water to target the pike. I was fishing by 09:30 and before I could get the second rod out a smelt was taken. A jack of about 5lb was landed, which is a typical size for this water. I was fishing a bay facing into the wind, hoping that the fish had followed the wind, however the early fish was a false dawn as there was no more interest in the baits.

By early afternoon I decided to move to the opposite side of the water and drift a couple of baits over the weed beds. After an hour a second jack was taken, again on a smelt. The jack was smaller than the first and was covered in leeches, obviously still laid up after the recent cold snap we've had.

I'm hoping to get out for a few hours on Thursday, hopefully the rivers will be at a decent level and I can target the perch.

Thursday 19 February 2015

February - A struggle so far....

I've had 3 sessions so far this month and they have all been a bit of a struggle, nothing noteworthy caught but I thought I would update the blog while I'm watching the darts

3rd Feb - I fished a new stretch of a 'North Yorkshire' river for the first time, as soon as I arrived I knew it was going to be a difficult day as the river was full of snow melt. Water temps were 1°C and air temp barely passed zero, needless to say it was hard going. I was targeting the pike but after a morning without any interest in the baits, I switched my attention to the chub. Ten minutes after my first cast I had a decent chub in the net. Blank avoided I put the pike rods back out but nothing happened. A final 20 minutes for the chub, saw the rod wrapround again but I missed the bite.

3lb 7oz taken on a hair rigged piece of steak
10th Feb - A recce the day before on my local river and it was good level, fairly clear and I was confident of finding a fish or two the next day. I was on the river bank for first light (before the E.A had updated the levels) and the river had came up a good foot making it the stretch I wanted to fish unfishable. I headed to a much deeper and wider stretch 5 and a half miles downstream, I stuck it out until 13:30 without any interest in the dead baits.

The next night was my local PAC regions first talk. Dennis Moules was the guest speaker, a very enjoyable night made even better when I managed to win a nice raffle prize.

Well worth attending if Dennis is speaking at a PAC region near you

17th Feb - I headed to the same river as my first session of the month, this time I planned to stay mobile, moving frequently hoping to land on a few fish. I hedged my bets and took rods for both chub and pike. Less than 5 minutes after dropping a smelt into the margin, the backbiter sounded and soon after a (very) small jack was on the bank.

The jack was definitely my smallest this season, but the blank was avoided which was better than my previous sessions. Whilst handling the pike I noticed how warm it felt so I dropped the thermometer into the deep margin for half an hour, the reading was just over 4°C, up 3°C in the last 2 weeks. I kept on the move, moving swims after 30 to 40 biteless minutes. I did have the odd interest on the chub rod but nothing worth striking at.

The majority of this stretch is accessible with a 4 x4, so the old jeep came in handy, meaning moving swims wasn't a chore and I probably fished 8 swims by 13:00.

Roving the easy (lazy) way!

For the final hour or so I decided to move to the next stretch upstream, pick a peg and sit it out. Again within 5 mins of putting a bait (lamprey) out, the backbiter sounded, another jack but any pike is welcome on difficult days like these.

So far February has been a struggle, not just for me but most lads on the local forums have been struggling. Catch rates have increased over the last week or so, with some nice bags of chub coming out. Jim had one of these catches, 5 chub over 4lb in less than 3 hours, quality fishing. Jim's catch report can be found here.

Hopefully the temperatures continue to rise and I can get a few better fish on the bank before the rivers close, I'm out again on Tuesday, river undecided but I'm hoping conditions are kind.

Sunday 1 February 2015

Video of p.b pike capture

Towards the end of last September I finally beat my pike personal best whilst livebaiting for perch. My previous best had stood for over 3 years, so I was very pleased when I finally beat it. Just as pleasing was recording the capture on my GoPro camera, the video quality is HD (if you enable HD on YouTube) but the sound isn't the best quality as I had the full waterproof case on.

Anyway I thought I'd share the video -

Link to the original blog post - http://northeastpiker.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/an-unexpected-personal-best.html

I didn't manage to fish on Thursday as Lindsey was ill so I spent the day with her instead. I'm aiming to get on the bank on Tuesday and hoping that the river conditions are kind so I can target the pike.

I had some good news this week, the club that controls a still water I fish has removed the close season, this will allow me to target the eels and tench as soon as the water warms up, instead of waiting for June, very happy.