Wednesday 30 September 2015

Limited time

With limited time last weekend it was either a very short morning pike session or an evening after the barbel. The pike won.

I was on the bank early, too early to watch a float, so I chucked a ledgered sardine mid-river. No interest in the dead bait, so as soon as it was light enough I began drip feeding maggots a rod length out. Small chub and dace and some reasonable perch were easily caught on the stick float, a better perch of about 2lb was hooked and lost as the hook pulled. 

After half an hour the float rod was packed away and a few small silvers were retained for bait. During my last session the pike on this stretch were very active but it seemed very quiet this time. Three pegs without any interest from the pike, then a take on the first trot downstream in the 4th peg, nothing massive but more than welcome during this short session.

A couple of casts in some upstream pegs but nothing further happened. Size didn't matter on this session, I was just pleased to catch, an enjoyable morning.

Cheese paste

A bit of bait prep this week. I made some cheese paste a couple of winters ago, a simple mix of shortcrust pastry, blue cheese and some mature cheddar. It has worked well on the odd occasion I have used it but to try and make it more effective I've added some Boursin garlic and herb soft cheese and some Sonubaits hemp and cheesy garlic liquid enhancer, needless to say it stinks!

I'll be on the bank at some point this weekend, I've heard reports of large shoals of small grayling and I will be targeting these areas for the pike.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

P.b pike

Looking back through my blog and diary, this time last year I was having some success with livebaits. So Sunday mornings plan was to fish maggot on the stick float and hope the predators would follow the chub and dace.

The morning didn't start too well, falling down a rabbit hole then later snapping my Drennan Acoloyte wasn't an ideal start to the session, but it got better. Interest from pike in the first two pegs I fished, then a perch of about a pound in the third.

The fourth peg had a nice near bank glide and on the first run down the small dace bait was snatched. After an epic battle I managed to net a definite new best at the first attempt.

A long, lean and mean river pike - 17lb 9oz
The next peg and another perch, 2.01lb this time, again taken on a small dace.

I was running out of time but called in on one final peg for a last cast, a cast to the far bank, then a long trot downstream. Just as I started to retrieve there was a big swirl a foot behind the bait, but it didn't take the dace, never mind, a very enjoyable but no doubt expensive session.

Usually I like to call into to a pub for a celebratory drink (a p.b pint) but I had rush back as we were taking the kids swimming in the afternoon. I did enough a couple of beers later though.

Plenty of pike activity on this stretch, which I will be hoping to revisit a few times over the coming months.

Saturday 19 September 2015

A couple of recce's and a DIY bait bucket

Whilst working this week I managed to fit in a couple of recce's during my breaks. Both are back up waters for when the rivers are in flood over the winter.

The first is a lake which used to hold a good head of double figure pike, the water has been in decline for the last few years, but stillwaters that hold decent pike are few and far between in my area so it's definitely worth a session or two.

The second is a commercial style water that holds good perch, well massive perch, a 'four' came out this week, three pounder's come out fairly often and two pounder's are pretty common. No silly rules, reasonably priced day ticket, livebaits and two rods allowed, sounds like a good place for a bit of a perch campaign. The venue also has an on-site tackle shop so I had a quick look around and found a livebait pump in the bargain bin.

Bait bucket

After struggling to find a suitable livebait bucket I made my own a few years back, very basic, a green bucket with a lid, a length of cord with a peg and a reed clamp. Holes were drilled into the bucket and the lid, which when submerged provide enough water exchange to keep any baits in top condition. The bucket is usually dropped in the margin and secured to some backside vegetation with the reed clamp. If needed (and the margin depth allows) I can use the peg to secure the bucket into the side of the bank, which helps keep the bucket out of view of prying eyes...

The pump will mainly be used whilst roving and moving pegs etc...

Quite pleased with how it turned out, hopefully it should be getting a testing in the morning.

Saturday 12 September 2015

Compensation water

Last weekend, the start of my pike season, a semi static session on my local river. Two rods with simple running lead rigs, backbiters for indication and a selection of frozen bait. The plan was to fish a peg for about an hour then move to the next. 

A cold, foggy start to the morning
Over the course of the morning I covered 6 pegs, with no interest in any of them. Although the river had looked spot on, it remained fairly lifeless, just the odd silver fish surfacing with no sign of any predators.

I bumped into a couple of anglers dropshotting and they hadn't caught anything either. After a bit of a chat it was mutually agreed that 'compensation water' was to blame for the lack of feeding fish.

The river can suffer from high abstraction by farming and heavy industry and compensation water is released from a reservoir to counter this. This reservoir is located high in the Pennines and the water is often very cold so this can effect the fishing for a few days after it has been released.

During the session I checked the water temp, 10.5°C, a couple of degrees lower than normal for this time of year. Well that's the excuse for last weeks blank, just need to think of one for tomorrow now!

Saturday 5 September 2015

Pike prep

Well the planned eel session hasn't happened. Finishing work after dark on consecutive nights and wanting to watch the England match tonight has shelved any attempts for the eels this weekend, instead I will be out for the pike in the morning.

Most of my pike gear is ready to go, just a few final jobs to finish, a few more traces to make and I should be ready for the season ahead. I've managed to get hold of some bargain bait, a box of sardines for £3! These added to the lamprey I bought earlier in the week and the remnants from last season and the bait freezer is looking quite full.

Bargain bait - 30 sardines for £3, now individually wrapped and ready to go
I will be heading to my local river tomorrow, with limited time (taking the kids swimming before dinner) I'll be out well before first light, stretch still to be decided, but I'm hoping for a fish or two to start the season with.