Tuesday 15 December 2015

Not much happening

Since my last post I've had one still water pike session. I had intended to have a 3 rod full day session, however as I'm currently working nights adjusting to a normal routine at the weekend is a bit of a struggle and getting up early on a Sunday morning doesn't always appeal (Although I'm sure if the rivers were in a decent condition I wouldn't have much of an issue getting my arse out of bed).

The session was a bit of a disaster and I was glad I only took the one rod. The water is still heavily choked with weed, with only the one fishable peg. Needless to say I didn't stay for too long. This time last year the majority of the water was fishable. Hopefully the weather will turn soon and kill the weed as this is the only still water that I can pike fish within 30 mins of my house.

Landing net review

Last xmas Lindsey bought me the Lone Angler landing net handle , a cracking piece of kit.

Before owning this my two previous 'branded' handles had snapped, I stood on one and crushed it and the other snapped somehow. There's no chance of that happening with this handle, I've used it to support my weight whilst climbing up and down the river banks, used it as a wading staff, slipped and landed on it etc... zero damage.

The handle is a beast, far more substantial than a normal handle and more than capable of handling the abuse of river angling. The locking mechanism is solid and will not slip. I've used this for all my barbel and pike fishing over the last 12 months with no problems whatsoever, highly recommended.

A few months back one of my mates showed me a new pike net he had bought, a Fox 36" round net with rubberised mesh. I've had some issues with Fox kit (and their shitty customer service) in the past so generally avoid giving them any of my money, but this net looked great so I ordered one.

I usually prefer triangular nets for pike, as I've always thought round nets are too small, but this is massive. It seems well built and I'm pleased with it so far. The only downside is that the frame is rigid, a bit of a pain in the arse whilst moving pegs and for storage. The main selling point for me is the rubberised mesh, it makes things so much easier than standard mesh when fishing with trebles.

I haven't used the net much but so far so good. I'll put something on here after I've managed to give it a more thorough testing.

I'm not sure when I'll be out next, I've got a couple of weeks off over Christmas so I'll be aiming for a few sessions then, fingers crossed that the rivers are in a reasonable state.

Saturday 5 December 2015

'A bit grim up north'

Flicking through my diary it is glaringly obvious that my results have taken a nosedive. A combination of working 60 hour weeks and less than favourable conditions means my last noteworthy catch was at the back end of October.

Again my only opportunity to fish this week is Sunday morning and typically my local rivers are well rivers are up, almost approaching record levels in some areas. Targeting river pike in these conditions would just be a waste of time, a stillwater it has to be.

Lack of options

My local area isn't really a mecca for angling, the rivers are good, but the lack of decent stillwaters is very frustrating. Like most parts of the country we have plenty of match style puddles but generally I avoid these manicured waters, preferring less crowded more natural waters. These puddles do serve a purpose, however they just don't meet my (current) needs except for maybe for the occasional perch session. Even if these commercials did hold pike I doubt I would target them, pale pike with messed up mouths and god knows how many traces left in them don't really appeal.

Being a member of 5 local clubs (plus a few associations) I have access to plenty of waters to target, over 50 miles of rivers, 15 miles of canals and 10 stillwaters. The rivers are great, hard work but can be very rewarding. The canals hold pike, as most do, but these aren't local, an hours drive minimum, which isn't always viable for a short session. 

Out of the 10 stillwaters I can fish only 4 hold pike and only 1 of these is local (within a 30min drive). Unfortunately it seems like this water only holds jacks, plenty of them but I don't know of anything over 7 pounds being caught in the last few years.

I have a few other options locally but these are either uncontrolled ponds that generally contain more beer cans than fish or overpriced 'carp' syndicates. I have a few waters that I need to recce, hopefully I get lucky and one of these holds a few pike.

Well I'll be out tomorrow, chasing jacks for a few hours, you never know I might catch two at the same time, the only double that I'm likely to get from this water.