Pondip Box Arrives........
This months Pondip box arrived and upon opening it i was really pleased to see it contained such a wide variety of tackle. These boxes really are exciting to receive and i am really finding the tackle they include very use full indeed. Some of the tackle i am really going to see the benefit of next year as over the past few boxes i have amassed a tidy array of pre tied pole rigs and pre tied method feeder rigs meaning next summers trips for bream and tench on Rixton Clay pits are certainly going to be a case of unloading my pole and slipping on a rig or attaching a loop through my method feeder and I'm away and for me who likes to take any opportunity to nip out for a quick cast this is so valuable. You can have a more in depth look at what pondip offer here Pondip Tackle Box and don't forget to take advantage of the discount offer on your first box.
My Simple Pike Set-Up....
I have had a few questions this week on my set up for pike fishing and how i am managing to do it with so little tackle as it seems a lot of people are taking a considerable amount of gear with them. If i was going out pike fishing now i would be loading up with the following items:
- 2 x Pike rods Ready Set up with Quick links
- Korum Rucksack containing Tackle box, unhooking Matt, carp weigh sling and Cool Bag With Bait In
- 30 inch Fox Predator Landing net set up with small landing net pole
That is about it, if i am going somewhere i know is boggy i might take a rod rest to keep the rods off the deck or if i am ledgering but for my day to day angling that is all i take. I have only been pike dead baiting for pike since Christmas, so around 4 months, but in that time i have certainly learnt how important it is to be mobile and just because you do well in one place one day doesn't mean the prey fish and the pike are there the next and you really do have to keep mobile. In this small amount of time i have lost count the amount of times i have sat in one swim for a hour or so without a bite and then moved, maybe sometimes only 10 yards and the float has gone in a few minutes.
Weekly Humour Column....
I am a weekly reader of the Warrington Anglers Chairman's blog update on what is being caught on WAA waters and although i don't always agree with the amount of detail he goes into with specific locations being mentioned, especially when it comes to pike, it is always good to see what is being caught. I do however also pop on for a good laugh as you can guarantee within the update there is always going to be something to make you laugh and this weeks was a corker. For anyone in the know there are some real gems hidden in there, in fact i could write a weekly piece on the the bits i find there is so many.
This weeks had me laughing like a chuckle brother i can tell you that. The bit in question is where a guy has visited the River alyn and he has quite rightly got in touch with the club to say what a lovely day he has had and why not its a lovely part of the world and he had caught a few fish which is always a good thing considering the poaching that has been taking apart on this river. I read on and saw this comment and i quote "Such comments make the committees efforts worthwhile".
The first bit of coffee come flying out of my chops and onto the computer screen at a river being associated with the committees efforts, what a joke, apart form paying the fees to the farmers what does this committee do? I then add to this the fact that although the person had experienced a nice days fishing on the River Alyn lets not forget that where the Alyn joined the river you could expect 40-50lb nets of fish between two anglers in the right conditions! Add to this the fact that yours truly contacted the committee to let them know a YEAR in advance they were rumours of them losing the stretch next time the lease comes up due to anglers driving the fields and being abusive, what efforts did this committee make to save this diamond of a stretch?? i tell you what they did they told the person to stop spreading rumours and happily gave up the best water this club has ever had....FACT!, committees efforts don't make me laugh! and lets not forget that when you look at your licence some parts of the committee are paid a wage from the club for their "efforts".
Long story short in the time i have been in this club this committee has done nothing for the rivers apart form stock a few trout into the alyn. In the time they have lost two stretches of river and gained a very shallow stretch of the river alyn that in reality you cant even say is for the fly man as its that over grown, committees effort lmao.
On that lets get onto some proper river fishing on a card that is for the river man on the River Dane.....
River Dane Stick Float Steady Session + Big Perch.....
The week building up to this session we had experienced some rain and it was more than welcome. The mad cycles of hope the river man goes through is crazy from praying for no rain in winter when the rivers are already swollen to doing rain dances in summer to get the river moving at a steady pace again, all part of the mad year of a river man.
Arriving at the river it was clear to see the rain had added a good couple of inches to a foot on the river and more importantly it had added some pace to the run i planned to fish. The run in question is deep in front but does shallow up down its course and normally you can reverse shot the float to get the bait to still go over the shallow bit as it is only sandstone but in low conditions with little flow this had caused the float to drag under as it shallowed and made fishing the swim really hard, thankfully this was not going to be a problem today and setting up i was excited for the session ahead.
Threading my line through the eyes of the 17ft float rod i was flicking maggots upstream and as the light cleared i could see the river had a lovely colour to it,almost like weak tea, she looked bob on for a few fish.
A few weeks earlier i had really struggled in the same area so i knew nothing was to be taken for granted. Casting out my 10 number 4 dave harrell stick float i hastily flicked 10-15 maggots behind the run and some hemp seed down stream and settled into the first run. The float had not settled before a zooming bite awoken my senses and i was soon playing the first fish of the day in a pristine 6oz-8oz chublet, a fantastic start.
These chub where ferocious in there feeding and i took a few chublets in the early exchanges that upon releasing into my keep net regurgitated a huge amount of maggots going to show just how much you need to feed if these guys are around. I do have a bait dropper for this scenario when you think none of your bait is getting to the bottom where your hemp is. It is normally small dace and small roach or minnows that give you this problem up in the water but when its 6-8oz chub you don't mind and i continued to feed by hand knowing from experience that the swim will settle down after around a hour.
As predicted around the hour mark the fish settled down and whether the chub just spook or they just move out the area i don't know but they do seem to do a disappearing act in the swim. Sometimes this can mean the end of the session bites wise and that can be as early as 8am in some cases. As the colder weather moves in though and the fish struggle to find food as summers bountiful larder or flies and insects dry up the fish do seem to come to the feed and stay longer and this can also be the case when a change in weather brings cloud cover as well as cold stacking the odds in the anglers favour.
As the chub moved out so the other species moved in and it started with the river mans prize capture the roach, not big but they came steady. The roach being a less veracious feeder called for the float to be dotted right down to register these delicate bites and after some messing around with the shot i began to pic up the odd better sized roach.
Moving into the early afternoon and the action began to slow down to the point i was going through a number of times before getting a fish and coming in the fish where really scatty in their fight almost as it panicked. It was time to turn my mind from roach and aim for a more aggressive predator in the for of a perch. It did not take long for the float to slide away and for me to be playing a hard fighting Sargent. Netting these fish at the earliest opportunity i have found best as they are good at throwing the hook in the latter stages of the fight so like a heron i waited expectantly for my chance, a quick scoop and he was mine. At just under 3lb well worth catching.
These fish are never normally alone and i was soon playing another one of the gang and was again adopting the same mentality as with its other sibling and again it worked. A great way to add weight to your net, two fish 5lb in around 10 minutes. This fish i recognise due to a red scar on its gill cover so he obviously likes the bait. i think i may leave the perch on this river in peace now till later on in the year when a new personal best could be on the cards.
The fishing for the roach ticked over till the end of the session with small roach coming steadily with the odd skimmer which saw me end with a total net of 18.5lb and me pleased with a fantastic days work.
Sudden Drop In Temps And New Pike PB.....
Sunday morning and after a busy day on the previous day trotting for silvers i must admit i woke from a really deep sleep. Some fishing can be quite relaxing and give you the chance to chill out but anyone who has done any trotting will agree with me here when i say trotting a float all day is both tiring on the mind as you really have to concentrate all day on all aspects to be successful. Bait needs to be place consistently in the same place, amount of bait fed monitored regular, holding back in the right place and of course making the slight changes that keep the bites coming all add up to a tiring but fun day on the bank.
Sunday morning and with the car loaded i set off on my way. I noticed whilst driving that the yellow warning light was lit on my car alerting me to the fact that the outside temperature was between 0 and 5oc, this is the first time i have seen this light so in knew over night we had experienced a sharp drop in temperature. Arriving at my location and walking the bank in the dense low lying fog with my every breath visible as i trundled to my swim.
I was just settling down and setting up my peg when out of the corner of my eye my left hand rod dipped once, i quickly reeled in the other rod and placed it out of danger, this is not always possible as quite frankly sometimes the adrenalin of a developing run can see you forgetting all about your other rod but if you can its always better to move the other rod and on this occasion thank god i did. The rod moved i had all my attention devoted to the run and the float had just started to move to the left but the float was still on top. The float then slowly came in towards me and sunk to the depths, a sign of a better fish normally, a slow reel down till i felt the fish and then a hard strike to set the hooks and the fish was on!
The shock of that rod hooping over as you connect with a better fish and not a jack is something else indeed and this fish from the off was certainly no jack. She kept deep and was full of power as she made long hard runs for the near bye submerged snag and freedom. during the fish she was right over the area where my other rod was positioned so it was a good job i had moved it or i would have been in trouble. The clutch was set quite tight, not to bully the jacks, but the get them in as in my opinion the longer the fight goes on the more chance there is of a hook pull with this game but upon seeing her surface i must admit i began playing her with a looser drag as she was a long nice fish and i knew was one of the doubles we needed for the list. She fought all the way to the net but eventually she was mine and laying on the unhooking Matt to be unhooked.
Not all unhooking of pike are easy and this one was memorable for being a difficult one, one hook was in the roof of the pikes mouth and the other had gone through between the gills and was outside the pike gills. This is where a wire cutter comes in as had i released the hook in the top of its mouth and then pulled my treble through the gills i would have risked damaging the gills so i simply snipped the treble off the wire out side the gill and then after removing the hook in the top of its mouth the wire pulled through the gill rakes with no damage at all.
The fish weighed i was over the moon to see the scales settle on 15lb exactly and a new pike personal best!!
The pike admired, pictures taken and weighed was left resting in the margins to recover while i casted out my other rod. After a few minutes the splashing and tail walking in the net let me know she was ready to part ways and It was a great feeling to see her return home, back into the water the way it should be done and not going home for dinner in a carrier bag.
Pike fishing in my little experience can be a lot of waiting some times but then there is a short frantic period where the fish just seem to turn on and whilst re-baiting my other rod i noticed my big bait rod slowly moving along the water. Knowing i was on a shallow shelf i gave the fish a bit of time and then wound down and set the hooks. The result was a nice jack pike of just under 6lb and more of a normal average i have been getting of late from this water.
I released the pike who took seconds to recover as i fought with me as i lifted him out of the net for release. I turned round to see both my rods lying flat on the ground, i had been wiped out, not a rod in the water and fantastic half an hour of pike fishing. A few minutes and both rods where out fishing again and i decided to let the lads know that i had knocked two off the tally and added a double as well and of course a new pb. Garry or should i say Schindler because of his love of lists was quick to add up individual scores and whilst he did so my right hand rod absolutely zoomed off along the top of the water and a rate of knots! No need to give this time i struck and all hell broke loose as a small jack darted from left to right and back again and it had me thinking that he was not doing himself any favours with the 15lb pike sat around still looking for a snack, the fight although frantic was short lived and a small jack was my prize and another off the tally.
This short spell of action was it for the morning despite moving a number of times to more likely looking spots. I left around noon to enjoy an afternoon with my family and the beaming smile that comes with a personal best followed me all day. Work commitments meant a few of the other lads where still struggling to get out on the bank so after this session the tally for the challenge stood at 22 pike and two doubles, a solid start considering to this point it has been mainly me finding time to get out. We all knew this was going to be a team effort and i only had one more trip booked for piking after this one and that was timely as it saw Garry and Ste finding opportunities to get out to keep us ticking over.
Till next time,