I was approached a few weeks ago about being interested in appearing at the show on the day and doing a small talk on myself, my blog and my fishing and also answering a few questions and being there to give out advice in store!! I have been excited about this day for the last few weeks also a little nervous but that's to be expected. With this being a midweek update and me also devoting time to putting together the short talk it will only be a short introduction on the blog this week and straight into the fishing...
More details on the day are below....
Go Outdoors Shrewsbury Opening!
THE UK’S LARGEST OUTDOORS RETAILER OPENS £1 MILLION SUPERSTORE IN SHREWSBURY
To mark the opening, survival expert, author and TV presenter Ray Mears will be on hand to welcome the Shrewsbury community into the GO Outdoors store. Ray will be joined by local Shrewsbury Scouts to cut the ribbon, signalling the official opening. Family friendly activities have also been planned from 9:00am, including a huge climbing wall, bouncy castle, food stalls and demonstrations by outdoors experts. A special discount of 15% off everything in store will be offered over the weekend as part of the opening celebrations.
GO Outdoors was founded in 1998 and has grown to become the UK’s largest retailer of outdoor equipment and clothing offering customers everything under one roof for enjoyment of the great outdoors. GO Outdoors Shrewsbury offers clothing and equipment for a range of activities including camping, walking, climbing, riding, fishing, skiing, running and cycling. The company employs over 1,800 outdoors enthusiasts who are responsible for safeguarding GO Outdoors’ core principle of helping as many people as possible to enjoy adventures in the outdoors.
Commenting on the Shrewsbury store opening, GO Outdoors CEO Chris Matthews explains, “we are looking forward to opening the doors of our 51st store in Shrewsbury. As the UK's largest outdoor goods retailer, we are thrilled to be able to offer the Shrewsbury community a one-stop superstore for all of their outdoor activity needs. The GO Outdoors Shrewsbury team are outdoor enthusiasts who will offer our customers a wealth of information and advice on all of the products we offer”
The GO Outdoors superstore is located on the site of a former Homebase store on Battlefield Road, Sundorne Retail Park, Shrewsbury.
And with that its onto this weeks fishing...
Grabbing Every Second...
These sessions in this blog where right at the beginning of march and my head was full of one word, PIKE. I remember looking back and my whole world seemed to revolve around either fishing for pike or thinking about making time to fish for pike. The trips out for these fish showed the pike where hard on the feed and i also knew the good times would not last.
Sunday morning and i awoke around 5am the house was quiet as you would expect at that time of morning and i knew first light was about a hour away. I quickly grabbed the rods, my landing net and a few dead baits and headed off into the dark. I knew i did not have long so it was only a short trip to a spot i thought might throw up the odd pike.
The water was like glass and for this spot it was a bit eerie fishing it with no wind as this place is really open and there is always a chop on it. It was one of those mornings where everything seemed destined to come together to lead to a fish on the bank as walking out of the car i was met with the swirl of a feeding pike in the margin. There was no guessing where the rod was going and as it was feeding on live fish i cast over the area and drew the bait back giving the impression of a dying fish.
This trick worked a treat and within 10 minutes of casting out i was setting up the front facing camera timer on my phone for a quick pic, only a jack but still welcome.
The bait back out i thought it would just be a case of seeing out the next hour and half before heading back but not long after casting back in the float was off again. In the clear water i peeped over the edge to see another small jack gnawing on my free offering so i waited what seemed an age for the pike to turn the bait it its mouth when i could see the bait just peeping out of its mouth i gave it a strike. In the cold temperatures it was more a netting exercise than playing a fish but it was my second pike of the morning and i had been fishing less than a hour.
The next minute my mobile went off and it was time to beat a retreat. Like a dog with its tail between its legs i had been rumbled and off home i headed...
Dead Baiting For Pike - Insane Piking
The next session out was another social with Ste and i have to say piking with the two of you is so much fun than the sessions where you go alone. The gaps between bites are always filled with plenty of humour and banter and its great sharing fishing stories and comparing times we had fished the same venue. I think there is only one or two more of these sessions for pike to blog about with ste but what sessions they have been, take the pike away the sessions where fantastic just for the banter.
Heading out on this session i have to say i had my doubts about catching as over night the temperature had bottomed out from around 8oc on the Friday to waking up to ice on the windscreen of the car. The fish where there that was for sure there was no doubting that but if this season has taught me anything about pike its nothing is guaranteed.
We had big plans still for this session and unlike the previous sessions we actually had talked about a game plan before we arrived. This can really be the kiss of death for some sessions, it really can. We had a feeling that our arrival was coinciding with the end of the pikes feeding spell in the early morning so we decided to hit the bank in the dark and fish out float close in.
I need not have worried as minutes after casting in the dead bait rod of ste's was off...06.15am and first fish on the mat.
The pike returned back to chase the roach shoals we both got chatting about a good start and luckily one of us noticed stes other float was no where to be seen, "erm Ste you did cast in edge, yeah? well your floats not in the edge!!" squinting in the light all you could see was this float cocked heading off proud along the water, i have to say we both had a little laugh before ste set the hooks straight away.
Stes second pike of the morning, well morning we had been fishing 20 mins i think.
Up too now all the bites had been evenly spread among the rods and on previous sessions we both had bites quite early on. i must admit i was looking at my float willing it to go under, go on i would say. Eventually i think the Pike gods had pity on me and my float went for a soaking. I say eventually looking at my phone it was only 7 minutes after the pic of stes fish but it felt a hell of a lot longer. 20 or 30 minutes into the session and the 3rd pike was having its photo taken. All the fish where high singles.
The plan to get their before first light was paying off big time for us both we had both had fish which is all i ever ask for in a social that we both get a fish each or a chance of a fish on some sessions where it is hard. The pike though had not finished their morning binge as at 7am another pike sniffed out out smelly oil covered baits.
After this fish things really did slow right down and we could not buy a bite despite moving the rods around all over the swim. A move was in order and its almost like you find pockets of pike of late as the move really paid off with a near double figure pike coming really quickly for Ste. I said it last week and i will say it again there has been so many pike over 9lb.
That was it for the swim we moved into and it was proving to be a good session with 5 pike on the bank but it seemed like if you got a bait near them then they would have it but where not up for sniffing a bait out over a couple of hours. Nearly all the bites had come minutes after casting in so we decided there and then to cover as much water as possible.
It took another 2 hours for us to find another fish and with only a hour of the session left it was more than welcome. It was yet another 9lb plus pike but below a double and the second one of this size of the session. It really does leaving you thinking a few more roach in the fish and it would take a good session into another bracket.
This fish coming to the bank saw us land on another group of pike willing to feed as again no sooner had my fish gone back than Stes rod was off in the same area. Certainly it was feeling like the fish where in tight groups maybe following just off separate shoals of bait fish or maybe the warm weather in the week had pushed them into groups for spawning. I dint have a picture of stes fish but it was a lovely marked fish with really vibrant yellows and greens a beauty of a pike.
We had planned to wrap in at noon on the session but like most anglers out there the final cast saw us still staring at our floats come 12.20 and it was just as we were about to call it a day my float showed a slight knock, almost too small to notice but i guess after a season watching the floats you get to know what a knock is compared to say the wind or tow, you certainly do get your eye in and in tune to the floats.
The bite eventually developed from a few tentative touches to a steady yet not convincing run, we both had this down as a jack for sure playing with the bait and not really taking it. I struck expecting the bait to come back at me from a pike holding it in its mouth but what i was met with was the solid defiance of a pike that saw my float staying in the water and my rod bending into the fish. The pike felt a nice fish and as soon as i felt it was a possible double i reduced the drag a little not wanting to pull the hooks.
It was as i remember quite a short but hard fight and again with two of you on the bank you can net the fish a lot sooner than if you where alone where you have to wait that little bit longer till you have control enough to bring the fish in. The fish netted it felt a solid fish and a lot bigger than the 10.8lb it went on the scales. On the mat it was clear it had been feeding well as it had a full stomach and fat as a barrel, then again all the pike have since Christmas..
Well that about summed up that session and as of writing this i have just submitted a blog to pondip and put together on paper a good deal of my talk for Saturday time to practise and get the order of it in my head. If you are in the area it would be great to see some of the people that read my blog and exchange fishing stories.
Till next time I wish you all tight lines