My idea at the start of the year was to separate my main fishing from my piking and write a pike diary. As such it has meant that this has been updated more than my main blog but the downside of it being a, page within a blog, is that no updates are published on blogger to say an update on that page has gone live. In reality it means that unless you follow the blog on Facebook, Twitter or Maggot Drowners website then you will not even know an update has gone live.
You can keep up with my pike fishing here: http://www.satonmyperch.blogspot.co.uk/p/201516-pike-seaon.html
As with buses you dont get any for ages then they all come at once and this is going to be the case with the blog over the next week as last week i decided to take a week off work to go fishing and spend some time with the family. As such it means i have a few trips saved up and my plan is to split these into two updates.
So Why Take a Week off Work?
Well in short i needed a break, its been a long few months in work with more responsibility and pressure and with my new leave year coming round i decided to take a week off. It was not all about being away form work though i timed the week off to hopefully coincide with my best chances of catching an upper double pike.
Before Dave and Ste had both caught nice fish i had already spoken and mentioned to my mate Ste that i would love a nice pike to round the season off. To this point in the season i had probably caught around 50-60 pike, at a guess, so i had done ok by my standards, added in with that was 9 low doubles.
I booked a week of with the intention of putting as much time as i could into catching a nice upper double. I have always said in my fishing i would never fail in anything in angling through lack of effort or time put in and if i got to the end of the week and i hadn't caught one then i could sit back and think " i did all i could" and sometimes that is the case.
So with a week off work I started my hunt for a upper double....
Sunday Morning Social...
Sunday morning and three of us hit the bank in search of pike. I had been out with Azzer the previous day on a perfect river Dane and not had so much as a stretched maggot so i was eager to get a bend in the rod.
We walked the path to the water and i think we all felt an air of deflation as the over night heavy rain had left the water looking like thick brown chocolate milkshake. A bit of colour is good but this was beyond what i had seen in the past. We spread out our rods over a big distance and hoped for the best.
To my shock it didnt take 10 minutes for my float to move off, we all wiped out eyes in astonishment i think. Sure enough the float sunk away and a bit of me did think is this the one? A hard strike and straight up came a small jack pike wrestling with my dead bait. A battle it won a few feet from the net as its constant thrashing saw the hooks pull.
A hour or so passed with nothing on all our rods to suggest another chance was coming and we did all talk about calling it a day. A quick glance and my float was away again and this time i made no mistake, a small jack of around 3-4lb was on the mat. We did all call it a day not long after this fish as conditions deteriorated. Not a great start to the quest for a upper double pike at all.
Monday Morning Session.....
Waking up really early on Monday morning i wandered down stairs to make a brew, a trip that on a Monday See's me dragging my feet before work. Today was different. The first day of a week of work and i was feeling refreshed and ready for the challenge ahead. Loading the gear into the car i was not confident at all for some reason.
I could not put my hand on the reason why, was it the colour of the water the previous day? or was it the fact i didn't think that despite my efforts this week that i might get one? I will never know but loading the car there was a feeling that i was wasting my time even going today, it all felt so wrong. I pondered unloading the car and creeping back into bed but decided against such a foolish act.
Travelling along the back roads i noticed the rain that had belted down all weekend had given up the ghost overnight and the roads where bone dry, probably down to the blustery winds that where already blowing. Sometimes you really can drive on autopilot and the actual driving, although your brain must still process the mechanisms needed to drive, my whole trip there was full of thoughts of apprehension and a sense of pending failure.
The catching of pike as such was not my worry here, the location had produced loads of fish and i knew that catching would not be the problem, the key here was catching the size of pike i was targeting. This is so far away from my "happy to catch what comes along mentality" this was almost as close to specimen fishing as i could get. My thoughts where though that it would be a case of time on the bank and a numbers game.
Out of the car and my confidence instantly boosted, all the chocolate colour from the previous day had dropped over night and although not gin clear the water was a dark black in colour and looked perfect. A spring in my step i walked to my peg in the morning sun light. My first rod cast in on a smelt and i turned to set up the other rod and get it out in the swim.
A quick glance at the float and she was on her way out and in a second she disappeared into the depths, a early run and giving it a quick countdown i struck only for the hooks and no bait to come back at me, disaster! The only consolation was the fish felt no resistance of a hook. I quickly re baited the rod i was setting up and then repositioned the rod i had just lost a fish on.
I sat back and poured my first brew of the morning, a cold drop in temperature saw blooms of steam rising from my position, like Indian smoke signals giving away my position to all around. A few sips of the coffee and i noticed my right hand float twitch, very naturally but unnaturally if you get my drift? Something was about, a tug and then another and then a slow move away with the bait. The float slid away beneath the oily morning surface. Any who fish with me know i get over excited and dropping my brew i skipped to the rod. Line was moving steady of the reel at this point and a quick countdown i checked the drag, wound down and hit the run.....
My 2.75lb Prologic Carp rod hooped over and stayed bent as the fish kept deep and hugged the bottom and i knew straight away i was connected to a double figure fish. The fish held station with the drag on my Shimano reel ticking over as it did so just waiting to absorb and lunges. A bit of pressure applied the fish came up slightly in the water and as it moved off a huge boil was left swirling in its wake.
Judging by the size of the boil i began to think more and more this was a fish i did not want to lose, but still only thinking it was a low double. The fish then came into the margin right under the rod tip, the water clarity as such i could still not see the fish despite being only a trace depth deep below the surface. It was then she gave a little and up she came, head first she broke the surface like a crocodile she kept coming up form the depths as the true length and depth of her body was revealed, right there was my prize and i considered dropping the rod, jumping on her back and wrestling her to the bank haha.
Then came the dreaded moment of any big fish fight, you know whats on the other end, what there is to lose and at this point she had gone on another long run with another huge boil coming up around 15 yards out. The long the battle went on the more the odds moved to the pike. With a light drag i coaxed her to the margin and i decided the time had come as she come up i took my chance and slip the Fox Rubber mesh under her prehistoric olive and gold flanks, he flanks in the net i knew i had nailed it for sure. She would have to be made of balsa wood to not be a upper double.
I quickly unhooked the pike, and quickly got some mat shots before popping her in the weigh sling and weighing her. 17lb 11oz and a new still water Pb!!. I quickly rang my mate Ste and what a great mate he is as without hesitation he said he would drop everything and make the long journey from where he was working, true gent!
The fish in a meshed sling and in the large landing net i kneeled at the side of the water for the full time it took him to arrive ensuring the fish was upright and holding the mesh away from the fish to ensure her gills could work. I got a few soakings as she regained her strength but it was well worth it, Ste arrived and in now time we had some nice shots, so good when the other person knows how to take a nice photo. Thanks again mucka for taking the time to do it and the cracking pics. ;-)
It was back into the net this time with no net to recover fully before being released.
Well what can i say i guess its a lesson in no matter how much you doubt the conditions, bait or magnitude of the challenge ahead it always pays to make the effort to go any way. How many times do we formulate a plan, sort our gear and hit the bank ultra prepared yet it does seem the sessions where you feel its a waste of time that produce the best results!
I was all set for a long week on the bank and as such i nailed the fish on my second cast within probably 20 Min's of setting up. I had two more takes that morning that where dropped but on the day i was blissed out looking through the pictures and called it a day around 11am and enjoyed an afternoon with the wife and kids.
pic of kids
Oh What a Perfect Day!
Till the next instalment where we head out for a special days roach fishing i wish you all,