Sunday, 11 September 2016

Day to Remember on the River and Pike Order Arrives...

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  Finally this week the weather seems to have settle slightly and we seem to be moving out of the constant period of heavy rain and then baking hot sunshine.  The mornings are starting to have a crisp edge to them from time to time and the Conker trees now laden with their autumnal larder of fruit are starting to show signs that Autumn is most certainly with us.

This weeks update sees a little bit around a huge milestone the blog has reached, some info on the bait order and my thought processes and finally a cheeky plug of my diary around piking from last year.  The fishing sees us back on the river fishing the Bolo on a session where the roach really did turn up.

Lets get into the update...

400k Not Out...

Checking the blog on Monday i noticed in the views section that we where very close to reaching the barmy landmark of 400,000 unique views on the blog.  I remember fondly the days when i first started writing the blog and that first month where i was over the moon that a 100 people read my blog in the month.  The blog really has grown in popularity form those early days and now consistently reaches over 200 views on a daily basis rising to the thousands when a blog goes live.

I have tried my best to keep it to weekly updates and sometimes life has got in the way and there have been the odd gap here and there.  Sometimes its down to just not being able to find the words to write on the page, i will be honest, others its purely down to family life taking over and not having the time.  Over the years its become part of my week as much as the fishing on the Saturday and its been a pleasure to write this diary of my fishing adventures the passed few years and it has let to the making of some very special friendships both online and in real life.

It begs the question where does the blog go from here? I always promised myself i would write the blog for as long as i felt i was enjoying it and the content was interesting enough.  I must admit to thinking recently of taking a dramatic leap into the world of video blogging my trips on the bank and publishing them on Youtube.  The main concerns here are obviously the amount of time it takes to edit a video and also being able to record consistently with content.  Pike fishing and carp fishing would be easy but trotting a river presents it own problems with keeping it both interesting and the actual recording of the session.  Watch this space there may be the odd pike video coming this winter.

Pike Bait Order Arrives...

A baking hot day early in August and a text message arrives form my mate Garry as to if im interested in again ordering bait for the piking.  At the time piking was about as far away from my mind as ever as thoughts of carp slurping down crusts of bread on the surface dominated my mind.

Moving into my third year of piking i spent some time looking over my records and looking at what lessons i had learnt and what baits had done me well at certain times of year.  There was one huge trend that stood out and this year i was looking to capitalize on this.  I will go more into my plans for the pike season closer to october but from past seasons i had used and struggled to source smelt later on in the season so i went heavy on the smelt and also i had seen great success in present a certain sized bait in a particular way last season so the rest of my order is taken up with bigger baits.

In total the order accounts to 38 packets of dead baits made up of Smelt, herring, sardine and mackerel primarily with a fantastic Recession pack added that is 8 packets of dead baits for 9 quid and this pack gives me some variety with eels, trout, bream, roach and sprat giving me that option of a change bait.  One other huge lesson learnt is that one pack of lamprey will do you all season!  These are all baits i have caught pike on before so casting them out i have confidence in its ability to catch fish and to be honest although pike can be finickey with baits they want i am a firm believer in the main part of pike fishing you need to get right before bait is location, location is key, especially when dealing with a huge river like i will be this season from time to time.

Previous Pike Seasons..

As mentioned above i now moved into my third full season piking and it has proven to be a bit of a headache with how to document the trips.  The first season i did the whole season bit by bit and included the trips in this main blog and then did a season summary at the end.  Last season i devoted a page to my piking and this worked very well but it being written top to bottom i feel reposting the same link didn't get it the views it deserved.  Once the season is finished its a great read through the season and good for me to look at what venues i did well on at certain times of year.

I have also been playing, like mentioned above, with the idea of video logging this season and thinking about it i might try it on the early sessions, see how i feel it goes and if content is publishable and build from there.

Link to First pike Season:
Link to 2015/2016 Season:

On to this weeks fishing

25lb of River Roach on Bolo....

So with two sessions on this river under our wings we decided to again pay this little place a visit.  This time there was no worrying about wind, rain and thunderstorms as almost perfect conditions awaited us as we walked the bank.  As with all my fishing the preparation for this session had began in my head early on in the week buy physical preparation had started on the Thursday night with a trip out with a bucket and riddle to harvest a some moil hill soil.  It is safe to say you get some funny looks from cars passing by when your sieving mole hill soil.

Arriving at the peg i mixed up some Van Den Eynde Roach Secret ground bait, a ground bait i have found you have to be very very careful when adding the water as its very easy to over wet this mix.  The mix done i left it to settle while i set up my 17ft float rod with a 3gram bolo float, it is a combination that has done me well the past few weeks so i decided not to change and i kept this same mentality with my bait using red maggot and hemp.

The dawn just breaking i was set up ready to go.

Admiring my beautiful surroundings for a few moments i breathed in the fresh air and took a second to just live in that moment.  A week spent facing a beige wall soon was washed away by mother nature herself.  A fish topping in the swim soon brought me to my senses and i quickly riddled off my ground bait and then added the moil hill soil to bulk it out and add some weight.

The session started off well and the fish where on me straight away although they where not of the size of the first week.  During other sessions the fish have come on a certain line around two rod lengths out but in this session i was able to get the fish going right on the end of the rod tip.

A quick phone call with Ste to catch up during which the true extent of the bites i was getting became apparent.  I was not catching fish of any size but i knew a rhythm of feed maggot, cast in, feed small ball ground bait, hold back...strike would see a big net come the end of the session.

While i was catching under my feet i kept the normal line fed with the off jaffa ball of ground bait and sprinkling of hemp seed just to keep that line fed in case the fish went from under my feet.  The odd better fish would show itself and it is amazing just how close in you can catch fish if you are quiet.

The swim continued to go from strength to strength as the fish really did come on the feed and for a good hour or so i was catching fish steadily.  As i mentioned earlier that can all change in an instant and like i thought the fish soon backed out of the swim, disturbed by a pike? or just spooked in general i dont know but it completely dried up.

The swim i had fed from the start was there for me to try so i quickly fed a few balls of ground bait and went for a chat with my uncle.  Returning to the swim i was into the odd fish from the start but it took a good hour or two for them to really get down on the bait.

I followed every few fish with a ball of ground bait shown above and it did seem to keep the fish down on the bottom and feeding confidently.  Going into the end of the session i knew i had a few pound in the net and i was hoping it would pass the magical 20lb mark.  The last hour though left me in no uncertainty around hitting that mark as a whole better stamp of roach moved into the swim.

For the last hour these fish muscled into the swim and i am sure they accounted for the amount of fish over the 20lb mark it was really a killer to pack in.

Palm sized roach coming quite quickly i felt had we stayed on for a few more hours we would certainly be looking at a 40lb net of roach and not the 25lb2oz one that hit the scales.

Although its always a killer leaving a swim where the fish are heavily on the feed i was over the moon with this net of roach.  In my angling i love my chub fishing and my pike fishing but there is something magical about a big net of roach.

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