so straight into it...
1k Subscribers on Youtube Channel
Great start to 2018 with the Blogs Youtube Channel hitting 1,000 Subscribers, a huge milestone for the blog, one i hope will continue to build by following the principles of the written one. Good, honest and open accounts of an everyday angler documenting his fishing trips its the way i wrote the blog 7 years ago and it is the way it will continue.
My other half bought me a cracking gift for Christmas in a set of 3 Mark Houghton Pike deadbait pencil floats which look amazing. As the youtube channel hit the 1k subscriber mark i decided to do a bit of a give away and that is now live on the channel in the video below.
So dead simple be subscribed to the channel, like the video and comment what colour floats you would like to receive if you win. As in the video not a sponsored give away i will be buying the prize myself and i was well impressed with the gift for Christmas and thought would make a nice prize for the winner.
New Year New Card...
So this year i am a member of Lymm Angling Club and looking at the waters they do have a huge variety to go at. I have got some plans to do some more carp fishing this year like i did with the reservoir diaries last but i am hoping to again target this water. With the Lymm card i am thinking of using it to target a new species and one i have never really had a serious go for in the past, the Barbel.
The club seems to have waters large and small to target these fish on and with a lot of the waters seemingly being highly pressured carp waters i think the banks of the river is where i will find my type of fishing on this card. So yeah a little thing on the back burner at the moment but already thoughts of Summer and Autumn are in the mind.
On to The Fishing ....
Pike Fishing - Dread Full Start Comes Good!
A afternoon battling Chub on the River the day before and holding a 17ft rod as high as possible saw me meeting no sorry hitting the 6am Sunday Alarm Clock with the half asleep slap it deserved, a couple of snoozes rightfully applied i eventually rose from my slumber around 6.30am.
I am normally very well prepared when it comes to my fishing and have everything ready the night before so i can get up the next day and go about my morning routine knowing all i have to do is load the car and be gone, this morning was far from my normal pre fishing routine.
Stick float rods left in the holdall needed replacing with the pike rods of which one would need setting up on a ledger from scratch on the bank whilst my pike terminal tackle remained spread on the downstairs table, left from last nights attempt to tie some traces. Its not often i am not in the mood for going fishing but this morning i could quite easily have stayed in my pit. My drive to go came from the fact i knew there was a window of opportunity on the river where the weather and levels where right and with rain forecast during the week and possible over time the following weekend in work i knew i would regret not going.
A strong coffee consumed i loaded the car and began the trundle to the river, out of my close and onto the main motorway my mind began to wander onto the session ahead. Where would i place my baits and what bait would i fish where the main thoughts and then, like most anglers, thoughts turn to the dreaded question "Have i forgot Anything?" It then hit me i had left my wire trace bin on the kitchen table, no pulling over to check i knew i had and without it i would be in a bit of a pickle having to make up traces. Half way to the venue a U-Turn back to the ranch and upon my return there it was proud as punch on the table a quick grab and back on the way, staying in bed was looking like a good option.
Back into the car and retracing my steps. I don't know about anyone else but i always feel like i have missed out on a huge part of the day if i am not on the bank on day break, its such a short period of time compared to the whole day but it can reveal so much, especially when it comes to pike. Making my way back i could see the faint glow of light blue on the horizon that told me day break was not far away bit i was making good time.
My head lamps still required to negotiate the dark roads i might just make it in time for day break. Pulling into the car park the birds where in full song and before me lay a river, its surface like a mirror reflecting the bare boned trees on the far bank and along the inside line, for only the shortest of distances the water danced with small fry topping in the dropping moons light.
There i stood just watching and staring at the venue taking in its mood and desperately trying to get into tune with the daily activities of the fish below its watery surface. You soon get that feeling inside of where you need to set up and one peg in particular was calling to me as it just seemed alive with silvers, a pike just had to be stalking that shoal. The frustrations inside from the mornings mishaps began to ebb away and in it's place came that warm glow of fishing excitement, time to grab the rods.
I knew i had one rod to set up from scratch so i quickly threw a few frozen dead baits into the net in the edge to thaw while I got the one rod that was all set to go ready to make a cast. I figured as long as i had one rod in i was fishing at least. The banks sticks with their lolly pop alarms on top slid easily into the saturated sodden slippery banks as did their back rests and in the early morning light a dead bait loaded with Sardine oil was cast out. The fox swinger keeping the line tight to the lead the trap was tightly set and ready for a hungry pike to spring it open.
Setting up the second rod i realised I had only had one more wire trace left in the rig bin, a trace i had made a while ago when an accidental purchase of some Barbless Fox trebles had taken place, total and utter nightmare as baits fly off the hooks all the time even with the bait flats. Even so needs must so out went the rod with the trebles on and i prayed they held the bait on while i made a new trace up.
The new Fox 49 Strand Anti Kink braid really is good stuff, pricey but good, one thing it does need is a lot more effort top make traces than the old carbo flex and why they stopped making it i will never know. Each cut of the wire you make requires you to burn the ends to stop it from fraying so a task that a year or two ago would take 5 minutes required the stove to be set up.
With the trace eventually made up i wound the second rod in and as i thought the last hook on the bottom treble was the only hook attached to the bait as the top set of trebles had come lose, Semi Barbed all the way guys. The trace replaced it went back out into the same spot and i grabbed the kettle to make a much needed brew. I don't actually think i made it back to my basket to grab the lighter to light the stove before i was stopped in my steps by one beep on the rod i had just replaced.
Like a statue my body remained still only my head turned back towards the rods direction. Another soft pull on the line brought another one beep on the old delkims, a third more violent tug and the line parted from the fox bite arm and that ever so satisfying clunk as the metal of the back alarm made contact with the bank stick as it completed its fall. A slip and a slide down the bank i grabbed the rod and set the camera to record, line was now peeling from the spool as the pike went on a confident run, a solid take.
I gave it a count down strike and set the hooks and felt that satisfying solid resistance of a strong winter pike with line pulling from the reel it was like the woes of a frustrating morning where peeling off with it. A solid fight that saw the pike go a bit mental under the rod tip as it made one final run along the bank and under my other rod but thankfully i eventually slid the net under a lovely marked and well fed pike. On the Scales she went 9lb and had been feeding very well, a good sign for the rest of the session.
The pike went a bit mental in the net to sat the least so i decided to put her in the edge to rest, upon doing so my morning went from ecstasy to complete and utter tosh as i slid on my backside top to bottom of the bank. Picking myself up i was caked all down my side and on such a cold day i was thank full of my thick thermal under layers i can tell you. A brush down and the pike released i set about casting the same rod back out and poured myself a much needed brew!
Sitting back on my Shakespeare green box i decided it best not to move a muscle, just stay put on the chair and you will be safe i thought that way nothing else can go wrong. Carefully sipping a warming cup of tea i took a moment to breathe and relax! It had been all go that morning on the bank what with the manic start, a pike and then going over on the bank so sitting back the rods out either side of the swim i watched the world around me go about their Sunday morning routines, joggers and bikers all enjoying the outside crisp morning weather whilst above them a pair of Buzzards circled the open fields looking for a free meal and in a complete contrast to all these subtle activities a flash of blue and orange zoomed past the swim as a kingfisher made its way to its favourite perch.
Sat on my own perch it was a good two brews later i recorded a piece for the youtube blogs on how a running ledger set up works as i had received a few questions on it recently. No sooner had i finished talking the other rod buzzed into life and there was no messing with this one the line pulled straight form the slip and, almost carp run like, line spooled from the rods tip.
No messing about with this one i wound down and set the hooks and immediately i knew i was into a better fish as the rod hooped over as the fish pulled hard in the deep water. Nervous, hook hold releasing, head shakes sent shivers up the line through the rod and through my whole body as a very tentative fight was played out. One of those fights where you feel at any moment you could lose the fish. A hard fight under the rod tip she came up and turned leaving a huge boil in her wake, i had seen the prize and knew i was attached to a double figure pike. Up she came again and this time there was no messing and into the deep net she went, first thoughts?? BARREL!!
She was a short fish and in normal conditions she would weigh about 1olb for her length i would say but in her winter condition she was fit to burst, broad across the shoulder and had been eating very well. Certainly a big fish in years to come she had the right mentality already, EAT EAT and EAT some more. On the scales she went just under 14lb and was one of the most beautiful fish i have ever caught with vibrant oranges tipped with deep red in her fins a dark green back with dots of yellow along her side perfectly placed, a real beautiful fish.
A fish like this called for more than a celebratory brew so i cracked open some cuppa soups my other half had picked up for me the previous day. Warm and satisfying i sat on my box with the mud on my clothes now caked dry i had not a care in the world. That pike had made my day and made all the effort worth while to push on through all the trials and tribulations of the session. I gave the session till 1pm before calling it a bay and i made the long journey back home with a irremovable smile on my face.
A session to show that its not always sun and roses on the bank but not giving in and pushing on through it can all come good in the end.
Till next time i wish you all