Monday, 8 October 2018

A Pikers Autumn Morning Canal Session...

A warm welcome to this week blog i hope i find well and your nets wet. Autumn has certainly arrived here in the UK and with it has come the blustery winds and intermittent rain which is slowly adding some much needed colour to our canals and rivers.  If you are out on the bank i love hearing and seeing what you guys are catching so feel free to share your fishing trips on the blogs facebook and Twitter pages.

Pike Behaviour..

After such a different summer temperature wise in the UK it was bound to have an effect on the pike fishing when the season arrived and from what i am seeing on the bank the pike are very very active feeding on this years fry.  Sessions spent on the banks you can see the shoals of bait fish tightly packed together as they nervously pimple at the surface.

This week the first frosts arrived and hopefully this will see the pike slow down and settle to a more scavenger low effort high reward lifestyle and start picking up the dead with dexterity.  A lot of jacks around at the moment it seems as well compared to last year so if you are finding this is your fishing then fear not we are all in same boat.

On to this weeks fishing

A pikers Autumn Canal Session...

 The front door opened to load the car my face was met with a cool freshness and walking through the puddles left form over night rain i began to load the bare minimum of tackle into the boot for the short morning session that lay ahead.  Arriving at the canal there are few sights that beat that first glimpse of a venue in the early morning twilight as the creatures of the night return to their day time haunts almost like couples working different shifts they pass the ducks and the swans just starting their day time hunt for food.  Both hunting the same goal of finding a meal but both on a very different timescale

The morning mist blanketing the canals glass like surface we walked that narrow grass lined tow path hoping to reach our destination without hitting a dog pooh shaped hot spot along the way.   The area of canal we targeted had plenty of cover on offer with overhanging far bank features and for at least some of the length a healthy bank side cover in the form of the dying weed.

The baits for the session where both float fished on my simple float rig i showed in last weeks blog and on one rod went a smelt and the other the tail section of a herring.  The unhooking area set up and the net ready all that remained was to sit back and take in the glorious surroundings.

The colours of autumn on this session where in full bloom as the mixtures of Browns, yellow ochres and red created a sensational far bank back drop and one that was only enhanced by the reflection of this on the canals surface.  Autumn is by far my favourite season and when my time is done its coming and its colours will be the one thing i will miss.

In such clear conditions you need to be near cover as the pike sit tight under these dark lairs waiting to pounce as the shoal pass by them.  Both my baits where fished over this far bank shelf one in the shadow of a vivid red tree, i think i placed it here more for the sight of it next to the tree, it almost completed the scene, than it being a place a pike would be.   My second i placed to the left of an overhanging tree tight up against some far bank reeds that just screamed home for a pike on the hunt.

Sitting back it was time to warm the cockles with a morning cup of coffee and await the arrival of an esox.  With pike there is certainly a feeding time around a hour after first light, whether they find it straight away and it takes that for them to move in i don't know but bite time does seem to be around a hour in.

No sooner had the words "it feels like bite time" left my mouth to my mate martin than a circle of ripples began to appear from one of my floats in its epicentre.  A few violent tugs on the bait almost confirmed a jack was eyeing up my herring tail bait for its break fast.  A bite that took an age to commit and move off but eventually the float began to trundle along the canal.  Heading towards the far bank cover i wound down and set the hooks, instant splashing conformed it was a jack and i just hoped the hooks held their holds till it got into the net.

Thankfully a few seconds later we slipped the net under a lovely marked canal jack pike with its jet black back leading to olive green flanks that where so perfectly painted with lemon spots, what it lacked in size it made up for in beauty.

At 7.30am it was a great start to the session and with a good four and half hours to go i was optimistic of more action.  The next hour passed with no sign of any fish in the area so we moved further along the canal to another likely looking area.  The baits in place it felt right for a bite as it does when ever you move in piking i guess.  It was not too long after casting in i heard the feint but repetitive thudding of a engine ticking over, its noise almost echoed along the canal by the trees lining each bank and like any approaching noise it got louder the closer it got before around the bank the bow of a large canal boat appeared.

The first boat of the day can be good it pushes the bait fish to the sides of the canal and is almost like a alarm clock going off as it wakes up the canals residents including the pike. So many takes have come just after the first boat i have lost count but alas there was no adding to that statistic today as behind that boat followed another 5 or 6.

We called it a day around 11.30 am and it was time to head off to my nephews 1st birthday party.  One pike or chance of a pike is all i try to get on every pike session so it was mission accomplished.

A video of the session should be live this Friday at 6pm on the blogs youtube channel and i will post a link to the video on this post once it is live.  but for now here is a link to the channel where you will find over 100 fishing videos


Till next time i wish you all tight lines,


Thursday, 4 October 2018

Simple Float ledger Rig For Pike Fishing

Hello and a warm welcome to this weeks angling blog i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  The first frosts have arrived and for some on social media they seem to think its the start of winter but in reality we have just left behind the first day of autumn.

When asked what my favourite season is i always reply with autumn.  Yes spring brings the most drastic change of all with the brag browns replaced with such vivid and bright yellows of the daffs and the freshness that comes with the green grass and first leaves on the trees.  That is in  itself a magical season but for me Autumn is where its at.

The sycamores, always first leaves to go, start to turn that dark yellow and dry crispy brown tips appear on their leaves as they prepare to jettison their leaves before the strong autumn winds arrive to free them of their mahogany shiny fruits and amongst the vast lines of sycamores you always seem to get that one maple tree who's leaves turn the most magnificent shade of vibrant red, i love the colours of autumn as much as i love the exceptional fishing it offers.


The midway point in September and my mind definitely is on two species and that is roach and pike.  The pike season is just within touching distance and you can almost imagine the biting cold on your face and the smell of the pike pro rotting leaves in your nostrils as you begin to prepare your pike gear for the season ahead.

For seasoned pikers its the start of the continuation of last years hard work, walking the same paths hoping to find them pike just a bit bigger but for others it can be a time where pictures of pike can inspire them to want to get out pike fishing for the first time and its these that this blog is really aimed at.

Last year i produced 19 pike and this year started off with the same gusto in this the first session of 2018 season

Some of us are fortunate that we have other people to take them and show them the ropes but that is not the case for many, for some its a case or trying to learn online and put that in practice on the bank so in this blog i will cover a simple float set up i use on Rivers, Canals and Stillwaters.  The rig is sensitive enough to show early bite detection and versatile enough to use on many different venues and that rig is the Simple Float Ledger Rig

Simple Float Rig For Pike Fishing:

Components -

Float Stop
Fox Inline 18 Gram Slider Float
Fox Stubby 18gram Sinker
Fox Kwik-Change Swivel
18inch Wire Trace (link to how to make own traces video: )

 - Just what i use for my piking, some go lighter some go heavier

- 2.75lb Test Curve Carp rod
- Shimano 6000 Size Reel
- 60lb Esox Piker Braid
- 40lb Breaking strain wire trace

Method -

Slide the float stop onto your braid and slid it up out of the way.  Thread two beads onto your line and then thread your float onto the braid as well.  Next is the Stubby sinker and finally i tie a Palomar knot to attach the swivel to the complete the rig.

For the next part we head off tot he bank to see how i use this rig in many situations and how i set it up for float fishing a dead bait on the bottom or suspended, so lets head over to the bank to see this rig in action.

So as you can see in that video blog above the rig can be used to suspend a bait off the bottom of fish a bait hard on the bottom of the venue.  If you are fishing a river with more flow simply up the weights of the float and the weight you use as the basic mechanics of the rig will still work.

I hope this blog update helped you out if you are new to piking and tight lines for the coming season.  If you do read this and put it in practice please feel free to follow the blog on facebook and post your catches on there.

tight lines and i will catch you soon