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.
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,