Sunday, 30 January 2011

Tales of Two Swims

Every other week I get to go fishing with the wife's blessing. After dropping my wife at the station on Friday morning, doing the washing and picking her up from the station at 00:53 on Saturday morning a days fishing was required after a hectic week.

Its Saturday and the alarm when off at 05:00 and after the "oh god it dam early" thought and the "I need more sleep than three and half hours" feeling. I got up, showered, feed Buster and Spike, who like my early starts as the gateway to the meadows is opened and got the gear together.

I arrived at the complex at 06:10 to find that Craig had beaten me to the gate. Pleasantries were exchanged and we contemplated where to fish on this cold, but frost free morning. The swim selection in recent weeks has not gone well, and my normal rule of going on gut instinct has been over ruled by other influences. But today was different, and against others view, I decided that we should head for the deep water, rather than the popular swims of recent weeks.

The shop finally opened after 07:00 and after a brief discussion with the shop keeper, we drove to the bottom car park and unloaded. I had a spring in my step this morning and was soon parked, unpacked and rod number one was baited and cast out before Craig had even got his bank stick in.

By 07:30, all rods were out. Due to the cold weather, most of the resident pike that have come out have been mooching about the bottom. So all rods were on running ledger rigs, but were fished at different distances. Baits out were, bluey, herring and lamprey.

Waiting game

07:45 and the bluey next to the old reed bed went off at a slow, but steady rate. I wound down and tightened into a fish. After a short scrap Craig netted the fish. She was quickly unhooked, weight assessed as a low double, pose for the camera and she was back into the murky depths. Rod was rebaited, recast and BBB setup

09:15 the third rod BBB was sounding, again a slow and steady run was going off, so I wound down and tightened into another pike. After a quick and scrappy fight,  a 4lb jack was landed, unhooked and returned. Rod was rebaited and recast back to were it came.

10:00 the herring went off, oh no false alarm the ever present diving grebes had caused a line bite.

10:30 and the lamprey rod is off again. wind down, tighten up into nothing. Dropped run.

For the next hour and a half, it all quite apart from the noisy carpers who insist of cooking their breakfast to rap music, takes all sort I suppose. Anyhow, during the intermittent peace and quiet, I did see Mr Kingfisher for the second times this year and also something I not seen in the UK before. A tree creeper, a pretty little bird that likes to hop up and down the trunks of trees in search of grubs and insects.

On the bluey rod though, I do notice that there is some abrasion to the line. Bait is reeled in and rigs stripped off and long with the spool. Spare spool fitted and baited. Reminder to all, check you mainline for damage or abrasion, it could cost you a fish.

Midday, the lamprey is off again, or is it?! Yep it is, oh no!!! No yes it is, wind down, tighten up and at first it feels like a good fish. But the the tell tale nod of a jack pike is registered and after a short fight, pike three is landed, staged head shot and its returned. Craig manages to find the lamprey in the margins, so waste not want not and the lamprey is reattached to the hooks and cast back out.

Oh if you interested, Craig is at this stage fish less and run less and abit peeved.

13:15ish and the lamprey is off again, drop back run and the fish is coming towards me at pace, but I reel in the slack, tighten down and am into something quite abit bigger. The rod is solid and there is no nod of a jack pike. The fish stays deep for must of the fight, only surfacing briefly at range before driving back down into the depths. After a tidy fight, with the help of the through action rod and 15lb spare spool of line, she is subdued and netted at the second attempt. Craig and I look into the net before looking at each other, definitely a double, a high double. Could it even be a twenty pounder???

19lb 2oz Pike - 2nd double of 2011

She was lip hooked and was soon unhooked. Then the adrenaline kicked in as I lifted her from the net and into the Eddie Turner weight sling. She felt big, but how big. I laid her in the wetted sling and brought the cords together and slipped them on to the new digital scales. Now in the past with the old, but now inaccurate Avon Scales, it would be the magic time of watching the dial move round as the mass of the fish is registered. Not with the digital scales, the number climbs, 13,15,17,18 and finally 19lb 6oz, less the 4oz for the wetted sling and we settle on 19lb 2oz. Not a twenty, but pretty dam close.

After a couple of shots, she is slipped back into the margins and quickly uses her powerful tail to send her back into the depths.

She was a beauty fish even if not a twenty and is so far the biggest pike of the season, so I'm well chuffed. What a away to end a run of five wogans.

No more runs or fish came to me for the rest of the day, but I;m pleased with what i caught. Fishes numbers 23-26 for the season and a high double also. does it get any better. Well for me no, but Craig yes. He is still on run of blanks and today was meant to be the day when both of us got into the fish. Even with all his best efforts, he failed to register a run all day and was a tad annoyed to say the least.

Its been a tough winter so far, with sub zero temperatures and north easterly wind which has made the fishing difficult at times. But it just goes to show that even if you have two anglers with similar baits within 20 yards of each other, you sometimes need something else apart from skill or determination and that is luck. When its your day, nothing seems to go wrong, but when it isn't nothing goes right.



  1. Nice one Jason !!! Enjoyed reading that.

  2. Hi Michael, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Well done Jason nice fish not long now before Bluebell! did try for a ticket on Farmoor but they had all gone will be out from friday once i finish my shifts good thing about shift work i am always able to fish during the week when is quieter .Tight lines Steve

  4. Yep, couple of weeks to Bluebell, can't wait.

    Farmoor looks like it could be a real hot property, but looking back over the last attempts for pike fishing, it didn't fish too well.