Tuesday, 24 February 2015


I was lucky enough to get out on my chosen day and was really looking forward to the challenge of a new water for pike.

I arrive nice and early and had the chance to have a good look about before anyone else turned up.

Whilst the water was not of the scale of some of the venues I've fished, it had a pleasant feel about the place and with silvers topping, I was keen to get some bait outs.

I setup at the far end of the lake in a corner swim and set about plumbing the depth. It was pretty even 5-6ft all over, so float ledgers rigs could be put into use.

It didn't take long for the baits to go in and with the kettle boiled, the customary porridge and cuppa was soon made and consumed.

With the traps set, I sat back on the bank and had a good scan over the water. This could make a cracking back up water to fish for the tench come the spring, if the gravel pit Tench didn't want to play ball.

With the weather feeling warm, I was soon stripping off the layers and was down to just the hoodie, which was very pleasant for a February morning. The warmth brought out the birds, and soon we had Robins, Blue Tits, Thrushes and the Kingfishers active around the place. Whilst looking about, I spotted something odd laying half on the bank, half in the water. I scanned the far bank trying to work out what this pinkie object was.
 After a while, curiosity got the better of me, and I wound in the rods to go over and take a gander at the object.
As I got closer, I could see flesh, hoping it wasn't human, I hopped down the bank to find the remains of a low double carp recently kill by one of the apex mammal predators which man had once nearly eradicated. As sorry sight indeed, but to be expect these days.

Back at the swim, the baits were cast back out and my mind soon started to wander and in a heady dazy the alarm sounded. With line peeling off of the spool, I wound down and lift the rod into thin air. Darn!

I wound in the bait to find not a mark on it, so back out it went.

The morning soon turned to midday, and time for change. The baits were all freshened up and one of the rods was changed to a suspended dead below the float. Perhaps a little bit of movement would get the pike interested.
With the float bobbing in the margins near to a bank of willows, the stove was lit and lunch went on. Oh the simple pleasures of cooking on the bank.

With the hotpot bubbling away on the stove, the herring under the float started to move, the float bobbed and moved this way and that for what felt like for ever, but it didn't slide under. I started to twitch the float back towards me, leaving it for 10 secs at a time, hoping that this would provoke an attack.


The mess tin was glugging and burping behind me, lunch is ready. So the fish will have to wait for a minute or three.

The hotpot was soon polished off and the mess tin washed up using lake water.

Whilst the day was pleasant and warm, with lots to occupy the mind from a wildlife perspective, the fishing was somewhat unexpectedly slow.

I started to get think of way to get old esox to show interest in the baits. The bait suspended under the float was the obvious choice to using, so I set about casting it to various spots and twitching it back.
This occupied me for a goo hour before one of the other rods alarm when off. Like before the line was peeling off of spool, and like before I wound down to nothing.

But 2pm, I was starting to wain, but a neighbouring angler had a few hybrids in the net, so it was time to ask to borrow one or two

With the sacrificial fish under the float, its was cast out underarm into a space in the weed. After a short while, the float start to bob and dance around the weedbed, it then stopped and slid under.
I quickly picked up the rod with the fish running and connected straight away and the rod hooped over. This felt not half bad.

With the take happening very close to the bank, the pike ploughed into the weed and after some side strain (good old term) the pike was turned and headed into open water.

The angler who supplied me with the bait head over for a look and soon became the gillie.

He sunk the net and expertly netted the fish and in the net looked as good as it felt.

The fish was soon on the mat, unhooked, weight, quick pose for the hoodie sponsor (Birds Tackle) and she was released.

I managed to scrounge another bait from the gillie, and set it up in the same spot as the last take.
The roach was abit more active than the hybrid and kept diving for the weed. After a while it settled down, only for it to be nailed

A short scrap and a fine low double was banked, but because if the presence of other anglers, she was unhooked in the net and slipped back without a piccies.

The day was drawing to a end and with nothing more happening I started to pack up. As the second rod was being put away, the bluey tail was away. With the line spooling off, I wound down. Nothing again! But after a couple of turned of the handle, the tip bent over, and a small jack was on.

It didn't take long to subtle the mini esox, and because of the lateness in the day, it was unhooked in the water without any messing about.

It just goes to show, what a different a fresh bait or new tactic can  make, or was it simply that old esox came on the feed.


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