Thursday, 19 October 2017


So I haven't posted since July and it not because I haven't been fishing. In fact I been out on a variety of still and running waters over the summer, learnt a lot, caught a few fish and really enjoyed trying different things.

One of the new water is a stunning venue which can only be describe and unique. It is a mixture of a broad, a river and a still water all rolled into one. Its not only the place that is stunning the wildlife is to and you also have the chance of caught a lump.

I had a midweek piking session on my mind, so at rather short notice I picked a day and booked it off.

At dawn, I slipped the rope from the mooring and started to row to the first swim of the day. It was a breezy day which put a nice ripple on the water. The temperature was warm for October, but not warm enough to dispense with the fleece.

After a good row, I was soon in the first swim of the day and sent a herring to the reed line on one rod and drifted a sardine down the wind lane.

With the baits out, it was time to put the kettle on for the first brew of the day. like clock work, this task set in the wheels in motion for a run on the reed line rod and a lively double figure pike was on the net.

The herring was still attached and as it was pretty good, so it was sent back out to the same spot whilst I drank my brew.

With the downing of the last drops from the mug, the herring was away again and after a spirited fight a second low double was netted. All before breakfast too.

Could I manage a third from the spot, turns out that it didn't and a move was in order.

The second spot of the day was a along a stretch and featureless looking stretch, but in fact it does have a number of features to fish to including a side stream that come in. The vane drift was sent out first and the float was then positioned at the mouth of the side stream inlet.

As the float settles, I noticed a elusive visitor to my right, a Bittern had landed in the reeds and was doing a dam good impression of being a reed. Its not every day that you get close to these birds and normally you just hear their booming call or spook then when settling into the reeds.
The Bittern sat in the reeds for a long time and it allowed me to get a few shots on the camera

This was the last moment of serenity of the day. Whilst enjoying the sight of the bittern, the vane drift slid under. Only issue was that the other float with the sardine attached was also sliding under at the same time. I connected with the running fish on the vane drift and once the hooks were set, I set about the other rod and set the hooks on this one too. Feeling this one was small, I put the bait runner on and went back to the first fish. First number one was soon by the boat being unhooked and release, so I turned my attention to the second smaller fish which was soon subdued and unhooked in the water again. Turned out they were both low doubles.

Time for tea, so with the stove on, it was time to rebait both rods and get them back out again.
The float next to the reeds dropped on the money and the vane drift was sent on its way and was soon drifting nicely.
The kettle boiled and steam pouring out and as I started to tip the water into the cup, I noticed that the float next to the reeds was coming towards me, then the pain hit me as the boiling water poured on to my hand.

The scolded hand was plunged into the cool water and the rod grabbed with the other hand. With the pain easing I then set about landing the pike that had interrupted the tea break. I wound down connected with a tail walking pike and it went airborne before splashing down, it was then that I noticed the bait runner on the vane drift starting to chug away. Oh feck, another double hook up!

I flicked the bait runner level and grabbed the rod, and set the hooks on the running fish. they felt about the same in weight, so I played the first pike in to the boat, quickly unhooked it at the edge and let her go, before sorting out the other rod.
the second fish came in like a bag of spuds and was soon at the boat, unhooked and gone back to the depths.

Finally, I managed to sit down, re boil the kettle and try to cool the throbbing hand. It was badly scolded and very saw, but not enough to stop the fishing. After some tea and lunch, I upped anchor and moved to another spot.

I dropped anchor in a new spot and decided to fish both rods close to the read line but at different distances from the boat. I still had a few sardines in the box, but the herring was gone, so this was replaced with a large smelt.

The sardine was away again within minutes of the float settle and another low double was netted and returned, but as she swam off the other float went under and before long a better pike was by the boat.

Now I not one for netting all the pike and taking a picture adds undue stress on the fish. If I can, I bring them to the boat and unhook them in the water. Using double hooks makes it a simpler job and most time it is only the head of the pike that pops above the surface. Far to many times anglers bring small pike on board their boats to thrash about and injury themselves.

Back off the soap box. With both bait rods in I decided to have a cast about with a lure. Surprisingly it took a long time to snare a pike and in fact it was the smallest of the day at a couple of pounds in weight.

I got tired of thrashing the water with lures and the hand was hurting too, so back out with the baits.

No instance action this time and it was a further hour before another pike took a liking to the smelt on the drifted bait. Again a low double, but this had one came to the boat before shedding the hooks at the edge. Well it saved me unhooking it. With the sport dying down, I decided to head back to the mooring. I did stop off at the first swim of the day and winkled out another couple of small fish and I think in total it was 11 fish in five hours.

It was a decent start to the season and allowed be to get know the water that little bit more.

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