Session 55 – First Pike Session Of The Year

And so it was that on the 12th October that I headed out to ‘Pike Pool 1’ on my first serious pike session of the season – having had a short lure session on our arrival on the 6th at Lakeside Holiday Park, Burnham-on-Sea, in the on-site pool. But this session it was to be *REAL BUSINESS* with the big guns of my tackle brought into action.

Tackle used throughout the day consisted of:

  • My ‘heavy’ lure rod – 30g-80g rated – coupled with 30lb BS braid, 25lb wire trace with a 19cm Savage Gear Soft 4Play lure in an Olive Pearl pattern attached via the relevant scull lip…
  • My 70/80’s homemade (North Western 11’ 2.75lb TC blank) pike rod – fitted with 30lb braid – 25lb/Size 6 trebles snap tackle baited with a herring popped up around 3” from the bottom to look like a head-down feeding fish… I have a pair of these but only one was put into use.
  • My Ron Thompson Desperado Carp Rod (2.75lb TC, 12’) – fitted with 18lb mono, Fox Hi-Visibility Dart Medium (12gm), 25lb/Size 6 trebles snap tackle baited in ‘Christmas Tree’ style. Don’t know if I’ve devised this method but not seen or heard of it being used elsewhere but as with all things – ‘there’s nothing new in this world’… But what it consists of is simply that each of the hooks of the mid-wire trebles are fitted with their own sprat (ie 3 on the treble) – hooked as desired really (lip hooked, through the back, through the tail … however you desire) and similarly the bottom treble although I tend to only place on 2 sprats in order to keep one point free but 1, 2 or 3 again, its up to you… The idea being really to simulate a shoal of small fish. Anyway, I’ve two of these Desperado rods too (I like matched pairs!! :D) but only used the one on the day.

My homemade pike rods are permanently set up for legered bait fishing and the Desperado’s are set up for float fishing baits – and that’s the reason for the use of one of each as I legered one rod, floatfished the other.

OK – so on to the day….

I arrived at the pool around 0730 and set off around the banks to survey the area initially eventually selecting a good looking swim. A return to the car saw the barrow being loaded and so equipped a trip back to the swim.

I’d already decided on this initial outing to floatfish one rod with a ‘shoal’ and pop-up a larger bait on the other one – and as my rods are already pre-tackled it was just a matter of clipping on the required leads and float to the quick change links… but, as I’ve said before, I always set up my accessories (landing net, unhooking mat, scales, unhooking implements, camera, etc) and place where I’ll need them plus generally set up my ‘station’ so that baits, tackle and tranklements are easily accessible from the moment I make my first cast. Nothing worse than sorting out the end tackle and finding you need to search bags for things or having a fish on and no net set up. It delays the start of actual fishing but pays for itself in lack of stress and worry leaving you to enjoy a relaxing day without periods of panic…

Anyway, with the main rods made up, I then set up the lure rod… to be used as an ‘catching tool’ but also as an attractor used the area of the static/dead baits. Obviously, as I have only one EA licence, when using the lure rod, I had to remove one bait rod from the water for the duration of its use. But not a major issue…

So, ready to start fishing on this very misty morning, I initially made several casts around the area with the lure searching out the pikey areas in case anything was cruising in search of a bit of breakfast but nothing seemed interested…

And so it was that both bait rods were cast out at around 0815 with the legered bait around 3-4 rod lengths out, and the float rod set at around 5’ deep just off the edge of an overhanging tree in 6’-7’ depth of water.

And all remained calm with no action although the mist start lifting at around 1100… until 1230, when a couple of minutes following a re-cast of the floatfished sprats at a re-set depth of around 3’ the float bobbed and weaved and dipped eliciting a strike – and, a few minutes later, a hard fighting pike of 7lb 0oz was duly landed, weighed, photo’d and released.

2014-10-12 Steve 7lb 0oz Pike 01
7lb 0oz Pike

And so the situation remained until around 1515 when I decided to pack up the bait rods and head, on the way back to the car, to a very pikey (in the way of Mr Crabtree pikey – ie you KNOW there’s a pike there just by looking at it) looking corner with the lure rod….

And so, arriving at this corner, a few casts were made, each one further along the ‘far’ bank from the fishing position, and on about the 7th or 8th cast the water swirled just behind the lure’s position as a fish missed the grab… The adrenaline levels and expectations now increased, re-casts were made to and over that area again and again and then came another swirl, the line tightened and a pull felt … and then all went slack again as the hooks failed to grip… and despite continuing on for another 30 minutes and a change of lure pattern not another response was elicited and it was time to head home…

So, a promising start to the season – already caught one more fish than the ENTIRE last pike season when I blanked from October to March, not one pike taken and the best result had been one ‘follow’ to a lure. However, last year was so mild that I switched back to tench fishing mid-October and was still catching those at the end of November… and didn’t properly settle down to piking until the January – but the 14 or more pike trips made between then and the end of March was a lot of blanks to suffer!


Time                                       Air                                          Water

0830                                          7.1                                             12.0
0930                                          6.5                                             12.0
1030                                          9.2                                             12.1
1200                                        10.7                                            12.1
1245                                         12.9                                            12.2
1330                                        12.8                                             12.5
1430                                        12.8                                             12.5
1545                                         12.8                                            12.5


Well, I was planning to go out on the canal with the light spinning rod and blade spinners in search of perch and chub (and possible pike although they are few on our local canal) tomorrow (Tues 14th) but the weather is forecast to be not to good especially for a roving style of fishing without cover … but Wed 15th seems to be a better day so hoping to go out then…

And on Friday 17th I’ll be back taking on the pike with the heavy gear – but not sure if to return to Pike Pool 1 or go and try Pike Pool 2….. or maybe even Pike Pool 3…. :)

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