Session 12 – The Ultimate Trip Of The 2014-2015 Pike Season

Monday, March 30th, and I was back at the pool at 0800, all prepped, tackled up and having made the first casts of what was to be my final pike session until October 1st 2015.

Again, method of the day was to be laying on but starting off with a slight change in bait choice from the recent trip when I had used sprat and smelt, this time I was using half sardines – the tail on the left hand rod, head end on the right hand rod.

And action started quite quickly with interest being shown at the right hand rod with dips and short pulls from around 0830 but by 0910 still no activity was discerned at the the left hand rod – surprisingly, as on the earlier visits the left hand rod was the ‘busy’ rod with only slight shows on the right hand one.

However, by 1010, although activity was still apparent I decided to swap the sardine half-baits to similar but with smelt halves as I’d one large smelt in an opened packet…

1020 and a good take on the right hand rod was struck into and the fish hooked – but unfortunately the hook hold gave way 10-15 seconds later and the fish was gone. Shame, as it felt reasonable if a pike – and if a chub it would have been a damn good one! And rewinding in the left hand rod I discovered the absence of any bait – I didn’t see any suggestion of a bite at any time so just assuming that it had come off the hooks on the cast and been sitting there for quite some time. So, that line was re-baited with a sprat and re-cast out.

About 1210, after a long period of no interest to the baits at all, I decided to ring home to check all was OK with Liz’s preps for a visit to her parent’s in Cyprus – and in perfect accordance with both Murphy’s (if a thing can go wrong then it will) and Sod’s (if a thing can go wrong, it will do so at the worst possible time) Laws, as soon as Liz came online saying ‘Hellooo..’ the right hand (smelt) float shot under, the line tightened, rod tip swung over and the freespool started streaming line… BUT as I’d my phone in my hand I couldn’t immediately pick up the rod – and by the time I’d managed to do so the fish had dropped the bait and was long gone…. and at 1230 the right hand (sprat) rod had a good take but a strike only met thin air…

And then, for a time, the interest seemed to switch from the right hand rod to the left with small twitches and pulls on there but nothing on the right hand one… but then one decent take occurred at the right rod, struck and hooked into a fish (felt like a chub) which was played for 20-30 seconds before the hook again gave way and the fish was lost.

At 1430, with temps dropping and rain forecast. I packed in after having only a few more minor nudges and bobs and my pike season ended on a blank …..

And so, back to general coarse fishing for me until October now. And, as I said, Liz is going away for a week – as of tomorrow and so I’ll be making use of the ‘free’ time and intending to fish at least 6 days of the next 8-9 by doing a tour of my club’s various waters (bar our river sections as obviously its close season one those now) – plenty of options as we have 8 pools and a stretch of canal to have a go at – plus I’ve a membership card for Wolverhampton AA who have a lot of canal stretches in the area too…

With so many outings in the time, my blogging for the week ahead then may consist of one blog of summaries for the week that is updated daily, and, possibly, later proper longer individual blogs for each outing may be written up – but depends on happenings, etc, of course – and if I get time and inclination!! LOL!!


Time               Air                  Water

0810                 6.4                    12.8
0910                 8.4                    12.8
1010                 9.5                    12.9
1110               10.6                    12.9
1230               11.8                    13.0
1330               12.9                    13.1
1430               10.8                    13.4


ScreenHunter_35 Mar. 31 16.01

The Numbers Game…

Will he catch a total 2 pike this season (Oct 1 2014 – March 31 2015)? Will he make it even more?

Yep, 15 pike trips have made since 1st Oct 2014, most of them without even a bob of a float or a tremble of a bobbin, and 1 pike actually caught – and that was in October (ie 6 months ago) and weighed 7lb. so based on my average 8 hour sessions that 120 hours at the waterside… or 0.05833′ lb of pike per hour!

Suppose I shouldn’t complain though – as Oct 2013 – March 2014 saw me catch ZERO pike in about as many sessions….

Anyway, the final pike session of this season will be occurring tomorrow and hopefully the averages will get increased… 🙂

Session 11 – Penultimate Piking Trip

Friday, March 27th, found me once again wending my way back to the usual pike pool, usual swim for the penultimate pike session of my 2014-2015 campaign.

2015-03-27 01

Although there is no legal pike season – and never has been although many clubs used to, and many still do, have a rule that pike fishing is only allowed between the start of October and the end of March – and although my club does not have this rule I do maintain my own season based on this tradition.

Partially because its enjoyable when the time creeps up to the start of a new season with its related preparations of checking tackle and readying baits and just the ‘looking forward to’ factor, partially due to with the warmer weather between March and October there are other species to enjoy targeting, and partially due to pike welfare… pike are seen as fierce predators and thus as ‘macho’ fish but in truth they are probably the delicate of all fish requiring proper and careful handling at all times but especially in the warmer months when they are more active and fight harder and thus become more exhausted after the ‘fight’ and more likely to succumb and die albeit possibly hours later despite having swum strongly away originally – thus the main reason that I don’t fish for them in the summer time…

Anyway, as I say this trip was the penultimate session of my season… a beautiful sunny day with minimal breeze….

The ultimate 2014-2015 pike session will be on Monday 30th March…

So, anyway, I arrived at the pool, prepped my ‘station’ and tackled up per usual… baits used were a red dyed sprat and a smelt both floatfished in laying-on style…and first casts were in the water at 0810.

BTW – following on the lack of bait I mentioned in my last posting- I was able to obtain a few extra smelt – well, enough to last me easily for the rest of my season 🙂

Again the smelt had almost immediate attention with the float bobbing from time to time but no real takes as such – obviously chub in the area… 🙂

Then, intending to take some scenery photos, I got out the camera and switched on.. beep..beep..beep, it said, message on screen saying ‘Lens Error – re-start camera’ – so switched off and on – same thing, took out batteries for 10 seconds, replaced, switched on – same thing, so go to change batteries and discover of the plethora of spare batteries I carry I’ve not got 1, never mind 2, of the required AA cells… So immediate thought was ‘This is going to be just the day I catch 10 30lb’ers and only have my phone to photo them on!’…

However, the day ended in a blank with just one fish felt on the strike – a chub, I should say – but the hook pulled after a few seconds…

Packed in at 1530 and headed home…

Once home, I fitted a new pair of new batteries into the camera – same error message!! And another pair of new batteries elicited the same response 😦 Wasn’t looking good. Anyway, I decided to Google for possible causes and the first couple of links were to YouTube videos… First one suggested running a thin slip of card around the lens – my camera is a Canon SX100IS and the lens opens out when switched on – to free any dirt/grit that may be jamming the telescopic action – nothing there, no improvement. Second video was basically an advert type for a camera repair shop with a guy saying ‘I took my camera to XXX and they fixed it for $90 and I had it back in 24 hours… etc’… BUT one of the comments below the video said to remove the memory card and switch on as that can at times cure the fault.. (strange correlation between fault and cure – lens error so remove memory card?)… which I tried – and VIOLA!! One working camera…! 🙂 Extremely pleased! I love this camera – probably the best I’ve ever owned – great picture quality even at 40x zoom (10x optical + 4x digital) – and to have it back working and at no expense … wow!! 🙂



Time               Air                  Water

0810                 5.3                    11.6
0910                 7.5                    11.7
1015               11.2                    11.7
1110               12.4                    11.8
1215               13.2                    11.8
1230               13.4                    11.9
1330               14.0                    12.1
1430               13.9                    12.6
1530               13.3                    12.3


 ScreenHunter_33 Mar. 28 11.51

Session 10 (2015) – Back To The Pike…

Monday, March 23rd, finds me wending my way back to the usual pike pool, usual swim… I *KNOW* there’s pike there – see write-up of the previous visit… but it also seemed that *THEY* knew I was there too…

Anyway, I was back there and had my baits in the water by 0830 and was awaiting action, fully expectant of results.

I was on the float rods again for the day – a smelt on the left hand rod fishing the bait about 2 rod lengths and 4′ deep out under an overhanging tree, an area that usually gets indications of fishy interest, and the other rod fished out to the right was baited with a red dyed and lamprey oil injected sprat fished at about same distance and 3′ deep. Both setups consisted of 18lb mono mainline, to 20lb wire traces with 12g pike floats and a small bullet lead to take down the bait. The wire traces were both fitted with a single size 2 barbed hook about 4″ up-trace (bait holder) which was originally put into the tail of the baits and terminated with a homemade back-to-back double hook consisting of a squeezed barb size 2 single hook (the active hook) with a size 10 barbed hook whipped onto its back – to give a version of the old type Vic Bellars hook or the Partridge Ryder Pike Hook…


Partridge Ryder Double Pike Hook

…the smaller hook merely is used to attach and hold the bigger hook to the bait… and this hook was attached mid-body of the baits in the area of the dorsal fin. I’ll add some notes for how to make these double hooks – and the trace itself – to the end of this report.

Anyway, over the first hour a few small knocks, wobbles and pulls were had on the smelt rod but nothing at all on the sprat baited one… and eventually I changed over to using a laying-on method with both rods (ie float set overdepth at about 9′-10′ deep in 7′ depth of water so that the lead lay on the bottom and the float lay flat on the water and then line was tightened until the float just started cocking – a very sensitive method as, as soon as the bait is taken and the weight moved, the float indicates such very quickly and the weight of the lead is semi-supported by the float so only a small weight/resistance is felt by the fish).

As there was very little action on the sprat rod (about 3 nudges in several hours), at one stage I swapped the rods over – and the smelt rod immediately started getting attention whereas the sprat rod remained as impassive as ever – hence why I prefer smelt to sprats! After an half hour or so I swapped the rods back to their original placings.

However, as I say I was getting attention on the smelts and although I was getting some decent ‘run’ type takes I was not connecting… and so I decided to make a slight change to the hooking method by changing from a tail-dorsal arrangement to a dorsal-head one (ie the mid-trace ‘holding’ hook was moved from the tail to the dorsal fin area and the ‘active’ hook moved to the head) as it seemed that the bait was being taken head first… and this, indeed, seemed to be the case as within an hour I’d captured 2 chub of 3lb 9oz and 3lb 0oz… and also as I was almost ready to tackle down for the day, the float on the sprat rod dove under the surface and line started being taken… a strike met a good resistance and what I think was a pike (from weight and fight – boring runs) was on the hook… but unfortunately at the bankside the fish discovered what appeared to be submerged tree roots, took sanctuary in there and threw the hook as when I got the tackle back the hook was covered in thin tree root fibres.

2015-03-23 Steve 3lb 9oz Chub 01

3lb 9oz Chub

2015-03-23 Steve 3lb 0oz Chub 01

3lb 0oz Chub

And so, for me that was the end of the day as I needed to pack up and collect Liz from work…

But there is one problem on the horizon…. I’m due another two pike sessions before the end of my pike season BUT I’ve only 2 smelt left! And one of those was used as bait on this session and taken from the hooks when I finished for the day. Not a major disaster admittedly as I’ve plenty of sprats, herrings, sardines and mackerel in the freezer but I really like the smelts… so Thursday – the household grocery shopping day – could also turn in to a ‘hunt the smelt day’. I bought my last batch from eBay but obviously don’t have time to repeat that… and the ‘real world’ shop that used to stock them has now ceased trading… and I’m not sure if the local tackle shops have stocks as I don’t recall seeing freezers in any of them… 😦


Time               Air                  Water

0830                 6.1                    11.6
0930                 9.1                    11.6
1030               10.1                    11.7
1130               10.2                    11.8
1245               13.2                    11.9
1330                 8.7                    11.8
1400                 7.9                    12.1
1445                 8.7                    12.7


 ScreenHunter_32 Mar. 24 12.37


To make the Vic Bellars/Partridge Ryder type hook is quite simple – obviously all you need is 2 standard single hooks, eyed type – barbed are recommended although the larger can be barbless if you desire or you can go the middle ground as I do, which is to use a barbed hook but fold the barb down with pliers… also using a micro-barbed is an option but a full barbed hook is the preferred for the smaller hook as it needs to hold to the bait… the hooks I use are generally a size 2 for the larger ‘active’ hook and a size 8 or 10 for the ‘holding’ hook

OK then what else is needed?

  • A fly-tying vice is a useful tool but not absolutely necessary – you can hold the hooks in your fingers or use small pliers with elastic bands around the handles to act as a vice…
  • Cotton or braid or even thin wire to bind the hooks together…
  • Glue – can be epoxy type (eg 2-pack Araldite) or contact/impact adhesive (eg Bostik)

Steps to make…

  • Smear a little glue on to the shanks of both large and small hooks…
  • Bring hooks together, back-to-back, points facing outwards, and with eye of the smaller hook slightly down the shank of the larger hook… and if using a vice type tool then place and hold in position in the jaws by gripping at the closest point to the bend as possible thus leaving shanks of both hooks exposed to enable whipping/binding….
  • Bind/whip/wrap the two hook shanks together …..
  • Apply a bit of glue over the whipping to protect and to hold…

When connecting this double hook to the wire trace, do so via the eye of the larger hook – that is the one that will actually hook your target fish – and although the smaller hook is not intended to actually to connect to the prey fish it may on occasion do so – but if you securely bind and overcoat properly with glue that connection should be good enough to hold and land that fish. I’ve had that happen a few times and not yet lost a fish by the hook connection falling apart…

OK – now making up a trace with single and double hooks…

  • Take a suitable length of your desired trace wire – I use about 15″-18″ of 20/25/30lb BS stranded wire…
  • Attach the double hook to the end of the wire as per your normal treble attachment method (wrapping or crimping, etc) by using the eye of the larger hook…
  • Feed the loose end of the wire trace through the back of the eye of a single hook (I use size 2 barbed) – this hook will be the main ‘holding’ hook for your bait in order to withstand casting forces, etc. – and position about 4″ from the double hook and hold there between your fingers whilst wrapping the loose wire end around the shank of the hook about 6 times and then feeding the wire back through the back of the hook’s eye and pulling taut slowly whilst sliding the wire wraps around the shank up to the eye… You may recognise this as what is known in carp fishing circles as a ‘knotless knot’. Attaching this way prevents the hook sliding up and down the wire which is almost impossible to do any other way with a single hook.
  • Feed down from the loose end of the wire a small piece of thin silicon rubber tubing and slide over the eye and shank of the hook – or even better, if available, use heat shrink tube and shrink over the knot/eye/shank to give an even more secure and professional finish.
  • Finally, terminate the end of the wire with a suitable swivel…

Finished trace should look like this but with the mid-trace hook being a single not double hook.

BTW – this trace is an excellent one for wobbling small deadbaits such as sprats, roach, small herrings even… the mid trace single hook is attached securely to the baits head (I use a through both jaws method) and the double hook at a suitable place on the body…. although you may wish to use traces with a longer spacing between the two hooks to allow placement of the double hook closer to the bait’s tail on the larger baits.

Session 9 (2015) – To The Silvers Pool But Same Result.

Friday, March 20th,  Liz and were off to the club’s silvers/perch/tench pool – well, in fact, the pool holds many species with the notable exception being common carp – which are in a carp and chub only pool which is only 10 yards away if you should feel the need to target those. In fact I’ve only fished that pool about six times in 4 years of being a member of the club, and five of those for just an hour after fishing the earlier part of the day in the silver’s pool… we have better carp pools closer to home and I’m not a great carp fanatic anyway – you could give me gudgeon any day!! About the only species lower than carp in my estimation are roach and rudd but I am thinking of maybe even targeting those come autumn time… tench, perch and bream are my top of list species if I had to express a preference but barbel, chub, crucians, eels, ruffe, gudgeon etc are not too far below – and all those are in the silvers pool too. And the other club carp pools but the preponderance of carp in those wrecks any hope of really targeting other species.. Catching carp is OK – especially on floating baits and casting to spotted individual cruising fish (or BBSs, Big Black Shapes, as I call them) which is good fun and a good double is quite pleasing at any time – but I’d rather catch other things if possible….

Anyway, back to the day, we arrived and were baited up and fishing by around 0930… I electing to fish, as I usually do at this pool, with float using the lift method… and Liz elected to fish the next swim up from me opposite the end of an island and using two leger rods with small swimfeeders..

Our start also coincided with a solar eclipse – not a very good one though as I was still troubled in the first hour or so (and so when the eclipse was at its max really) by the sun, as I was facing in that direction, reflecting off the water’s surface effectively around 6′ from the bankside and making watching the float difficult… the direct sun was OK though – peaked cap solved that! 🙂

Before fishing I prebaited my swim with around 300g of groundbait consisting of breadcrumb, porage oats, blitzed Vitalin, and blitzed birdseed with maggot and casters…

And so, Liz and I fished until 1645 using a variety of baits between us – worm, maggot, meat, caster, prawn, etc and although we did get small indications of fish being around the baits, there were no bites of note and we finished the day fishless…

One thing though… there were patches of small bubbles reminiscent of tench feeding but I’m not sure they were as it seemed that in the midst of each patch a small/medium/large lump of black detrius (looked like old sodden rotten bark) would appear… and dropping baits into the area of bubbling elicited no response at all, not wavering of the float caused by tail wafting… and if the shot was slowly dragged along bottom then a stream of small bubbles followed the line of travel. Thus I suspect that the sunlight and warming of the water was causing increasing decomposition of the material on the bottom… accompanied by release of marsh type gas and possibly ‘sickening’ the water slightly…

SO… another blank day…

And now it’s a matter of looking forward to the next outing… back to those pesky pike…for possibly my penultimate piking trip until October 1st when my new pike season starts. Hopefully have my last pike  session of my current season on a week on Monday but may also get another one in on the intermediate Friday. Whatever, the tackle is now re-sorted from the silvers trip over to the pike gear and all ready for the off… just baits to be boxed on the day and off I go. And I think it will be Monday as well next week that I’ll be off rather than the usual Tuesday as the weather looks slightly better according to the forecast…



Time               Air                  Water

0930                 6.9                    11.2
1030               15.9                    11.5
1140               16.6                    11.7
1230               15.9                    11.8
1530               14.5                    12.8
1615                14.1                    12.7


ScreenHunter_31 Mar. 21 14.15

Session 8 (2015) – Pike Blanking Again – And This Time They Were REALLY Taking The Pee!!!

Tuesday, March 17th, and at 0900 I was once again casting my lamprey oil injected sprat and smelt baits into the waters in search of Esox Lucius – or, for the layman, better known as pike!

As a change from my last session and, after noting that the pike captured on the underwater video recording made that session seemed to indicate the pike were swimming in the upper waters, I elected for float fished baits at varying depths – by the end of the day I’d fished the baits from literally 12″ deep (ie the float was directly touching the wire trace) and down to 9′ deep where the baits would be dragging bottom in the approx 7′ depth of water.

So, having made my first casts at 0900, it wasn’t more than a minute or two that the smelt float started a wobble and a 1 metre glide across the water but then ceased before I could prepare to strike – but it was enough *ACTION* to get the old ticker change from slow waltz to quickstep for a few moments! 😀 And in the next hour I had a fair few float dips and wobbles and one decent take that I struck, felt the resistance of, but the hooks failed to grip… and this missed take resulted in a large silt and bubble trail up the side of the pool as the fish fled the scene…

From then until 1100 there were again little nudges and minute dips of the floats – I assume these were chub hassling the baits – and between 1100 and 1200 the *REAL* fun started which was to carry on to the end of the session as a couple of pike appeared together, and both were good doubles, and starting the mickey taking… swimming backwards and forwards past me about 3′-6′ out from the bank with their dorsal and tail fins porpoising at approx. 20-30 minute intervals… and I tried twitching the baits in front of them, leaving both baits static at 12″ and 24″ depths in their path for their next pass-by … and what did they do? Looked swam past and tail batted them! And several times they did this! Then they came back along… stopped in front of me… one grabbed the other around the back of the neck as if to say ‘Look! I’ve caught her! Ho ho ho!!’ and then both swam off again… anyway, after a few more passings it was time for me to depart… so I packed up the tackle, put it on the barrow to leave – and then the final indignity came – as I started to walk from the swim I was given a farewell tail slap splashing!!



Time               Air                  Water

0900                 5.6                    10.3
1000                 6.4                    10.3
1100                  6.8                    10.4
1200                  7.8                    10.5
1400                  8.9                    10.8
1545                10.0                    10.7



ScreenHunter_27 Mar. 19 19.41

The Real Session 7 (2015) – Pike Blanking But They WERE There – And Have Video Proof!

Tuesday, March 10th and I was off to the pike pool again in search of a few pike before my self-imposed pike fishing season of October 1st to 31st March is over – a matter of only three weeks now – how time flies!!

2015-03-10 Gunstone Hall 03

Anyway, I set off from home at 0730 and arrived at the pool around 0800 to find I was the first there – and although three or four others arrived later in the day but it looked that I was the only piker there on the day – and thus had first choice of swim – and so I chose my usual….

Tackle for the day were my 2 pike leger rods both coupled with 40lb braid main line, 12″ 30lb multi-strand wire traces which were each fitted with two size 2 single hooks (fitted as per for usual treble hook snap tackle with one hook at the end and the other fixed at about 3″ up trace) – and 1.5oz freerunning leger weights on short garden wire links stopped about 18″ above the trace so that the baits were fished on a tail from the weight of about 30″. Baits were smelt injected with Lamprey Oil on one rod, and sprat injected with a fish oil mix (mainly Cod Liver Oil – actually it’s what we use for our ferrets when we come to trim their claws, a little is spread on their tummies and they get pre-occupied licking it off otherwise left to their own devices it would take a week of battling to keep them still enough! :D).

And so, after setting up the fishing station (prepping landing net, unhooking mat, scales, pliers/hook cutters, etc) and tackling up the rods and pod/alarms the first casts were made at 0900….casting both rods out about 25′ just off overhanging trees, smelt to the left and sprat to the right of me.

And I also cast out my Water Wolf underwater camera just short of my left hand swim where it was left to record for the next 3 to 4 hours….

At around 1000 there were a few small nudges on the smelt rod, followed by a longer drawing of line at which I struck…. however, I had the freespool/baitrunner switched on – and at almost zero friction – and striking I failed to hold down the spool with my finger and result was that the strike effectively applied virtually no force – or certainly not enough to set the hook anyway – to the business end at all but was enough to scare the fish off.

Yep, that’s one problem I have when freespool using – its something I usually only set/use about 3-4 times a year I suppose, generally preferring when fishing all methods that allow line to be taken, to either use the reel with backwind switched on (or anti-reverse switched off depending how you prefer to refer to it) OR to leave the bale arm open with a drop off indicator hanging directly below the spool so that line is kept on by the vertical pull of the indicator or tucking the line under a rubber band on the rod handle… BUT… and I *partially* blame Mick Brown for this as I was watching his deadbaiting video in bed the night before when he used a front mounted alarm/indicator and a loosely set freespool – I, of course, copied that on the day! 😀 Oh well, as Fleetwood Mac said… 🙂 Also, at that time, a few small nudges were being noted on the sprat rod…

Anyway, the rest of the day saw the continuation of ‘nudges’ on the smelt rod and a few line bites too but the sprat rod was very quiet even after casting out towards the island (in that stretch the water depth varies between the 7′ depth just off the main bank and the 11′ or so by the island in a series of sudden drops and rises with level areas lying at 14′, 28′ and 40′ deep – the rises at most times seemingly vertical, perhaps an old building used to be there with deep  cellars or dungeons?

2015-03-10 Gunstone Hall 01

And so I fished on to 1530 when I decided to call it a day as I needed to pick up Liz from work in the evening and needed to sort tackle and put the baits back in the freezer and bath/shower previous to that…and more importantly as I value my life… make some tea for Liz’s return home! LOL!

Anyway, back at home now, I’ve been editing and enhancing the video taken by the Water Wolf, which has come down to just under 5 minutes of ‘highlights’ – and show that despite my lack of results there WERE pike – as well as chub who were probably the creators of the nudges I’d been having (and the stealers of my smelt’s head!)  plus a few random roach and bream. The video is now online at YouTube ( if you fancy a look 🙂 – not the best quality but why is explained in the comments along with the video…

Plans – well, Liz and I were intending a visit back to the tench/silvers pool that we suffered a lock-out from last Friday tomorrow BUT weather is not looking at all good and so we’ve abandoned that idea and I’ll be doing some tackle sorting instead whilst Liz does housework and possibly some dressmaking, her other hobby. Tuesday next week, weather looking reasonable again, so I’ll most probably return to the pike pool – but will floatfish the deadbaits – looking at the video the pike looked well up in the water and I think I may possibly fare better with that style of presentation. I’m also going to try adding a torch in conjunction with the Water Wolf – I’ve a couple – a 6″ 4*AA battery diver’s one and small penlight 1*AA battery one too which appears to be waterproof enough at least for my purpose as its been tested by immersing inout water butt for several hours! LOL!


Time               Air                  Water

0900                12.6                   9.5
1000                22.1                   10.0
1100                15.5                   9.8
1300                14.6                  10.3
1430                13.3                   10.4
1530                12.8                   10.5

TEMP TRENDS (Since September 2014):

ScreenHunter_24 Mar. 12 17.55

Almost Session 7 (2015) – So…Nearly Fishing & Other Stuff….

Well, its Friday 6th March and at 0900 Liz and I ventured out for a day at our club’s tench/silvers pool… only to find when we arrived there that there was a problem with the padlock on the gate to get in…. without explaining in detail why, too many words and you wouldn’t understand the situation, just take it that we couldn’t get on to the water… and so had to turn and head back home… so that was the session that wasn’t! 🙂

However, clouds and silver linings came into play as on the doorstep was a parcel – my newly purchased replacement radio-controlled boat for the purpose of pulling the transponder section of my fish/depth finder around – a device I use for the depth sounding/bottom type determination facilities than for fish finding which I consider a less useful purpose – you can find the fish, you can’t make them feed though – and prefer to fish to a ‘contour feature’ without any fish being apparent than a mass of reported fish over a unfeatured bottom. And I find the depth finder of itself is far superior to a plummet for determining bottom info – and does in 2-3 minutes what would take the same in hours with a plummet – even if cast out on a rod/line – and if the transponder is attached to a R/C boat then an area of 50m * 50m can easily be scanned within 30 minutes. Unfortunately, myoriginal boat suffered a dunking some months ago and the electrics got wet and trying to effect a drying/repair operation I damaged the seals, etc and it became un-poolworthy. Attempts since to locate a suitable replacement led to a couple of purchases that were not suitable and had to be re-sold on eBay … but now I have found the exact boat I had before… and only £25!! Actually, the original was only £16 from Cash Converters second-hand.

The New Boat - 15" Long

The New Boat – 15″ Long

Yesterday, I also resolved a problem with hook tying, etc – fiddly close-up work – on the waterside. Being a specs for long distance wearer I’m generally OK at home with such stuff – basically I just look over the top of my specs to read for short periods (eg read letter/note, tie one hooklength), or remove them altogether for longer periods (reading a book, tying a batch of hooklengths) BUT at the waterside it’s a bit of a pain as I often wear a peaked cap or brimmed hat which limits over-the-specs viewing and so I find I either have to completely remove my headwear or my specs even for a quick task (baiting hook with maggots, etc)… However, now resolved that – another pair of glasses! 🙂 NO, NO, NO!! Not bifocals or varifocals (or contact lenses come to that) – just bog standard reading glasses from PoundWorld for, yes!, £1. I notice on my latest spec prescription of a week or so ago that the ADD for near distance required on bi- or vari- glasses for the near distance viewing was +2.5… and so I’ve purchased a pair of 2.5X reading glasses, which, when worn OVER my normal glasses means I can see/read close distance… and so now I wear my normal glasses with the reading glasses flipped up on to my forehead and when near distance viewing is needed I just drop the readers over the front of my normal specs… and Bob’s only yer flippin’ uncle!! 🙂

Anyway, future plans for the fishing… Tuesday 10th I intend to go pool piking (and hopefully get another couple of pike sessions in too before the end of my pike season with the expiration of March), and next Friday, 13th, planning on heading to the Shropshire Union Canal with the lures in search of pike, perch and chub.

Session 6 (2015) – Canal Bait Fishing II

Wednesday 4th March 2015, and it’s a trip across to a Wolverhampton AA administered stretch of the Staff-Worcs Canal at Calf Heath, Staffordshire. The session having been delayed by bad weather on the originally intended day and then the following week it was the turn of the car to visit its doctor for the annual MOT and service…

I had to drop Liz off for work in the city centre at 0830 and so it was 0930 that I was situated in my chosen session swim. A nice looking swim with an overhanging willow on the far bank, and one that I had fished in the summer and had taken bream and perch from.


The Swim – Overhanging Willow

Canal 2

To Left Of Swim

Canal 1

To Right Of Swim


And so, before tackling up, a few maggots were catapulted over towards outside of the willow – the far bank out to the line of the outer edge of the willow is very shallow perhaps less than 12” due to the boats being pushed over towards the near bank and the actual boat channel lies 1/3 across from the near bank, and thus the far bank receives the silt and in the summer is actually a grassy/reedy area…

Tackle was a light quiver tip rod, 4lb line with 1/4oz leger weight and a size 12 Kamasan Animal Barbless hook baited with worm and worm/maggot cocktail.

And so, over the next 3.5 hours I fished, exploring the area and trying fruitlessly to entice some sort of interest in my bait… feeding the main swim on regular intervals with small quantities (10-12 maggots) and fishing over that… also slightly upstream and downstream on both near and far banks and in the boat channel itself… working the bait from far bank back to near in 12” twitches every few minutes… and not a sausage. Not even the passing of three boats over the 3.5 hours stirred up any activity from the fish which when they are lethargic quite often happens. Personally I don’t mind the odd boat – passings at around 45 min intervals seem to be a positive rather than negative thing and I find catches increase in occurrence following a boat’s passage at that frequency – but you can have too much of a good thing ie the continual summer boat traffic that starts in May and continues into November usually. At those times I canal fish from around 0400 until 0900/1000 depending on when the boaters awake.

The temps of the day were in the main good – water rising from 6.3C to 6.8C by the end of the session but air temps were VERY up and down with rises and drops of between 3C-5C happening within 15 minutes at times.

AND … those lovely people from the Canal and Rivers Trust arrived again to cut the grass again although it looked like it had already been cut the day before. A team of 3 – one on a sit-on mower, one with a hand rotary mower and one with a strimmer. It seems that the C&RT have oodles of money to waste by giving their overstaffed personnel unnecessary (and IMHO eco-damaging) jobs to do as EVERY time I’ve visited ANY canal since October there have been teams cutting grass and other vegetation – and in fact one day I visited 3 stretches of the same canal all within 1 mile of each other and in each place there was a different team of between 3 and 5 members grass cutting! Shame they don’t show the same sort of vigourosity by monitoring boat movements and ensuring that the boats don’t exceed the 4mph speed limits to which they are supposedly limited too!

A couple of pics of the work done by the C&RT team of the day… before they came, after they passed (in fact you can spot them down the far end in the pic)… now spot the difference! Bet can’t as there is hardly any!!!





NOTE: the untouched molehills of soil despite the sit-on mower having been over them!!


Time               Air                  Water

1000                7.8                   6.3
1100              11.2                   6.7
Intermediate max: 12.3
1200                8.2                   6.7
Intermediate max: 14.7
1300                9.1                   6.8


ScreenHunter_22 Mar. 07 17.21