Tuesday 9th January 2018 I set off from home at 0830 heading for Pike Water 5 – a mistake as I know I should either leave home by 0800 or after 0900 otherwise, as I did, I get caught in the get-to-work traffic which adds 30 minutes to the trip.
The day was a bit warmer than the previous day which started with a very thick and heavy frost but Tuesday was more of a fine misty drizzle day – you could feel fine droplets brushing your cheek all day but there was no dampness created – and the air temperature hung around 5’C all day long with the actual water temperature measured at a steady 2.8’C at the water’s edge in a depth of 3’.
The intention of the day was to fish in 2 halves – the pre-midday session was to utilise my new 8 metre pole and to learn the vagaries of pole fishing – having never even held a pole before in my life – whilst attempting to furnish myself with some livebaits for the second half of the day which was to be pike fishing….
OK … my pole. As I said it’s an 8 metre ‘Grandeslam’ glass pole for which I’ve obtained 2 new universal top kits for. The original ‘top 2’ are set up currently with the solid ‘8’ elastic that it came set up with at purchase but I’ve obtained, and intend to replace it shortly, with hollow an ‘8-12’ rated elastic – and this is my ‘small’ fish set up. The other two top kits are both ‘top 3s’ and of carbon fibre – one, an ‘Oakwood’ brand has been set up with a ’12-16’ rated hollow elastic for larger tench and perch and the other is a ‘Grandeslam’ one and has been set up with a ‘20+’ rated hollow elastic intended to deal with exceptional tench and carp into double figures.
So today I used my ‘small’ fish set up – as I was after small livebait sized fish – but also because I’ve not yet set up end rigs for the two heavier pole tips. The water I was fishing is about 10’ deep 4 metres out so I’d pre-made up some suitable rigs with a main line of 3.5 metre 4lb BS (using the standard formula that ‘line BS = 1/2 of elastic rating’ ie line BS = 8/2 = 4) with a 1/2 metre 3lb hook length connected to a size 16 hook. Thus total line length was 4 metres which allowed the bait to touch bottom if required plus about 1 metre to play with between pole tip and float. So, with such a long main line I used the pole in a ‘whip’ mode using a 5 metre pole length to fish and discarding one section to allow any fish to swing to hand (or be drawn to the net depending on size). For bait I used double red maggot. Any road up, as they say, the first hour was really spent getting acquainted with the pole, flicking the rig out decently, etc and at that time I wasn’t impressed with pole fishing at all … but then cometh the moment, cometh the man and I started to get into the swing of things (pardon pun!) and it became more comfortable, etc. Anyway, by noon I’d had one small (1-2oz) roach in the livebait bucket and missed about another 4-5 bites including one drop-off.
So, noon – the pole was dismantled and a pike rod set up….
Yep, just the one rod – as only one live bait! Usual 40lb braid with 30lb wire trace with a size 2 single hook mid-trace and terminated with a 12/2 double hook suspended below a small pencil float. This was fished initially over the area that had been fished for the bait on the grounds that the free fed maggots would attract bait fish which in turn attract the pike but after 30 mins or so I decide to fish out in the deeper water as the lower water levels in theory should be warmer… however, after another 30 minutes, with the bait drifting around, no action had been encountered and then on a re-cast the bait went adrift …. and so for the next hour a ‘bluey’ (Pacific Maury) deadbait was used but again with no interest shown and at 1430 I decided to call it a day.
So, technically not a blank – and feel quite confident on the pole now ….
Next trip is planned to be a session out with Liz doing some general coarse fishing with the destination not yet decided. And possibly on Monday or Tuesday of next week I might take the pole down to the canal.