Monday, October 1st, Liz and I set off for a short lure fishing session at Pike Water 3 to kick off our pike fishing season as we are ‘traditional almost’ pike anglers … the ‘almost’ being that our pike fishing is performed between 1st October and 31st March of the following year whereas a genuine traditionalist’s season would terminate on March 14th, the start of the closure of the old generally applied coarse fishing season on all waters.
As we were lure fishing it was a late start out from the house – 1030 – as we find that after about 3 hours actual fishing (plus a hour’s sitting and coffee drinking) that are backs and shoulders are ‘feeling it’ and that usually signals the end of activities – and it was true on the day too as we made our first casts out at about 1110 and finally called time at 1500.
We, as per usual, walked to the far end of the water we were to fish before tackling up. Reasons for this … 1. The best water lies at that end anyway on this water and 2. Generally, if you start at beginning of a water and start fishing there, by the time the ‘ache’ sets in you’re nowhere near where you wished to reach and thus not often, if at all, get to fish that water and 3. You walk out to the furthest point you wish to fish whilst still fresh and, as you’re working your way back towards the car, then you have a shorter walk back when finished and tired/fatigued… Works for me anyway!
Our rods and lines were identical – Ron Thompson EPV2, 9 foot, 10-40g rods teamed with 30lb Spectra (7-strand) braid – and 30lb wire lure traces. (Spectra braid usually comes in 4-strand or 7 strand versions – I try to get the 7-strand version, usually from China via eBay – slightly dearer but…). Liz chose her favourite bar spinner which she used for the whole session, a Shakespeare ‘Devils Own’ 16.5g in a scaled pattern … a spinner that rarely fails to catch – and when she lost her first, and only one at that time, I had to re-order her 6 more!…
Myself, I started with a 18g Zebco Twin Runner with luminous blades which has worked for me….
… but not as well as Liz’s do for her … perhaps I should raid her lure box???
Anyway, Liz’s worked it’s magic very quickly and within the first few casts she had a small perch…
… and not long after a pike of just over 3lb… however, it appeared the batteries of my camera had worn out at that point and that I’d failed to check that I’d spare batteries (however, later I found the spare batteries had actually fallen out of the pocket on the camera’s case) … However, I had been wearing my head camera and had video of the landing, netting and weighing BUT I transferred the footage from camera to PC, checked it had copied OK and then deleted the camera’s memory but whilst trying to capture a still of ‘Liz with pike’ from that footage the PC crashed and the source file corrupted… AND whilst unhooking the pike, which had taken the lure into the back of its mouth, I tried using my general (short’ forceps which left my had right TOO close to its front teeth with the result the fish flapped and rolled and I ended with an 1/2” slash across the inside of my thumb. And, as pike teeth are coated with an anti-coagulant, it bled not only for the British Isles but for Africa, Australia and most of the USA too! AND I hadn’t taken a styptic pencil (a MUST for pike fishing), Germolene or any sort of plaster and so I spent the rest of the session with my hankie wrapped around my thumb … yep, a bit of a day of total disorganisation!
Later, Liz has another pike – smaller, around 2lb or so….
… and said she thought she’d had an earlier follow too … seeing a flash behind her lure.
So, meanwhile I’d changed my lure to a jelly bodied silver shad and had a few casts and retrieves and then Liz hooked the pike just I’d made a new cast out … so I put my rod down and went to assist in the netting … and then returned to my rod and began to sink-n-draw the lure back in and about 5-6 yards out it was grabbed … BUT before I could finish saying to Liz ‘I think you need to get the net’ the hook pulled free… wasn’t too sizeable though, probably in the 2lb-3lb range.
Anyway, after another 20-30 minutes of trying and without any further action we decided to move to a dam wall on the water which also features a fallen tree in one corner … looks very ‘pikey’ although I think we ‘may’ have had one fish from there in quite a few sessions. I do think that I did have a bit of a grab on one retrieve but nothing resulted. And we also witnessed quite large numbers of small fry scattering which seemed promising but despite our best efforts – I tried various lures from 13cm to 3-4cm in size and casting both into the centre and around the borders of the activity – nothing responded.
So… come 1500, with aching backs and shoulders, we decided to head back home via our usual ‘fishing day’ local hostelry … and on the journey back we picked up Germolene and plasters for making repairs to my thumb whilst supping our ale. Still in the plaster too … if I remove it, the wound re-opens still …
Friday 5th – planning on having a lure/livebait session at another water……
Again none – no thermometer…