Well, I did manage, in the last throes of 2018, to make two further outings – both for pike – before the 2019 New Year arrived ….
Session 57, Saturday 29th December, was a trip to Pike Water 3 for an informal pike competition. Basically, you turn up on one of the allowed waters at whatever time you wish, go to a swim, fish by deadbaiting or lure (live baits are banned at the venue), record the weight of and photo any pike caught and post your best fish on the club’s Facebook page, pack up and leave when you wish… Best fish wins, but no prize, you just get the fame LOL!
So, I turned up at 0830 after dropping Liz off at work at 0730. Two other anglers were on the water both having arrived at 0730 but not a fish had been caught. I walked to to the area I’d decided to fish and tackled up with two deadbait rigs – one with a fish that I don’t know the species of but was obtained from Birmingham Fish Market on the strength of looking good – orange-ish hue and about the same size of a large smelt but of firmer flesh and very fishy smelling rather than having the cucumber aroma of an actual smelt – this was ‘popped-up’ by use of a balsa stick inserted down the throat and fished at depths from 18” to 60” off bottom by initially pulling tight to the ledger stop (18”) and letting out 12” of further line every 20 minutes until the highest level was reached… this was then reversed so the bait was pulled 12” lower every 20 minutes … and so on. The other rod was baited with a head half of a mackerel which was fished static on the bottom. Both rods were put out over a small bed of ‘chum/rubby dubby’ made from breadcrumb and minced fish bits.
I also tried at times working a lure between the two rods as an additional attractor…
At the end of the session at 1430.,.. I’d had exactly 0 takes … and it seems that others (by that time about 6-8 others where fishing) were having a hard time. A chap fishing opposite me, in what I’d consider the prime swim, had had zilch… one of the two who had arrived before me had had 3 pike but the best one, he said, was about 2.5lb and he didn’t bother weighing them. And the only other fish I heard of was a 5lb 10oz one which was the leading fish at that time, and probably the best of the day.
I did learn one thing though – I certainly took too much tackle/bait! On the walk to the swim from the car park I had to drop half my tackle about 200 yards from my swim and then return to pick it up … and that was the ‘easy’ walk – downhill mainly… the return walk, although lighter loaded – 1.5 litre flask now empty, less bait – was now uphill though on a long and tiring slope which required several re-adjustments of luggage on the shoulders and two 1/2 drop offs and returns and 3 breathing stops before I reached the car. Too many 3oz leads and definitely too much bait for the day contributed greatly! Also, I was a bit uncomfortable in my swim – a drop of 2’ or so down from the path on a bit of a plateau and as there was no room to place a chair next to the rods it was either a case of sit by the path and get down the slippy bank if I had a take or, the option I took, to sit most of the time on the slope on a plastic carrier bag. And this was further disenhanced (is that a word? My spell checker thinks not but you’ll get the idea) by the fact that since late July I have been suffering balance problems on and off – usually 1-2 spells of 1-2 secs each per day usually when changing posture or rotating head – and I suffered more than the usual number of those during the session – I’ve been referred to the local hospital’s Vertigo Department to have it checked out and am awaiting a date/time – I think its just a sinus problem though as seems to be more prevalent when I get a ‘squeezed nose’ feel and slight headache between the eyes and breathing through the nose seems constricted than any other time. Anyway, slippy bank and tendency to lose balance don’t work well together!
Session 58, Monday 31st December, was a trip to Pike Water 20 with Liz. Both fished two ledger deadbait rods – Liz with ‘orange’ fish on one rod and twin sprats on the other, myself with ‘orange’ fish (fished both as static on the bottom and also tried as pop-up) and a sardine on the other.
We fished from around 1000 to 1430 – and one single bleep on one of Liz’s bite alarms (typically as she’d departed for the loo) was the total positive result of the day… although it did give me a slight rise of adrenaline!
AND SO …. the 2018 sessions concluded on a bit of a damp squib really…. but there’s always 2019!!! :-)
I didn’t use my thermometer on the day but I did do some sonar readings – and this also reports water temperature, at the surface anyway, so I’m using this reading (9.0’C) for the below graphs:
THE ORANGE FISH:
Ohhh… and a picture of the ‘orange’ fish here – although having been frozen and a week or so old now its lost a lot (all?) of the orange colour in case anyone recognises or can identify the species – but will be a foreign (asian?) fish I’m sure…. and it has two dorsal fins – a short one at the front and a longer one that starts just after the front one and extends to the tail itself… this one is about 6″ long.
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