0730 on Monday 25th October saw me heading off to Pike Water 5 again for my second attempt at my 2021-2022 season’s pike fishing.
Unlike last week’s outing the weather was mild and relatively calm with just a slight breeze blowing into my chosen corner of the pool…
I arrived onsite around 0810, first there – and only one there all day too – and elected to fish a different swim to last week’s – my other usual pike swim actually, where I caught my current PB of 20-12. I fished the same way as the last trip by fishing with dead maggot for the first couple of hours or so (ie until 1030-1100) to try to procure livebaits and then switch over to the pike tackle – and I did – and had the same livebait result as last time with just a few tweaks of the float produced and zero fish in the 2+ hours of trying. So, I had to use dead baits when it came to the pike fishing and dead baits are not the best on this water and, in fact, I think its true to say that smelt dead baits have produced many more chub for us than pike on this water over the years especially for Liz…
Pike tackle – 2 x 2.75lb TC carp rods, Crivit (from Lidl many years ago!) 5000 reels loaded with 40lb braid terminated with 20” 30lb wire traces. As float fishing the baits, suitable floats were set up on the lines in a sliding manner along with quick change 20g leads to provide weight.
On this occasion the wire traces were different to each other due to the baits I intended to use…
Rod 1: bait on this rod was a medium smelt … and I used a homemade trace consisting of a single size barbless hook at the end and 3” up the trace a size 10 barbless eyed hook was whipped to the wire after having the wire threaded to the eye. I have tried adding that middle hook with effectively a knotless knot in the wire previously but was never sure about the wrappings comprising the wire – but as this hook is intended solely to secure the bait not hook the pike I’m quite happy to just the use a whipping thread wrapping with a touch of glue to secure it – at worst if it did hook the pike and the whipping get destroyed the hook would just come to rest on the eye of the larger hook and no problem. Attachment of the bait is by putting the size 10 hook into the lip of the bait and securing in place with a ‘bait flag’ and in the case of a deadbait the size 2 hook placed in the body just under the dorsal fin and again secured with a bait flag. In the event of using a livebait (and my lives tend to be <5”) I again lip hook with the 10 but this time the size 2 is inserted into the dorsal fin itself (ie into the webbing) ensuring the wire twixt the hooks has some slackness – that way the lip hook takes the complete weight of the fish for casting – more like an underhand swing of 2-3 rod lengths at most – and means that after use – I only use livebaits for 30-45 minutes before changing for a fresh one – the bait can be unhooked with as little damage as possible and returned to live another day.
Rod 2: bait was a small horse mackerel so I used a conventional twin treble snap tackle fitted with size 6 trebles that had the barbs crushed down – the club has a general rule of barbless hooks only but does make an allowance for pike fishing with treble hooks and allows for the barbs of barbed hooks to be crushed flat.
So I fished for about 90 minutes or so in my chosen spot without a knock or nibble let alone a ‘run’ and then decided to move to the next swim to my left in the corner bay of the pool, fishing from the disabled platform (which incidentally I’ve never seen anyone else fish from in my 10 years of membership). Fishing from that platform allowed me to cast back towards my original peg parallel to the bank and close to the lining reeds and thus work my bait back along that bank at intervals.
Actually, that reed bank didn’t produce anything but when casting the horse mackerel over the bay to the far bank and a platform over there – often pike lie under the scaffold and plank platforms – I started to get bounces on the float and even the occasional 12” run of the float – and this continued even when the bait was disintegrating and was a separate head and body with the ribs hanging out. The smelt cast in the same area and at around same depth elicited no response at all. However, although I did manage to get some strikes in, nothing resulted… More ghosts eh, WheatNotCasters?
Anyway, come 14:30’ish it was time to tackle down and head home… fishless again!
This pool is actually located within a stables/equestrian centre and thus has a few horse paddocks – and it seems one of the horses had managed to free itself and came trotting round the trees on the corner of the pool, spotted me and started snorting and decided to race off back round from where it came – which was worrying at the time as its pathway was through a narrow gap twixt my car and a fence but it seemed to have managed to do so without any damage being caused. Anyway, another horse in a paddock close to the car then became agitated and was neighing and aggressively pacing up and down its electrified fence looking for all the world that it was considering leaping the fence … and as no-one seemed to be around I decided to report the happening up at the stables area which resulted in a stablehand appearing with a lead/rope and she managed to coax the errant horse … meanwhile, I returned back to the pool stopping to ‘horse whisper’ to the agitated creature – and I seemed to make him/her a bit calmer so all ended up good.
Must be getting older – this is what I want for my birthday in a few weeks time … or Christmas if it doesn’t arrive then … a heated gilet! Maybe not this actual one but something similar…
WATER (‘C): 12.0 – 12.3
AIR (‘C):. 10.4 – 16.2
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