Monday, 8th November, I again left the house at around 0730 heading to Pike Water 1 in search of the so far elusive pike having had blanks on my two previous pike outings of the season, arriving at the water around 0800.
On arrival I was as usual the first there but only just – with the second angler arriving about 10 minutes later whilst I was still in the process of ‘setting out my stall’ for the day – and it seems I was in the swim he’d hoped to have been in as he said ‘Aaah, just beat me’ as he passed behind and continued up the pool to return back down a couple of minutes later to settle in the next door swim … not an issue as an overhanging bush between us separated our areas. Over the course of the day, another 4, possibly 5, fellow anglers joined us on the water but I was the only pike angler, I think….
As per my previous two outings the plan was to fish with maggot for the first 2-3 hours for livebait and then start my pike fishing around 1100 … and as per the previous two sessions the result of livebait gathering was poor with just one small roach taking my bait.
So, 0845 first casts with the maggot baited float rod were made – after 2 hours and the one roach caught I put away that tackle and set up my two pike rods for the day. Of necessity (and fortune as it turned out), one rod was set up for ledgering a deadbait and the other to offer my roach as a livebait.
Deadbait rod setup: an 11’ 2.75lb TC rod, homebuilt with a North Western blank in the 80’s was coupled with a 5000 size reel loaded with 40lb Spectra braid with a 2oz lead and a 30lb wire trace standard twin treble hooked snaptackle – as personally preferred, but also required by club’s ‘barbless hooks’ rules, the barbs of the hooks were crushed flat (which is allowed by the club in the case of treble hooks). Bite indication via a Polaris Carp Dumpy Float (No.16) – a self locking float – as I intended to fish the baits on that rod cast out into water of a depth of 15’+ and thus no previous plumbing and setting to depth was required and any variation in depths between areas was not an issue…
Livebait rod setup: a generic 12’ 2.75lb TC carp rod, 5000 sized reel, 40lb braid, 15g quick change lead to cock the 25g’ish polystyrene float. 30lb homemade wire trace fitted with a size 10 barbless single hook about 4” from the terminating size 2 barbless single hook in essence … in detail, and I’ll post a picture soon to clarify, I set a piece of wire of about 15”-18” in length with swivels at both ends, then to one of the swivels I add another 6” of wire via a slack loop so the wire can slide around the eye of the swivel … slide the size 10 hook along the wire but at this time it is allowed to be freely running … that wire is then terminated with the size 2 hook … and then the size 10 hook is fixed by whipping it and the wire together with thread and a touch of glue added. Basically the trace can easily hold a ‘L’ due to the connection. Thought is that a single straight-through piece of wire requires energy to take up and maintain the ‘L’ shape as it must if a bait is to swim in its normal horizontal manner due the need to overcome the wires’ inherent want to be straight – making the shape easier to create by using two separated wires on a hinge is easier on the bait and thus bait remains more active,,, etc. OK! Might be overkill, etc BUT I did make up 6 traces so will get a good try out :)
First casts were made with the roach and a sardine … and at 1200 the deadbait float went a’bobbin’ and the resultant strike connected … and a few minutes later my first pike of the 2021 season was netted … and a few minutes later I was wounded – pike teeth and flesh are not a good combination! Only a tiny nick but as pike teeth are razor edged AND coated in anti-coagulant a little goes a long long way – and my white hanky was soon more red than white – I do need to pack some kitchen roll in future. I do carry a styptic pencil for such cases and that worked in a fashion but the type of cut, a shallow slice, get getting caught on things and re-opening… Anyway, the pike! Not huge, a jack really, weighing in at 3lb 11oz…
… unhooked, weighed, photoed Mr Jack was released, a new bait added to the trace and the rod cast out again … and within a few minutes … actually, in the time it took me tighten up to cock the float and go to pick up a previously poured cup of coffee, the float was off again … another strike and the fish was on soon to be landed and weighed in at 5lb 10oz…
And that was the end of the action for the day, the livebait rod produced not one take inc the time the ‘live’ was switched to a small ‘dead’…. still it was great to have actually not only tangled with my first pike of the season but also my second despite neither being ‘giants’ of the pike world.
Unlikely to make another outing this week due to other things happening currently that need my time… so most likely to be next Monday … and again in search of Grandmammy Esox. :)
WATER (‘C): 9.3 – 9.8
AIR (‘C):. 7.8 – 11.4