Session 36 – Pikeless In Staffordshire (Piking With Liz)

Monday, 15th November, Liz and I set off to Pike Water 1 – the scene of my last visit, albeit a solo one, which had produced two pike to break the blanks of my previous two visits and so was likely to be a good choice for giving Liz a chance of a bend in the rod.

But before we set out there were a couple of things to do/sort…

  1. Obtain fresh deadbaits…

I do have quite a large stock of frozen deadbaits in my freezer but I do like to take at least a few fresh bloody ones (sardines, herring, etc) as I feel they are more effective and with that in mind I set off to the local Morrison’s and also the town markets of Bilston and Wolverhampton. BUT … could I locate any? Not a single one! However, as a second best I did manage from Morrison’s to obtain 9 ‘prepared’ herrings – de-headed, de-tailed and gutted – and these, when I got them home were wrapped with baiting elastic to make bodies firm enough for casting retaining the strong fishy smell for attraction.

  1. Liz’s fishing chair repair…

Whilst gathering our kit together I found that Liz’s Korum X25 accessory chair seemed to have lost one of the knobs/screws that allow the leg height to be adjusted. A search of the car boot and garage revealed no sign of it so we have to assume it is lying somewhere near a pool in Sussex! However, I managed to did a quick fix by fitting 2 screw clips (as you would use to attach a hose pipe to a tap?) on to the leg … and shortly afterwards I located a seller on eBay who has the actual item needed for sale and so one is on order now and is due to arrive on Thursday.

Anyway, those were all sorted and after the usual gathering packing of our kits into the car we were ready for the off…. arriving at the pool around 0810 again being the first to arrive :)

We chose to fish a couple of swims we’ve not fished in quite a while although back in the day they were our usual summer ones for carp fishing. Equipment was set up – and the screw clip ‘fix’ on Liz’s chair worked well – and first casts were made around 0900 by both of us.

Liz decided to ledger one of the ‘rollmop’ type herrings with a Polaris Dumpy Carp float as her indicator out in open water… and I followed suit too but I also put out a second rod with a floatfished ‘christmas tree of sprats’ along the water margins. A ‘christmas tree’ is just a twin hook wire trace baited with a number of small bait fish mounted to create the appearance of a mini-shoal. So, with a standard twin treble hooked snap tackle there would be a bait mounted on each point (eg 6 sprats) but as I was using a trace with twin single hooks I mounted two sprats on each point.

And that was effectively the end of the day’s action, with nary a wobble even of any of the floats, apart from winding in and tackling down at the end of session at 1430 – and then off to the local for the usual beer and nibbles that follows our ‘couple’ sessions.


Plans are difficult to decide at the moment as my biennial bowel cancer screen has again shown blood… and I am now due for another colonoscopy on 3rd December. Not too worried currently as the testing/scanning has changed from a manual with microscope method to an automated one which is far more sensitive I’m told. Pre- colonoscopy I’ve been told told to take my usually every-other-day laxative every day for the week prior to the procedure meaning I’m going to be housebound every day that week (27th-3rd) BUT luckily the local Winter Ales Festival for which we have tickets on the 26th sneaks in just under the wire!

I’ve also been put on insulin for my diabetes now after seeing the diabetic nurse yesterday and having my results of tests scrutinised, dosages calculated and equipment/meds supplied. That was all OK, the main source of frustration being with the informing of the DVLA that I now take insulin (a legal requirement) which can be done two ways – the filling in of a 6 page questionnaire type document which then has to be posted via snail mail OR can be done online … obviously these days online is the way to go (isn’t it?) … actually the supplying of the data itself was easy BUT before that can be done you have to do something called ‘VERIFY’ to prove you are you … and that was a nightmare! Basically you have to register with the Post Office online (and to do that you need to provide personal infos to verify you are who you say you are) and then also give driving licence info, and also prove you have a mobile phone account which I couldn’t get to work OR give passport data plus scan the passport plus photo the passport … and often at each stage info would be rejected, although correct and re-entered… but eventually I succeeded! :)

And I have a problem with a non-functioning hearing aid that I have an appointment for with SpecSavers later today to get looked into.


WATER (‘C):                  9.8 – 10.1
AIR (‘C):                        11.2 – 12.5.                     


2021-11-15 Temps

5 responses to “Session 36 – Pikeless In Staffordshire (Piking With Liz)”

  1. Stephen Baines avatar
    Stephen Baines

    The whole on line thing verification is a nightmare, since most of us are now known to Dot.GOV due to the whole vax/test system you’d think that could be all linked to these sort of things.

    Sprat Christmas tree?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Christmas tree’ – something *I THINK* I devised although as they say ‘there’s nothing new in this world’ so no doubt it will can found somewhere in angling literature of the past under another name…

      As described in the original post … usually it takes the form of a standard twin treble snaptackle with a small dead fish (sprat, smelt, roach, sandeel, etc) mounted on each point and fished under a float. So, on a twin treble snaptackle there would be 6 baits used. I tend to mix up the attachment of the baits … some mounted vertically, some horizontally. The idea is to simulate a small shoal ie to a pike it appears as a multiple target – if a real shoal then a pike would have a greater chance (and thus an appealing target) of snatching one or more if they tried to scatter than attacking a solo target?

      Anyway, has been effective in the past.,..


  2. Crikey all best wishes Steve for the health wobbles.

    As a non-piker I assume you don’t expect a bite a cast and the odd big fish/ red letter evens out the blanks?

    Winter ales – a long time ago my Sunday footie club came up with the working class equivalent of ‘le Nouveau Beaujolais est arrivé’ by waiting for King and Barnes Old to arrive in one of our locals. Sort of ‘le Roi and Barnes Vieux est arrivé’. Sadly King and Barnes is no more (well a family member is giving it a go but the brand was sold to Hall and Woodhouse).


    Liked by 1 person

    1. On the eco-triangle pike are the apex predator so are (or should be) of the smallest population in terms of species … hence never going to be ‘bagging’… but numbers caught probably depend on mobility as in ‘more swims tried, more chance’. However, I’m a set up and stay guy so my chances lessened probably … but pike do ‘patrol’ and the smelliness of a deadbait attracts… and so I’m prepared to sit and wait. Like ‘normal’ fishing when you’ve baited up an area which hasn’t yet been productive I’m loathe to move as I ‘know’ that as soon as I do every fish in the water will move to that baited area…, LOL

      The Winter Ales Festival is always excellent ( The ‘beer menu’ for this year is due to be released on Monday 22nd it seems… but we have a LOT of real ale brewers locally plus a lot of ones from out of the area are imported – and then there’s the ciders, international and national bottled beers, and the craft kegs on top of the ’63’… Opens on Thursday, we go Friday evening … and from experience on Saturday the choice is well down due to barrels having been consumed by end of Friday!


  3. Hope things go well. As an aside I have had difficulty getting sardines but a visit to the local Tesco saw me buy their one tray supply up! Now have 17 sardines in bags of 2/3 in freezer so that should last me!

    Liked by 1 person

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