Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Summer ??

Although its June already there seems to be no sign of summer just yet. Rain, rain and more rain which is not all bad as it should freshen the rivers up for the start of the season in just over a weeks time. As much as I like the Tench fishing, nowadays I spend most of my time fishing rivers and when they open on the sixteenth I'll be spoilt for choice again.
I enjoy fishing for Pike in the summer and as summer Piking is a contentious subject I’ll get it out of the way now. It is important to remember the great diversity of Pike waters in the British Isles and what applies to a relatively shallow pit in the south of England will be irrelevant to the fishing on a glacial lake up north.
My personal rule book is as follows;
  • I never target Pike with live or deadbaits from April through to September. I believe the Pike’s faster metabolism at this time of year makes deep hooking a possibility. This will potentially lead to the Pike being out of the water for far too long. All my Pike fishing during the warmer months is done with lures.
  • In the past I’ve enjoyed fishing stillwaters in the spring but as soon as the river season opens I exclusively fish rivers or drains in the months of June and early July. The waters I fish are relatively fast flowing and well oxygenated. By mid July the waters are usually too weedy for effective fishing and water temperatures are high enough to put the Pike off the feed.
  • I use heavy tackle, Jerkbait rod with 80 pounds b.s. braid and bully the fish to the net as quickly as possible. I’m not a fan of huge lures, the biggest I use are around 8 inches or 20 cms in length. Fish are very often unhooked in the water, hooks cut out if necessary, those that are brought into the air are returned as quickly as possible.
  • I do not fish for Pike in hot weather, (warm weather –yes, hot weather –no), as a generalisation sustained air temperatures of 22 to 24 degrees Celsius make me think twice about Pike fishing, any hotter forget it. Personally, nothing I have witnessed leads me to believe that Pike caught in hot weather are likely to die, however I do know from experience they are unlikely to feed.
Summer Pike caught on a surface lure

There are more guidelines on summer Pike fishing available on the PAC website. http://www.pacgb.co.uk/tips/summer.html Having said all of that, I haven’t fished for Pike at all this spring, nor have I felt like doing so but I am looking forward to launching the boat when the rivers open, not just for the Pike but for the Perch too.

Sunday was the annual open day held by NACA at Bawburgh lakes in Norfolk. Despite sounding slightly rude, NACA actually stands for Norfolk Anglers Conservation Association. This is a very forward thinking club that run some excellent fisheries and is more than just a fishing club. To quote the club’s objectives; “To campaign for and to promote a clean and healthy aquatic environment in which all forms of wildlife can thrive and prosper.”
Sunday’s event was sponsored by the Environment agency (shock horror) and consisted of a few tackle or bait stands, plus lots of demonstrations and coaching in all disciplines of angling including; Match, Carp, Tench and Pike fishing. I was there to help with the PAC stand. It was really nice to see lots of kids getting involved and having a good time. Bob Nudd was there too, with his new white cap complete with Fox logo, more living proof that being a full time professional angler is not a guarantee of happiness. Although he didn’t come anywhere near the PAC stand, I can categorically dispel the rumour that Bob’s hair is actually attached to the rim of his hat.
It’s a crying shame the angling clubs in Suffolk are not run on the NACA model, instead of the insular, match dominated organisations we are stranded with down here. I suppose it could be argued that these clubs are run by match anglers for match anglers (with a few crumbs cast aside for the carpers), therefore we get what we deserve. Attempts by local PAC members to open dialogue with these "power mongers" were met with blank stares and giggling into hands. The club lost half a dozen members that night but at least our cash won’t be converted into silly little carp and stuffed into an over stocked murky puddle.

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