I spent most of Saturday organising my fishing shed for the coming winter and for a morning session this weekend. All the camping gear and stuff I won’t be using till the spring goes to the back while the Pike gear comes to the front. The plan had been for a mobile session on a large local stillwater, one lure rod and one bait rod, a nice way to get back into the swing of Pike fishing. However I spent most of Saturday night rolling around feeling decidedly sick and leaking gas from both ends. I awoke on Sunday morning with a head ache as well as pain in the base of my spine and still feeling like I could throw up at any moment. It’s a very rare day when I feel too ill for fishing but this was one. However by early evening I was feeling better and going stir crazy so Isaac and I picked up a lure rod and went for a walk along the river.
Once again we fished the stretch behind the lake and the river looked in great nick with a tinge of colour and far less weed than the height of summer. We stopped for a look from a footbridge at the downstream end of the stretch, there was no sign of the big Chub that usually hang around on this area. There was no sign of anything else for that matter. Undeterred we set off anyway, casting a ½ oz spinnerbait and either buzzing it back over the weed or letting it flutter into the gaps. We hadn’t gone far when a tiny jack shot out from the weed, missed the lure and disappeared into a swirl of water. Isaac gave me a “you’re useless dad” look.
Just about every swim on this stretch looks like it should hold a Pike or two, not to mention big Chub. If that were the case then fishing would be too easy wouldn’t it? In reality, some do and some don’t and keeping mobile is by far the best way to fish a small river like this. We reached a swim from which I’d lost a fish on our previous visit in July. A couple of casts upstream produced nothing then on the second chuck downstream the spinnerbait was nailed as I lifted the rod tip to buzz it over some streamer weed. For once this fish stayed hooked and I soon had it in the net, ably assisted by Isaac. “Cor that’s a biggun” said the dog walker who had appeared unnoticed; “No it’s just a little Pike” said Isaac, quite the expert!
We got to the end of the stretch without any other fish showing an interest. I swapped the spinnerbait for an alphabet plug and we started to retrace our steps. The same small Pike slashed at the plug in the same swim but there was no action until we reached the straight area behind the lake. Here a Pike of about six pounds engulfed the lure and gave a good scrap in the shallow streamy water. Isaac jumped up and down excitedly as I lifted it ashore, I considered taking a quick photo of Isaac holding it but another group of dog walkers were bearing down on us. I really couldn’t be bothered with the usual “Wow that’s big….can you eat them?.....You’re not going to put it back are you?...” So we slipped it back and kept moving.
Just over an hour after starting we were back at the beginning of the stretch again. While I tidied up Isaac charged around on the play area. I felt much better for my fix of fishing and look forward to getting back into the swing of Pike fishing proper.
Just under two weeks to go until the best fishing show of the year, The Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain annual convention at Stoneleigh Park Warwickshire. Four top European speakers and a whole hall full of trade stands catering for predator anglers. This is the only fishing show in the UK which satisfies the predator anglers and is not to be missed. This year there is a bigger lecture theatre and the bar will be better stocked, last time around the bar was drunk dry!!