I've been wanting to write something for the blog but what? I don't want to say too much about the fishing this autumn however I've never enjoyed my fishing as much as I have the past couple of months and stuff is kind of bursting out. Firstly the new boat has made a hell of a difference. Longer, wider, more stable, shelter on the rough days, more comfort than I've ever known in a boat. Even as I leave the slipway, I'm feeling more confident already. This boat belongs here, and it's lucky!
A few years ago I decided there was only one water system that ticked all the boxes for what I enjoy about Pike fishing. The place is special, it's addictive, it gets into your soul and you crave it when you're away. Here was somewhere I could totally blank all day and still love every minute spent on the water. It's a bird watchers wet dream out there but ironically these Nazis don't know how to be patient enough to see anything. Along the way I learnt that to fish this place and do it justice, I would have to put 95% of my fishing time into it, leaving little time or energy to fish elsewhere. It was the best thing I ever done.
Out on the water this season I've caught some Pike largely by luck when a couple of last minute hunches paid off but equally a little bit of pre planning brought a few others to the boat. Things have gone well and this is mostly due to experience. Things that baffled me a few years ago, now make a little sense. Little pieces of the jigsaw begin to fall into place. Repeat captures tell us a lot, sometimes only yards from the original spot and on other occasions they're miles apart. Knowledge begins to build up, experience of where I've caught fish in similar conditions/times in years gone by. However the system changes every season too. A productive swim one year can be a dead loss the next and there seemed no logical reason why. Look a little closer and there are subtle changes, things aren't quite the same any more; man, nature and tide all take their toll. For example, one area that I like was always a bit 'hit & miss', what you might call a “50/50 swim”. However, approach the area from a another direction and position the boat in a slightly different way and I'm now seeing the whole picture in a different light. My baits are now spread out in a different way and I'm covering different water, the swim is now an “80/20”.
Talking of 'spreading the baits'. When I first fished here I'd generally cast four deadbaits from the four 'corners' of the boat. Nowadays I put a lot more thought into it. These Pike are feeding by smell, there are better ways to do it than just randomly chucking four baits out. Then there's the bait choice, how important is it? I'm sure the Pike will eat whatever they find, I'm equally sure that they find some types of bait quicker than others. There's loads to think about out there; if plan A isn't working then what are plans B & C? Stick or twist? To experience add persistence, the next time I drop the mudweights could be.... To some people it's a boat trip with fishing rods. To me it's tough, challenging, fascinating fishing and I love it.
Dave Lumb's rods come with an excellent reputation and this is certainly deserved. I bought one a couple of years ago but I'm afraid the lucky “pixie dust” that Dave applies didn't kick in to begin with. I took ages to christen the rod with a Jack then all the little landmarks along the way, (first double, first 15+, etc.) all took time. The 'pixie dust' must have been some kind of slow burn variety as I'm happy to say that this year my 'P3' has been my lucky rod. Using this rod I've boated some big Pike in often tricky situations and it's done everything I've asked of it with ease. After a thorough testing I can say Dave's P3 deserves the reputation and if in the future, I ever need another Pike rod I'll be choosing one from here. http://www.dlst.co.uk/baitrods.html
Dodgy self timer shot, caught on a P3
Meanwhile...another world away a certain trout reservoir continues to produce one huge Pike after another. Personally I've never ever applied for a ticket and I doubt I'll ever cast a line in the place as it just doesn't float my boat. It is what it is, you pay your money and take your chance but it's not for me. I'm lost in my own little fishing heaven and what happens outside of this might as well be on another continent. To all the Pikers out there that fish the place, best of British luck to you, I hope you catch the fish of your dreams and I'll continue to fish for the one I dream of. Or as a friend said recently “As long as **** is fishing well the places I want to fish will be quieter”