Saturday 2 October 2021

It's time...

It’s that time of year when the dreaded Facebook has been up in arms because people are Pike fishing in early autumn!  Everyone knows that all Pike caught before October 1st are 100% stone dead within a couple of days!  But to be honest it was a little too warm on the weekend in question and I wouldn’t have dabbled myself.  But a few days later when both the furore and the temperature had cooled a little I did spend a couple of hours chucking lures from a drifting boat.  The water was a windswept drain and the boat wasn’t mine.  When I arrived in the evening the sky had greyed and the wind made rowing difficult, it certainly felt like good autumn Pikey weather.  When I got to the top of the stretch I dropped a weight and made a cuppa, while this was brewing I flicked a few lures about.  A spinnerbait received the right response but the small Pike shook free.

Now I had the wind on my side I let the boat drift, steering every now and then to correct the drift and occasionally dropping a weight and fishing static.  Forty five minutes had passed since I made my first cast, I’d gone through a few lures and eventually settled on a pale coloured shad.  It did look good in the water and I remembered catching a few fish on this lure before in similar gloomy conditions.  But I was at that stage when I was considering another change and wondering what I’d have to do to actually catch something when the lure finally went solid with a thump.  The Pike had taken close to the boat on a short line and I pulled it to the surface quickly where a long fish surfaced then pulled back down.  It circled in front of me then popped up again and I was able to scoop it up with the net before it really knew what had happened.  Then came the inevitable net thrash where it unhooked itself, result!  The fish was a lean mid double, a quick photo then I lowered the net and allowed it to swim away.  It didn’t even come out of the water.  I fished on until darkness, disturbed a Bittern which croaked at me as it flapped slowly away and also saw two Sparrowhawks playing chase.  And I had two more takes, one jack unhooked in the water and another better fish that came adrift, all on the same pale shad.

Earlier today I had another go at organising the shed and sorting my winter (i.e. Pike) tackle.  The rods are set up now, the freezer stocked and I’ve a couple of bins full of new traces.  It’s been an enjoyable fishing summer; fighting on the beaches brought me six ‘new’ species and about eight PB’s were nudged up.  I didn’t catch a PB Bass but I did get a few small Smoothounds.  I was so side tracked by the beach fishing I forgot to even try for a Gipping Barbel but that is still on my ‘to do’ list for next year.  But now it’s Pike time.