Saturday, 23 August 2014

Damn Eels!... but a nice Pike.

I’ve been out after the eels again recently but have limited it to two short sessions per week now. I’ve been emptying my bait freezer of all my old deadbaits and have been putting in 1-2lb at the end of every trip but yet again there is no sign of the eels!

I knew I was limiting my chances by fishing evenings only but my catches have been disappointing, at the very least. Since the two eels just after I started I’ve not had another eel so haven’t learnt much that might help in the future… that’s the real rub for me, I’ve blanked plenty over the years but I always like to learn something. I suppose I could say that the prebaiting hasn’t worked… in fact, it might have worked against me, but at least the pike got a free feed. They need the help after being hammered by bad angling practices over the last few years.

Anyway, I’ve got just under 100 lobworms and a few weeks left yet so I may as well stick it out until the end. I’m not hoping for much but think I’ll fish one of the weekly sessions in other parts of the lake.

Not sure if anyone else has noticed but it’s felt a bit like late September to me recently! The stormy, and not particularly warm, weather has got me thinking about pike… I usually fish for pike with lures all year round but this year I’ve not done much for various reasons, so the other day I thought I’d get out.

The river was still low but a bit of recent rain had meant it had come up a bit. There was a slug of water coming downstream that would reach my stretch the following day, when I planned to go, but most fish get caught in the mornings here so I decided to go anyway.

I arrived and the water was as I expected; a bit of extra depth, flow and a tinge of colour but apart from a few follows I struggled for the first couple of hours and noticed the river was rising all the time. I eventually saw a decent fish hit the lure properly and a mid double was hooked. It went a bit berserk during the fight and made a few leaps out of the water... it was on one of these jumps that I lost her! Hmmmm, that wasn't in the plan!

I carried on struggling before getting to the last couple of swims but the foliage had been cut behind them and some was piled up against the overgrown swims. I knew there were a couple of spots to fish but I couldn’t see them so it was obvious they hadn’t been fished in a long time. After 5 minutes of getting stung and bitten the first spot proved fruitless and I could now see that the river had come up quite a bit and was getting coloured. Another 5 minutes clearing the next swim and I needed a break… it would also give the swim a rest after my noise but this was probably my last chance looking at the chocolate brown colour the river was fast turning.

I pitched the lure 20ft along the upstream tree and it came back. The second one was straight out about the same distance and, as the lure came into view a few feet from the end of the rod, a good pike shot upstream and nailed it, turning 180° and shooting off round the bushes so I couldn’t see it or what was round there. With 100lb braid and a strong rod it didn’t get very far though and I could feel what was going on so steady pressure bought the fish back up to me, with a short foray into a clump of grass being the only worry. It felt quite heavy and was very lively and it took a couple of attempts to get it in the net but in she went… where the hooks promptly fell out!

A nice chap walking past was good enough to take a quick photo but I didn’t weigh her. At a guess I’d say about 16-17lb in her summer condition. A lovely looking, fit fish that shot off as fast as it appeared.

On a tough day it’s always a relief to catch a decent fish. The disappointment of a blank is averted and you can go home a happy man.

I had another chance in the same swim from a fish about 7lb, which I missed, but the river had come up even further and was completely chocolate brown colour, with big branches coming down. I fished on for another hour or so but it was getting unfishable so the time came to head home.

It’s nice to be back with the pike! J

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