I made an early start to the Pike season, fishing several waters and having a lot of action. Nothing big was caught but we got into a lot of fish.
I have been out coaching some people from Ford Motors in the finer points of Pike Fishing and we had a great day out. Unfortunately they kept losing fish, including a right lump at the net, but eventually they got some on the bank.
I took 3 lads to the River Lee after Chub and Barbel. We arrived on site to find it was only a foot deep and gin clear, we also noticed that all the snags had been cleared from the banks leaving no cover for the fish. Not what we wanted to see and not very helpful at all.
After walking the river for nearly an hour we had seen one Barbel of about 4lb and a few baby Chub. We set up for rolling meat and I demonstrated bouncing the lumps through the swim, catching a little Chub in the process. Soon all 3 lads were working hard trying to get their bait to run through the swim properly, whenever they did they
hit into a Chub.
They caught loads of fish throughout the day but the larger specimens evaded us, best fish was a Chub of about 2lb to Joe.
Back on pike fishing I took some lads to a local park lake. There aren’t any monsters in there but it does have a good head of Pike and can be very productive on the right day.
We set about catching a few live baits and fished legered mackerel and float fished roach, allowing the roach to rove about. If they didn’t get a bite in about 20 minutes we moved the bait, sometimes only 3 or 4 feet, but we were systematically searching the water and trying to provoke a take. It worked too as they landed 6 fish to low doubles, mainly on sardine or mackerel. Funny enough the live baits didn’t account for a single take.
Back over the park lake again after Pike and we had very different weather. South Easterly winds and rather cold, high pressure gradually dropping with heavy rain moving in....this was going to be interesting.
We used similar rigs to the other day, moving baits around every 20-30 minutes and we were struggling to find the fish and get a take. I caught a few little roach to use as live baits and it was like throwing a switch. We popped out a live bait on a float rig and within seconds it was off and we soon had an upper single pike on the mat. This happened 4 times in quick succession then it died as the heavens opened and it poured with rain.
We didn’t get anything big but fish of 7-12lb were very welcome in difficult conditions.
The water was clear and we walked around looking for the pike, seeing several laying up in gullys or laying in the margins. Unfortunately the youngsters got a little excited and I soon heard “coooorrrr look at that” at which point all the pike cleared off and we struggled to see one again all day!!!!!
After working hard with dead baits and lures for a while for very little reward I set one of them up to catch a few live baits. Half hour later and we had 2 dozen roach in the net and we were ready to have another go.
A couple of the lads had listened to what I had been telling them and they went to fish areas that I had pointed out might hold fish. Using a stealthy approach one of the lads crept into place and literally dropped the bait under his feet, within seconds he was in to the first fish of the day. As I walked around to give him a hand the other lad called out as he was into one too, again, caught tight in the margins.
Neither were big fish but it didn’t matter, 4lb6oz and 5lb8oz.
Soon both lads were in again and both had doubles this time. Dan had a 10lb8oz and Shane landed a beauty at 16lb.
We had a south westerly blowing down to the car park end so this seemed a likely place to fish. There’s shallow water close in with loads of weed then it drops off to nearly 10 feet with various bars with depths of 7 feet as you work across towards the island.
We baited to a shallow area just behind the weed off to the left of the swim, and also to a bar half way across. Conditions were not too bad with the favourable wind and low pressure, we could see fish moving in front of us so now all we had to do was fool them into picking up our baits.
We baited up with hemp and monster squid boilies and fished lead clips with camo diffusion tubing, missing link hook links and twister hooks on blow back rigs.
About 2 hours in to the session and the left hand rod was away and a very angry carp was trying to head towards the sanctuary of the island. It certainly knew where all the snags were and was aiming for every one in the lake. Twice it weeded itself and once made it into reeds, but fortunately we got it back out.
Soon there was a lovely common carp of 14lb8oz sitting in the bottom of the net and a very happy youngster.
That was our lot though, 2 more missed runs and that was it for all the effort made. At least we got one and we will be back as there is unfinished business.
The conditions seemed good so now it was just a case of finding the fish. I walked about 2 miles, fishing likely looking spots and working through several different flies, all to no avail. I never even saw signs of a fish.
Not deterred by this I continued walking along as I knew there was a lock a bit further ahead and that it might hold a few fish.
I had a good look around the lock and picked a spot where a tributary runs in and fished the slack water just off the flow. First cast and a Pike flashed at the fly but missed it! Several casts later and it didn’t reappear so I moved slightly to the left and cast into the faster water, easing the fly back through the flow into the slack water in the lea of the lock. Just as I was about to lift the fly out of the water I saw a flash as a Pike shot up from underneath the fly and hit it. Brilliant stuff.
It definitely didn’t want to make a trip to the bank as it used the bank side vegetation to its advantage and kept diving underneath anything that might cause me grief. I eventually got it out from the reeds and grasses and managed to get a net under it before it dived back in there again. Not a big fish, but a lot of fun all the same.
As I worked my way back towards the van I was still casting around on the off chance and it was soon in again from a spot I had worked hard earlier and not even seen a fish. Again, not a big fish but so much fun on a fly rod.