We had the first snow of the Winter and some freezing conditions, but also some reasonable weather and good captures.
I did a lot of coaching for Pike, as is the norm for this time of year. I was mainly working with groups of youngsters aged 14-16 from various schools. Some was lake fishing, but I did take 2 groups onto rivers, chasing the elusive river pike.
I went to the Chelmer canal with Luke, we took a slow walk along its length looking for signs of any fish. After a good look around we went back to the van and set up the gear, this consisted of 6’ lure rods, reels loaded with 50lb powerpro braid, 40lb 27 strand wire traces and several boxes of lures. Grabbing a net, unhooking mat and unhooking gear we set off along the bank.
We worked along, casting into likely areas, trying to aggravate the pike into attacking the lures. After an hour we still hadn’t seen a fish, but things were about to change.
We approached an area where there are flats opposite and an inlet to a boat mooring outside the flats. A 6” jerk bait cast right into the gap of the inlet was hit on the drop, obviously this one was primed ready to attack and I obliged.
It was only a small Jack of about 4lb, but it was a good start. I got Luke to cast over to the same area as I felt there could be more fish there. Luke cast a shad almost to the same spot I had caught from, he started to reel and it was hit almost immediately. Another jack but definitely better than a blank.
Luke returned the fish and cast to just off the inlet, within seconds he was in again!! Again, not a big fish, but it didn’t matter.
We worked the canal for 4 hours but these were the only fish we saw all day. We started to work our way back and was soon back at the van. Luke started to pack his gear away and I decided to have one last cast...as you do. I felt a little knock and thought I had picked up some weed, but it was the smallest Pike I have ever caught on a lure. In fact it was probably the smallest Pike I have ever caught. To say it was optimistic would be an understatement as the lure was far, far too big to go in its mouth. In fact the rear treble was too big to go in its mouth, yet somehow it had managed to get one prong in its mouth and hook itself. I didn’t weigh it but I would guess it was no more than 4 or 5oz.