Tuesday, 29 April 2008

A Cracking days fishing with Gord Burton

My alarm was set for 4.30 am. This could only mean one thing. Yep I'd arranged another trip with Gordie, destination Windermere. I arrived at his house at 5.31am, I said I'd be there for 5.30. He was stood by his boat tapping his watch and shaking his head, he's a stickler for punctuality. The weather was sunny and very mild, as opposed to my last visit to Windermere when it rained most of the day. We launched the the boat by around 8 O'clock and we were on our way to some more of Gord's Pike hot spots. Gord was in to his first Pike within an hour, a low double which fell to a Joey Mackerel. Soon and on the same spot another Pike was boated, a fish around 12 pounds. We moved on, and another fish was soon in the boat. Gord was caining them! He was just telling me to keep my spirits high, and that I would soon catch, when he was proven right, my first Pike was boated, it was caught on a spoon that I was working at a distance of fifty yards. It was no Hawg, a Jack of around 5 pounds. Gord chinned it and retrieved the Spoon, and much to my dismay returned it to the water, before I could even get my words out. "Arrrrrgggh" I cried "What about a photo? I may not catch again today" This turned out to be rather prophetic. As indeed I did not catch again that day. The only activity I had was when another Pike struck my spoon but came off, and when I was retrieving a wayward cast, a Pike struck my dead bait, "Fish On" I cried, much to Gord's Amazement, I struck into the bite but the Pike shook off. Gord explained to me that I should have let the Pike run rather than strike. I was gutted it felt like a good fish. When we arrived at the water Gord predicted what time the Pike would feed, he said between 9 and 11.30 Apparently it was all based around the time of the Moon Rise. He was right, all fish were boated before 12.00pm In total eight were boated, one for me and an impressive seven for Gord, the biggest being around 13lb's. Another great day on Windermere I'm ready for the next outing already, my quest for a Windermere double continues..................

Monday, 28 April 2008

Twin lakes and a short session

A very short session on my Quiver Tip rod at Twin Lakes today. I was in the water by about 11.30 and packed up by 2.30, I caught a total of 3 fish for my troubles. Two Roach and One Skimmer Bream. I will fish there again very soon, and I'll go armed with lots of maggots and worms as I think a lot of feed is the key to success on this water.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

First time at Ince Blundell Woods

View of the lake at Ince Blundell Woods

Fancied a go at Hurlston Hall again today, the weather was lousy and was absolutely chucking it down. I expected Hurlston to be empty, I couldn't have been more wrong, it was packed, so much so that I couldn't even find a parking place. There was no way I was going to fish there today, I hate crowded fisheries. Inspired by a message that someone had left me on my blog, I made my way to Ince Blundell Woods Fishery. It's a little out the way but I'd heard raving reports about this water so I figured it was worth the journey. My first impressions of the place were not good. A purpose dug pit that is nothing more than a Carp puddle. There are no pegs and the banking is rather steep, and there are no features, the whole place lacks character. The water is way over priced for fishing, £5 for one rod, £9 for two rods, and a staggering £13 for three! As for the fishing, I saw three Carp come off the water in the 9 hours or so that I was there. I didn't get one bite, and certainly no runs. This is not a water I will be rushing back to in a hurry.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Carping session at Twin Lakes Croston

Settled in for the day!View across the lake

I found out this week that The SDAA (Southport District Angling Association) had acquired fishing rights to Twin Lakes Croston, and that members can fish it free of charge. This lake is only half a mile from my apartment, and is rumoured to contain some decent size Carp. I arrived at the lake at 8.30am and made my way to the very far end corner. Bivvy set up and chair reclined I was in for a great day. There was only one problem. I didn't get one bite, I didn't see any Carp jump, roll or splash, in fact of all the lakes that I have fished recently I have to say that this was the most inactive I've seen. I could count on one hand the amount of fish I saw jump. I packed up at 8.00pm rather disappointed. I will head back there Monday morning with my feeder rod for a few hours as I'm sure this lake contains a lot of small silver fish, and there are rumours of massive Perch.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Record breaking day at Beacon View

New PB Carp 14lb 4 ozSecond Sturgeon around 7.7lb
New PB Sturgeon 12lb 1 oz
Same fish, different owner ;-)
CLONKER! Stumpy 20lb 15oz

Another early start at Beacon View, 6.30am in the car park and Beef was already waiting for me. We had to set up in the rain and it absolutely chucked it down. Today we decided to specifically target Sturgeon, this is because the Carp are still not feeding too well on this water. After the amount of bites I missed a couple of days earlier, (I'm convinced that Sturgeon do not like to feel resistance.) I decided to make my rigs very simple, changing from a semi bolt rig, to just free lining with a size 6 hook straight to mono. This worked an absolute treat, and within around an hour I was cradling my Personal best Sturgeon weighing in at 12lb 1oz. What a fight this feller put up, it took me half way across the lake and took me around 10 minutes to land. Soon after I had another Sturgeon at around 7.7lb Just before I had to leave to pick up Ellie from school Beef's alarm screeched off and he too was into a big fish, as it turned out unbelievably he'd caught the same Sturgeon at 12lb 1oz. Talk about steeling my thunder! The worst was yet to come. As I was returning to the lake from being away a few hours I phoned Beef to let him know I was en route. "I can't talk" he replied "I'm into a big fish, I think it's stumpy?" Stumpy is the lakes most famous resident, a massive Sturgeon minus it's tail, hence the name Stumpy! After being led a merry dance for around 15 minutes Beef managed to land his new Personal Best Sturgeon, a staggering 20lb and 15oz. Well done Beef! When he regaled his story to me upon my arrival he described Stumpy to being just like a dolphin! The show I'm glad to say was not yet over for me, as just as we were about to pack up my left hand alarm screamed into action, I had the mother of all takes. I hooked into the fish which at first felt only around 4 to 5 pounds, I couldn't have been more wrong, as all of a sudden it seem to find a big burst of energy, a fight ensued and some excellent work on the clutch soon paid off as I landed my new Personal Best Carp a cracking 14lb 4oz. I was absolutely made up, as this is my first Carp double, and believe me it's been a long time coming, I seem to be attracted to Carp around 6 to 7 lb. My next target now is to land a 20lb'er. Over all then we had a great day at Beacon View today, a day which we won't forget in a hurry.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

It's no Clonker but it was the biggest fish of the day!
Rosemary Wood was today's choice of venue. Met Beef there just after 7am. The day started out very wet and dull, but by 11am the day turned warm and sunny, a glorious day. I caught four Carp today the biggest being 6lb 3oz, all four carp fell to the stringer rig on 15mm Scopex boilies. Beef and I have decided to make our night fishing debut at this venue, as it's quiet and a decent size lake. It wasn't Beef's day today no runs and no fish, an unfortunate blank.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Beacon View starts producing the goods

7lb 9oz SturgeonMirror Carp
White Sturgeon 7lb 7oz
Beef's Sturgeon 7lb 1oz

Met Beef at Beacon View Fishery at 6.30am. Weather for today was nice and sunny and the temperature is starting to warm up. Surely today the Carp on this water would be starting to feed! Beef was soon in to a fish and a Sturgeon was soon on the bank, it weighed in at 7lb 1oz. Beef was called in to work at around 10.30 so I was left to my own devices for the rest of the day. By about 3 o'clock I still hadn't had a fish. I'd missed quite a few runs during the morning, I put this down to Sturgeon picking up the bait and dropping it when it felt the weight on the line. I decided that I needed to change tactics. I removed the whole rig off the line including the weight and basically just tied the hair rig to my main line, and my bait choice was a massive lump of cheese, this seemed to do the trick as within 30 minutes I had my first fish on the bank, a Sturgeon weighing a healthy 7lb 7oz this particular fish was rather strange looking as it was almost all white in colour. A few hours past before I caught again, a carp weighing around 4 to 4 and a half pound. About an hour before I packed up I caught another Sturgeon, this one weighed 7lb 9oz, this is my new Surgeon PB. No big Carp showed today but had great fun with the Sturgeon!

Monday, 21 April 2008

A little course fishing for a change

Headed off to Sollom armed for a change with my Top Section from my Pole. For bait I used only Bread Punch and ground bait. Result = 6 Roach. They were only tiddlers but it was great fun. It took around an hour before the fish moved into my swim. At first I was missing a lot of bites, I later found that I had to over shot my line so that there was hardly any float showing on the surface, this was down to the fact that the fish were so small. My bites soon disappeared when a couple of Narrowboats went past, it was around two hours before I caught another fish. I have the bug now and can't wait to get back on the canal, may have a chance on Friday.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Wind spoils the fishing again!

Tried several noted spots on the Leeds Liverpool today, but my chances of catching any Pike, were hindered by the very gusty winds that made it almost unfishable. I soon packed up and returned home. Not a good week at all for my Pikeing.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Hurlston Hall and a load more Tench

One of my smaller Tench catches
Started off on the Leeds Liverpool canal. I went to try some Lures that I'd got from Gord. Stayed for about half an hour as it was blowing a very icy wind. Headed off to Hurlston Hall for another bash at carping. Yet again all I managed to catch today was Tench. I landed six in the end. I was later joined by Beef, he fished for the last four hours. He caught two Tench. On the way home I stopped off at the canal again, chucked some lures out for around twenty minutes, still no Pike showing for me. I'm going through a bit of a lean spell as far as Pike are concerned

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

A thousand casts at least and not one fish!

Beef finally christened his new rod, although not in style His second fish caught on his favourite lure

Started on the lures at around 8.30 this morning. Stopped off behind Rufford Old Hall, moved to various other places, from Burscough to Lathom, then back to Burscough. Finally met Beef at Rufford and worked some more lures. Beef finally christened his new spinning rod and reel as he caught two Jack Pike in quick succession. As for me, I must have cast around a thousand times today and didn't see one Pike. Just not my day today. Called around at Gords and collected some Rapala Lures from him, Will try and give them a go tomorrow.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Hurlston Hall

Met up with Beef and Mo at Hurlston Hall for a days Carping session. Not much action there today, thinking of re-naming these sessions as Tenching as that's all that seem to be coming of there recently. Beef had one Tench, but had to leave early so I'd say he would have had more, Mo had one very late on, and I had four, including a hair raising moment with two on at the same time. This is a first for me but I managed to land both. I reeled the first fish half way, I could feel it wasn't too heavy and presumed it was a Tench. I struck into the second fish and landed it, another Tench! I then returned to the first rod and my presumption that it was hooked onto a Tench was soon confirmed. When Mo fell asleep I sneaked over and pulled his line on his alarm, see video clip above ;-) All four Tench were caught on Boilies using stringers.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Still quiet at the Saracens Head

Another Lure session today, and picked Mo up from his house at around 11 ish, made our way to the Saracens Head stretch, and stayed until around 5 ish. In all that time I had one little Jack, yet again to about a pound. I'm just not catching anything of any size at the moment. I'm putting this down to the spawning season. No fish for Mo today, there was someone else Pikeing and he was dead baiting, he hadn't had a touch all day.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Rufford stretch and then a session at The Saracens Head

The Mrs trying her hand at lure fishingPro Logic pulls in another jack
Fourth time lucky

The very long fishing session and early start from the day before had taken it's toll, so I treated myself to a lie in. But I was soon on the bank and using the new Pro logic lure I have taken a liking to. The weather was turning for the worse again. I seem to be cursed by rain, it can hold off all day but as soon as I set off fishing it seems to start. I was soon into my first Pike, another jack of about a pound, the second was a long time coming but It was an interesting take. I was trolling on the way back and it struck the Lure, it came off, then it struck again, it came off, then as I pulled the lure out of the water it jumped out mid air to grab it, a truly amazing sight, I stayed for a few more casts, determined to catch this little feller. My patience paid off and fourth time lucky I had it on the bank, it was no monster but it was great fun. Later I made my way with Katy to the Saracens Head stretch where she tried her first chuck on the lure rod. Alas we didn't catch. They seemed to be switched off tonight.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

A trip to Lake Windermere with Gord Burton

The Pike Pirate
A man of a thousand faces
Early morning Windermere

Sandwiches and a days supply of food was already packed by the door. The alarm was set for 3.30am, but how was I going to sleep? An exciting adventure lay ahead. I'd finally done it! This Saturday morning I had arranged a fishing trip with Pikeing legend Gord Burton. I arrived at his house at 4.45am, any early doubts that he'd forget and be still in bed were soon quashed. He was ready and waiting for me at his front door. His trusty boat of 28 years service 'CHUB CREEK' which is so named after a classic lure, was already loaded onto his car. My rods were soon packed, and 5 minutes later we were off. Our destination was Lake Windermere, a very well established Pikeing water. For any thrill seekers out there who fancy a day out but are not into Pikeing, then I would very much recommend Gordy take you for a drive which he affectionately calls 'Brands Hatch' This is the final stage of the journey that will eventually lead you to the boat launch site. A very narrow country lane that is just about wide enough for one car. As we turned into each twisting corner I was sure we were about to meet our certain death. I need not have worried though because Gord knew the road like the back of his hand, a journey I'm sure he's made thousands of times. We were soon on the water and on our way to one of Gord's hotspots. The water was very calm and without a ripple, but the dark skies above held clues as to what was to come. Static dead baits were the tactics we were to use, and the chosen baits for the day were Joey Mackerel's. We stayed in the same spot for around two hours. There was no action here so we moved to another notorious spot. It was now that the once threatening sky decided to unleash it's fury, a downpour that would unless you were dressed appropriately would soak you to the skin. It was at this spot that Gord struck into a hard fighting Pike, a battle ensued but there was only going to be one winner. I was given the honour of netting it for him. Moments earlier Gord had explained to me that one of his last guides apparently fumbled with the net and cost him a very good fish, so no pressure here then. Thankfully moments later a 14lb Pike was lying at my feet. Job done! The Pike had already gone through the rigours of spawning, and Gord estimated that a few days ago she would have been a good 20lb. We stayed here for about another hour, as well as dead baits we employed the lure rods. But no action was to be had. The weather was still being very unkind to us, and Gord was not holding out on today being a productive day. We came across two other Pikers that were known to Gord. Who earlier in the week had been through a very frightening experience, as their boat had capsized. They were not wearing life jackets, a lesson learned as they were sporting brand new ones today. We moved on to what was to be the last Hotspot of the day. Once again we dead baited this area for around two hours. The weather was still overcast, it was time to admit defeat. We had been beaten. It would seem that I had picked an awful day weather wise. Alas I didn't catch my Pike of a lifetime today. I did though have a cracking day. Gord is fabulous company and is never short of a word or two. He is a mind of information, I now call him Mr Memory. Name any fishing trip he's been on and he'll recall all the detail without a struggle. He will tell you a hundred stories or more, and he has an answer to any questions you may ask him. Will I go again? Does a Pike have teeth?

Friday, 11 April 2008

30 minutes at the Lathom Slip Way

Stopped off at the canal at the Lathom Slipway, had a spare half hour. I'd bought a new lure from the tackle shop earlier and was keen to test it out. One of the white Pro Logic savage ones. If there is ever a lure that looks like you'll catch on then this is it! It has a white rubber body and looks brilliant in the water.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Twenty minute session at Rufford Old Hall

It's a funny old game, sometimes I can spend hours upon hours trying to hook into a Pike, and sometimes I can't hook into one at all. Tonight I stopped off behind Rufford Old Hall for what turned out to be around a twenty minute session. After only my third or fourth cast I got my first take. Another Jack Pike of around 1lb. This is my thirtieth Pike catch since I started my blog. I was forced to cut my fishing session short because it absolutely chucked it down, well it was also getting rather dark.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

A quick session at the Saracans Head

It's no monster but a fish is a fish!
Met Beef for a short lure session at The Saracens Head today at quarter past five. Beef as yet still hasn't christened his new Spinning Rod and Reel. It would seem at the moment that the Pike are just not interested in anything we chuck at them, this could be down to the fact that it is spawning season. Just as we were near to finishing I hooked into a little Jack Pike, around 1lb. A few choice words were uttered from Beef as I seem to be catching a few lately. We finished at seven O'clock. One little Jack for me, and another blank for Beef. I'm sure he'd like to remind me that he can catch Carp though ;-)

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Beef makes the headlines

After Beefs recent catch at Hurlston Hall he sent his picture in to the Southport Visitor, which they duly published. It also appeared in The Ormskirk Advertiser. Is this my blog or Beef's ;-)

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Hurlston Hall Fishery and a few Tench

As today was the Grand National and Liverpool were live on t.v at 12 O'clock, I anticipated that Hurlston Hall would be quiet, therefore I wouldn't have to get there too early and worry about getting a decent peg. I wasn't wrong the place was empty. There were around 6 people on the whole lake. I was soon set up and in the water. My first fish was a Tench of around 1lb 7oz and my second fish was also a Tench this was around 3lb and this was also my last fish of the day, in a total of 11 hours fishing. In fact at the end of the session today as other anglers compared notes it seemed that the only fish coming off the lake were Tench. I saw one Carp come out and apparently weighed in at 12lb. Although there wasn't much action today the weather held up and the sun was very welcome whilst reclining back in my new chair.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Appley Bridge to Parbold and back and not even a Jack!

Bridge at Parbold Canal

Fancied trying somewhere different today. Started off at Sparks Bridge which proved fruitless. Called at Coppull Angling and purchased a new lure, a Salmo replica Pike. I was brimming with confidence with this little feller as it looked brilliant, a Pike catcher surely. I then stopped off at Appley Bridge and worked my way to Parbold. I underestimated the distance, I'd say that the total distance I walked was around 6 miles. I didn't even see a Pike never mind catch. Not to be put off, later on I had a sneaky hour at the Saracens Head stretch. I was later to regret this decision. Once again there was no sign of any Pike but I did manage to catch. Unfortunately it was a Coot. I managed to catch it by casting my lure and snagging one of it's feet by the trebles. I reeled in and tried to release the hooks. It obviously put up quite a struggle, after around 5 minutes it was free and I'm glad to say back in the water, if not a little shook up, so was I. Not the best day for Pikeing today.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Blanktastic Day at Beacon View

Met Beef at Beacon View at 6.45 this morning. High expectations again for this fishery. The last time we were there it was bitterly cold. The weather today was mild and a lot warmer. The Carp are definitely waking up. However I've said this before and I'll say it again. Beacon View can be a hard water to fish, this is mainly due to how much pressure this water receives. The lake is not too big and gets hammered at weekends, mostly by people targeting the Sturgeon and chucking copious amounts of bait into the water. Packed up at 14.30 as I had to pick Ellie up from school. Needless to say I didn't catch today. Beef managed a Skimmer Bream to about 1lb. A poor showing for 7 and a half hours fishing.

Part Two
Arranged to meet Beef at Sollom for a quick lure session. The night was drawing in very fast we had about an hour and half. The only action came when Beef had one follow. Alas we both blanked but now the nights are getting lighter, I'm sure this was the first of many night sessions on our lures.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Leeds liverpool Canal Burscough Bridge

Little Smiler

I had a few hours to spare so I headed over to the Burscough Bridge stretch of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. First Cast on a Fox Fire Tiger Lure and a Pike followed but backed off. Then the second cast I snagged the lure near a boat, and lost it. Brand new I'm gutted! Tried a few different lures but struggled to catch, I was making my way back, when a jack struck Beefs lure that I'd borrowed from him. It weighed about 1lb 7oz or so. It was a funny looking Pike it almost looked like he was smiling. Still not caught anything of size from the canal, but i'll keep searching.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Early morning lure session with Beef

I'm not sure how but Beef managed to talk me into an early spinning session this morning. This wouldn't normally be a problem but I was still tired from my weekends travelling. We met at 7 O'clock at the Saracens Head. It was yet again very windy with gusts up to 50 mph. I didn't fancy our chances much. I worked my way through several lures before I found one that took a Pikes interest. Not much in size it weighed 2lb 15oz at least I had chance to try out my new FOX digital scales. I borrowed one of Beefs Lures, a little Pike plug. After around half a dozen casts or so I saw a Pike follow it. I recast in the same area and it hit it straight away. A little one of about a pound. Beef called me a few choice names as this was my second fish and he hadn't caught. We packed up at around 10.30 as Beef had to go to work. He had around a dozen "one last casts" alas no Pike for Beef today. We're off Carping on Thursday and I'm sure he'll give me a run for my money. What with him being the 'Carp King' 21lb 4oz and don't I know it ;-)