Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Right time - Right place?

You could say that I was chomping at the bit to go fishing today, it's a few days now since I've had chance to wet a line. I had all good intentions for an early(ish) start so I set my alarm for 7am. The alarm played it's merry tune that it was programmed to do, but I mumbled and fumbled and went back to sleep until just after 8, what a lazy git!

I eventually arrived at the Sluice at around 9.30am, not to worry though as the Pike can be as lazy as me sometimes, often only going on the feed late morning - this in mind then, I didn't rush setting up.

I fished two dead bait rods, one of which was baited up with a bait that seems to be producing a few fish for me at the moment. (Don't ask me what it is I won't tell you) :) Within half an hour the producing bait rod was in, a strong take - as soon as the float went under the bait runner stripped line. I've noticed in the past that the strong takes that strip line off the reel often result in a bigger fish. This was one angry Pike, seemingly taking offence in to being duped by my too good to be true free offering on the floor, at one moment taking to leap three to four feet out of the water trying to shake the hooks, an awesome sight.

Once on the bank I deemed it worth the effort to take out the Reuben Heatons, the needle finally settling on 14lb 2oz. A good fish and the best of the Autumn/Winter campaign to date

The pole produced quite a few fish, enough to keep a plentiful supply of bait, ironically I didn't get one take today on live baits, the only Pike of the session once again coming on a dead bait.

In summary.... Another session, that depite being there all day only produced the one Pike - albeit by drain standards a pretty decent one. Like the thread title suggests, is it a case of being in the right place at the right time? Was there only one Pike in the area that I fished today? If I'd arrived earlier would I have had more sport? Who knows, but one things for sure I'll soon be back there

14lb 2oz

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Quiet session but another double

I have a tonne of paperwork to get through, and fishing was the last thing I should be doing today. However after learning that Allan had the day off from work..... Well it would be rude not to wouldn't it.

We decided to give the Sluice another bash, it has come to our attention that Allan hasn't been doing too well on the Sluice for Pike of late, checking back on the blog revealed that the last time Allan had a Pike off the Sluice was in fact the end of June, he won't be happy by this statistic - he is though a very determined angler and I can guarantee that he will accept this as a personal challenge, there is no way he will let the water get the better of him.

It wasn't long before my float was under and the first action of the day was a decent Pike another easy double of around 11 pounds or so was my trophy.

I decided to leave the feeder rod behind and instead I fished on the pole, I had much better luck using this method, it would seem that a little finesse and lighter rigs are going to have to be the way forward from now on, it's a bit of a hassle taking the pole equipment when I'm off Piking but if needs must.

Despite staying until the edge of dark - the fish that I had early in the day was the only Pike that was caught during this session, I did pull out of another take, no great loss though as it was only a Jack.

Allan was left wondering why lady luck was punishing him again- "She's being very cruel to me" was a phrase that was muttered a few times during the day -and that perhaps the Piking gods were teaching him a lesson and bringing him back to earth after his fabulous catch the other week. There is one thing for sure, and that is - if every time you went Piking you were guaranteed a Pike, you'd soon stop going, the sessions that leave you scratching your head and wondering when the next fish is coming, are the reasons why we go back time and time again.

Thanks for the hat check mate :)

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Back on the Pike

A hat trick of blanks left me more determined to get back into some action on the Pike. A change of section on the sluice and it was time for a change in tactics. As I've previously reported - the task of catching bait on the feeder was becoming more and more difficult, so it's time to bring out the dead baits. I didn't get a touch on them for the first hour or so. I was having a discussion with fellow blogger and Piker - 'Paddy Pike' something about that I'm not a believer in flavouring baits with 'Catch the angler' type flavourings that are on the market, when my float with an' au-natural' bait was under and away. I was in! A Pike of around 9lb, perhaps a scraper double was my reward for a tactic change. Paddy was left muttering something like "B@llocks to flavourings" and I think it was mentioned that I'd poached the Pike from his swim, which if we're being technical I'd have to agree with him, still I was there first :)

A few hours later and Allan paid a surprise visit, he only stayed for a few hours but long enough to see me land my second Pike of the session. A passing Pike of around 8lb's had taken a paternoster Perch bait offering.

I intended on packing up today at 5pm - however I decided to stick it out for a sneaky extra hour, and eventually calling it a day at 6 O'clock - the news had just started and I was about to pack up, when I caught sight of my float disappearing under a fizz of bubbles, brilliant timing I was in again, on the strike it felt like a decent lump a certain double, a 5 minute battle ensued and this Pike was hell bent on heading for the reed bed under my feet, the photo below shows that I won the battle, an estimated weight of 11 to 12lb's was a good end to the day, I'm glad I stayed on for the extra hour. Back on the Pike and it's good to be back.

Best fish of the day

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Can't catch - Won't catch

I've had a few tough sessions of late, and would make pretty boring reading, so I've crammed them down into one post to make it less painful. Here goes................

Sunday saw myself and Ben head to the reservoir, a few fish on the tip and one Pike that managed to shake me free was the highlight of the day. Ben didn't get so much as a run.

Monday and a trip back to the Sluice, I arrived at around 10.30 ish and catching fish on the tip was almost impossible, I managed around 6 fish the whole session. My first fish - a decent Roach was just about to glide into my net when out of the blue a Pike struck. It didn't make off with the fish though and I was left with a pretty sorry state of a bait. The damage Pike's teeth can do in an instant is phenomenal.

I had one run on the Pike rod, alas like the session before this fish also came off.

Tuesday and myself and Allan arranged to meet at the Sluice, we settled on fishing a section at Sixfields, an area that I haven't been to in a while. First cast on the tip and I realised we'd made a mistake in our location, the amount of weed that is on the bottom rendered fishing on the tip useless, each and every time my maggots were covered in the green stuff. We made the decision to leave and head to the ticket stretch of the match length. I managed to catch 5 decent bait fish, my efforts were in vain though as I didn't get a run on the Pike rod. I had other commitments so an early pack up put an end to another uninspired session.

I have a few ideas for producing fish on the tip, I'll put them into practise on my next outing. I'm blaming the drop in temperature for the poor results on the tip, well I have to blame something, it could be bad angling but I'd never admit to that

Saturday, 19 September 2009

I should have listened to my instincts

The weekend was here, that could only mean one thing, fishing - "Hurrah!" My choice of venue was to be the Sluice, well why wouldn't I? I had three fish off there on Wednesday so I was up for another session.

It was though a little while before I managed to catch any bait - in fact I'd say it took me around an hour to get my first bite, tip fishing was pretty tough going today. Eventually one of my rods was baited up. I'd just about sat back in my seat - I'd say within around a minute and a half and I was in! A quick take indeed, not exactly the biggest Pike I've ever caught, a Jack of around 3lb's.

Was today going to be a red letter day? Well if I'd listened to my instincts then who knows... I was getting plenty of bites but each and every time I was having my bait stolen. My instinct was nagging and nagging me to change my hook, but I resisted for around 4 to 5 hours. What an idiot! As soon as I changed my hook I started catching fish. I was left ruing what might have been.

Thankfully all was not lost though, and the session was saved by landing a hard fighting Pike of around 9lb's.

Session Saver!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Perch, Perch and a few more Perch

A change of venue for myself and Allan today. We fished another northern reservoir, although expectations were typically high, I have to say that the trip was a little disappointing. Neither of us caught any Pike, and I struggled to get through Perch on the tip. Allan had a couple of Bream to just over 2lb's. Not the best session by any means, I'll head back there in the depths of winter as there are some decent Pike in this water.

Best fish of the day

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

A score to settle

After my nightmare session on the drains on Friday, I decided to head back there today, In my mind I had a score to settle - no Pike and a trip to casualty wasn't the best of memories from my last visit. I arrived at around 11ish - another late start, but in time for my predicted Pike feeding window.

I fished 2 Pike rods and fished on the tip for bits. My first Pike rod was soon baited and in position - and the float was sailing away within 20 minutes or so. I struck into the take, I was into a good lump - a hard fight ensued when...... Disaster! She shook me free. Damn! The bait still on I recast on to the same spot, literally within 2 minutes I was in again. This time I got the better of the (Same?) fish. A decent double of around 11lb's was a welcome sight.

Allan joined me around 12ish (Just can't keep this guy away from the water, I think I'm a bad influence) all was pretty much quiet and I was landing the odd fish on the tip, when I looked over to my right hand float and was greeted to a great sight, a passing Pike jumped out of the water and hit my bait with much vigour, fabulous! - and what an aggressive fight this one gave me, dragging me left and right and begging me to give it line, once on the bank she looked around 8 to 9lb's, she was in great condition.

One thing is for sure, the Pike were definitely on the feed today, as within an hour the same rod was in again, yet another hard fighting fish of a similar size gave me a good run around.

It's fair to say that I've caught a good head of Pike over the last few years, yet each fish still makes my heart pound like it's the first, I guess it's this attraction that takes me to the water time after time. The day my heart doesn't pound and the adrenaline stops rushing through me will be the day I hang my rods up.

So my score was settled, Friday's session was well and truly put to bed. I was though very greedy today I didn't share any of my catches with Allan, I'm well aware though that he's due another fish.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Pike on the tip

The temptation to stay in bed was great, however the temptation to go fishing was greater. Myself and Allan set for a days Piking. We headed to our reservoir of choice, and were rods in by 6am. I fished on the tip for bait and was soon into fish, both Pike rods were baited up - the waiting game had started......

However between myself and Allan we didn't get so much as a beep all day. It would seem that they were not interested in out offerings today. I was though hassled by an intrusive Pike or two- that on 7 occasions I either had my fish that I'd caught on the tip taken when just landing or returning it to the water. I tried everything to catch the little blighter, particularly sink and draw, but it out foxed me every time.

I wasn't to be denied Pike action though and was treated to a great fight on my tip rod - a Pike of around 5lb's had taken an interest in my double Dendrobaena worm. offering. I've said this before and I'll say it again Pike on the tip are great fun.

No Pike for Allan today........... Good! :)

Pike! But not by design

Friday, 11 September 2009

I should have stayed in bed!

Today is one of those days that I should have stayed in bed and catch up on some much needed sleep. But alas, being an absolute fool, I decided to go and have a look at the drains to see if the conditions had improved, I met Alan there for 9am and they had improved greatly, a bit coloured but nothing that wouldn't suggest that you wouldn't catch. After no action we packed up at 3pm.

I was just packing my gear into my van, when it happened. A treble hook off one of my rods, somehow came loose and ended up in my bag, as I was working it free it worked it's way into my left index finger. Damn! Alan tried to set me free by pulling it out, however it was well in, it didn't help that this particular hook was barbed. So there was only one thing for it.... Casualty!

I drove down there with the treble still in place, I managed to park in the ambulance bay, as I was explaining to the car park attendant that I had no money on me, I saw my van rolling backwards, due to the treble being in my left hand I didn't apply the handbrake, what an idiot! The worse part of this ordeal though was the local anaesthetic that I had to have in my finger. It took the doctor what seemed like an hour to get the hook out, but in reality it was around 10 minutes. He had to cut the hook out by slicing my finger with a scalpel, he was unable to push it through, as it was in a bit of an awkward place.

Have a learned a lesson from this? Nah I doubt it, it'll probably happen again.


Thursday, 10 September 2009

Today is going to be your day mate!

I have fished with many people over the past few years, but I would have to say that Alan has to be the keenest, we arranged that we should meet at my house at 4am! I went outside at around 3.45 to sort my dead baits out , and I was stunned to see that Alan was already sat waiting for me. You've got to hand it to the man, he is certainly committed to the cause.

As we made our way to the reservoir we discussed the tactics that we would use, as well as the sunken float rig we decided ledgered live bait rig was to be given a try out today. As I was setting up - I caught sight of a familiar figure, Johnny Panto was making his way down the embankment, it would seem that the chance of missing out on some action was enough to get the snag out of his bed. We were rods in for first light, a chance to see if the Pike would have an early feeding spell.

Hours came and passed and would you believe it the first pike of the session came just after 10am. A Pike of around 3lb was most welcome as this was Alan's first fish off the Reservoir, another fish caught on a the sunken float rig. Panto was the next to catch, a Pike of around 7lb caught on a dead bait. I was now on the losers bench, much to Panto's delight as he kept reminding me every ten minutes or so. Then it happened, Alan was in again! His alarm was screaming his line was peeling, "Hit that mate" I said. He wound down onto the take, "Oh yesssss" "This feels a good fish" He said. A good fight ensued and after a few minutes we caught a glimpse of the fish, an easy double, I estimated around 15lb. I obviously did my best to bump the fish off, alas she slid into the net, Jesus Christ what a lump, had Alan landed a 20? Not quite - but not too far off. A chance for Al to test out his new Reuben Heaton scales, the needle finally stopped at 18lb and 2oz. What a cracking fish. A couple of pictures later and she was returned back to the water. Al was well and truly in 'The Zone' he was wondering around the bank, unable to return to his fishing for a good half hour. Every now and again he would come to check with me to confirm what really happened?

A cracking fish mate, and well deserved, funny that on the way to the water this morning, I predicted that today was going to be his day. I finally came off the losers bench by landing a Pike of around 6lb's another fish taken on the Sunken float. All fish were caught between 10am and 3pm. Coincidence? I don't think so, feeding pattern? Possibly.

So today was indeed to be Alan's day, a fish that he worked hard for and a day that he'll not forget in a hurry, one thing that I have forgotten to mention though mate. "I hate you" :)

Al's first of the day

18lb 2oz Cracking fish

I'm finally off the losers bench

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

A few trips to the Reservoir

Sunday 6th September.....

Myself, Alan and Panto headed to the Upper Reservoir for the last few hours of the day, the weather was lousy, but as usual expectations were high. They needn't have been, as we all blanked! Catching bait on this water is starting to become a rather hard task, somewhat ironic, as when a few weeks earlier I was catching fish for fun. There was one catch worth mentioning though, Panto hooked into what he thought was a good fish, imagine his and our surprise when he landed a massive black member, one has to ask why and how that has found it's way into the reservoir? It was laughs all around I can tell you that much, and as I said, "You are what you catch" :)


I kept to my word and had another session on the water, now I'm starting to notice a bit of a feeding pattern on here, and the Pike seemingly come on the feed from around 10am in the morning and finish at around 3pm. Seems daft doesn't it, but there is definitely something in this. It pretty much renders early set up sessions a waste of time. Nevertheless I will probably still have the odd early session just to see.

I fished from around 10.30am until dusk tonight, the result was one Pike of around three pounds. This was caught on the sunken paternoster rig, this rig is producing fish, but as yet nothing of size. Interestingly I have only had one fish on dead baits on this water so far, but it's worth noting that it was also the biggest fish that I have caught on here to date.

Fishing on the tip was once again, pretty hard going, I did catch a decent Perch of around a pound though for my efforts.

Alan, my very keen apprentice couldn't resist an ad hock session and sneak up behind me while I was fishing, man this is one keen fisherman, despite his efforts though he wasn't treated to any action. 6 rods out in the water between us this afternoon and no not so much as a dropped-run. My mid-morning to early afternoon feeding window seems to be backing up.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Upper Reservoir - Team Snig & Snag

I somehow managed to convince an equally mad about fishing friend of mine - going by the name of 'Johnny Panto' to join me on an early start and early finish session on Upper reservoir this morning. 5am at mine was the arrangement and we agreed to fish until 12.30pm. We arrived in good time, early enough to require a head torch to set up. I'd like to finish reporting the blog from this point, sadly though as honest as I am I shall continue............

Despite my efforts this morning I drew a blank. Panto caught three in total, there I said it. 'The Snag Unit' caught two on his lure rod, and one on a deadbait rod. His best fish being around 7lb's. I was taught a lesson today though and that is to bring my lure rod next time. Damn!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Better session on Upper Reservoir

6am and I peeked through the curtains and checked the weather, Christ! It was absolutely chucking it down and blowing a gale too boot. I did the sensible thing and went back to bed, no fishing for me today. 9am and another look out of the window, no change. But the thought was there, should I? Could I? In this weather! Surely not! I'd have to be mental! Stuff it I'm going fishing. I made my way to the Upper Reservoir , avoiding the Sluice, as after all the rain we've had it will surely be pumping and coloured up - rendering Pike fishing useless.

As I arrived at Rivington I was greeted by a madman waving frantically at me, what did he want? I ignored him obviously. I then realised what he was trying to tell me, the road ahead was flooded and there was no way I could get through. I quickly found an alternative route and went about setting up. I fished 2 deadbait rods and 1 livebait rod on a sunken paternoster rig. The first rod to go was the deadbait rod, something had taken a liking to a Joey Mackerel. I was into a good lump too, not much of a fight but still a pleasing site when she was on the bank.

So to the photo, I sacked her up and returned her to the water while I prepared to weigh her and take a quick snap, all was going well when disaster, as I picked her up out of the water she slipped out of my hands and made good her escape, instinctively (Stupidly) I chased into the water after her, why would I do this? But I did. What a sight I must have looked legging it into the drink waving my net. Damn! So my best fish out this Reservoir and there is no photo to show for it. Never mind - it's the catch that matters not the photo. For the record I'd put the weight at around 12 to 13 pounds. A few hours later my livebait rod was away, a Pike of around 5lb's the result. So that was the end of my Pike catches for the day, despite staying until the edge of dark.

Oh dear!

Not the biggest fish of the session :(

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Upper Reservoir - Last man standing!

I couldn't resist heading down to the Reservoir for the opening day of the Pike season, I sauntered down there though and I arrived around 10.30ish. I wasn't alone in wanting to fish there on the opening day, fellow blogger Paddy Swift had a great session, you can read his report here in fact I knew most of the lads that were fishing on the members section of the water. I started the session by fishing on the tip to collect some bait, and would you believe it, bites were pretty hard to come by, most ironic as it was a bite a chuck the day before. I treated today's session as a dusting down day, I wasn't in a rush to get the Pike rods out, my first Pike of the winter season was a Jack Pike of around 2lb's my second fish was another Jack Pike of around 3lb's. Both fish came on a Sunken paternoster rig, which leads me back to my point of a dusting down day, as I'd never used this rig before, so it was pleasing to get an instant result. I also had a run on a deadbait rod I struck into it but didn't set the hooks, Damn! I stayed until dark and as far as I know I was the last person on the water. I'm looking forward to some decent sessions on here over the winter

Rods waiting for action