Thursday, 28 April 2011

Jukes first boated Fish

When I set the alarm for 2:15 am that can only mean one thing. A day's fishing on Juke with Ben was a foot.

We arrived at the water just as day was breaking. As we are becoming more familiar with the water we have started to name the various swims that we fish. Some of which will not make any sense to anyone but myself and Ben. I will refer to them throughout the blogging as they will make a valuable reference tool for years to come.

We anchored up in 26 Bay and sat it out for a few hours. We fished 2 dead baits each and cast various lures in the area. Nothing came to the lures, but one of Ben's floats signalled a take. Wow! Was this to be the first fish to be boated on the new boat? Both our hearts were racing as the float started to move off. I readied the net... Then it stopped. The Pike had dropped the bait. Damn! We concluded that it must have been a small Jack Pike, the bait was a fair sized Mackerel, too big for the rooting Jack.

A couple more swims were tried and early afternoon we dropped anchor at Seagull Island. We'd been there perhaps half an hour when my float started bobbing. Yes! I was in! I struck the take and a positive resistance confirmed that indeed I had a fish on. We were fishing over 20ft of water and it was an amazing sight to see her as she came up to the surface. I'm not used to catching Pike in 'gin clear' water. The first fish on Juke weighed 10lb 10oz. Not a bad start to our boating adventues.

Ben has some great video footage of her going back into the water. I'll post that as soon.

We finished off the session with a bit of trolling. A good way to learn the water and to find features, depths and drop offs etc. Ben even had a take. Alas it came off. Time to read up all about Trolling for our next visit then.

The first boated Pike. 10lb 10oz

A very low flying Chinook Helicopter
Back she goes

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Three PB's in a day

Bank Holiday Monday

I had a few options of when and where to go fishing this weekend, eventually I chose to fish for Tench. Some will argue that it's too early for this particular species. They're wrong! Why hold back on catching them? They come to no harm being fished for at this time of year. They're just waking up from their winter slumber, and once located they will provide a great days sport.

A visit to the water the week before resulted in a disappointing session. I managed to catch just one Tench and two Bream. (I never thought I'd regard a session where I caught a 5+ Tench and two Bream over 4lb's a disappointment, perhaps I'm becoming a little expectant) The Tench were feeding but not on the side of the lake that I was at. I watched the water throughout the day and one peg in particular was doing the business. That would be the peg I'd head to on my next visit.

Bank holiday Monday! A foolish day to be going fishing? The thought had crossed my mind, but rather surprisingly the water wasn't full of anglers.

I was set up in my swim before sunrise ready to catch the early morning Tench feeding. As daylight appeared it became apparent that there was a thick fog surrounding the area.

As the fog lifted, the sun finally managed to make an appearance. Within a couple of minutes of the glaring sun hitting the lake I was in to my first Tench. A coincidence? I'd say not. The fog must have been putting them off the feed. A theory perhaps backed up by the fact that as I was playing my fish, my other rod was screaming off. I'd sat there for three hours with nothing to show and suddenly I was in to two at the same time.

I landed both fish, a brace of 5lb Tench. Things were looking up. I cast the tip rod to mid water and picked up what I thought was a Bream. I couldn't believe my eyes when I netted a stunning Roach of 1lb 7oz. A new PB Roach for me and by some margin too. I was delighted with this catch and I was thankful that it came on the tip rod and not the ledger rod, as it made the catch a little more special.

The Tench fed steadily throughout the day and I ended up with a record haul of 12 Tench in total and an average stamp of around 5lb +

The biggest Tench of the day was a right old lump of 7lb 4oz. I'd managed to beat my old Tench PB by 1lb 7oz. Another catch made all the sweeter as it also came on the tip.

The 1lb 7oz Roach

The 5lb Brace

7lb 4oz and a new PB

Friday, 22 April 2011

A very Good Friday Carping on the tip

Good Friday was here and although I couldn't take the whole day off work, I would have chance to fit a good few hours fishing in. I made my way to a water that contains some good Carp and Tench.

The weather was absolutely scorching today, easily above 70 Fahrenheit . The kiss of death for any fishing session if you ask me.

I fished on the Greys G-Tec 9ft 6" Bomb rod on bread flake. I was getting bites but wasn't connecting anything. I was obviously suffering to the hands of smaller fish. After a few frustrating hours I'd had enough so switched over to the method.

I was sweltering in the burning heat, cursing to myself that I hadn't gone fishing earlier in the morning, more likely when the fish were feeding!

Eventually after several hours my rod wrapped around and I was in to a good fish, it felt a good lump too. On light tackle it took me a good 10 minutes to land. I was pretty happy to see a rather nice looking Common Carp of 12lb 2oz land in the net.

My first Carp of the year but not the last as two more followed, the second 6lb+ and the third a very hard fighting Mirror Carp weighing 10lb.

What great fun Catching Carp on the tip is, until today I'd never caught a Carp on the tip before. I'll definitely be having another go at them soon.

12lb 2oz Common Carp
6lb 5oz
10lb Mirror Carp

Monday, 18 April 2011

A Bream and an unintentional Pike

I asked Allan as to where his preferred fishing destination would be for this Saturday's session. And he chose well. We headed for the first time this year to the Bream water.

We arrived just after dinner and our intentions were to fish it an hour or two into dark.

The fishing was steady but not prolific, I caught a few Roach and Skimmers. If I remember rightly I think I ended up with 21 fish on the day, Allan fared a little better with 27 or so. The Bream were a no show, although around 10pm Allan landed a cracking fish of 5lb 2oz. They say Bream feed in shoals and once you catch one if they stay on your bait you'll catch them all. Well not on this occasion, as this was the only Bream of the session.

My session wasn't without incident. There was a opportunist Pike striking at the Roach as I was putting them back in the water. I'd say that throughout the day it had snaffled around 6 of my fish. Finally the inevitable happened, as I was bringing a fish in, the Pike struck and and my tip rod bent over double as it tried to make off with it's free meal. During the fight I'd managed to hook the Pike in it's scissors. The Battle was cut short by Allan's swift netting skills. The Pike was around 5lb. It looked like it had been in the wars a little. Scars from recent spawning activities I'd wager.

I just can't seem to be able to get away from these them there Pike!

The 5lb 2oz Bream
The probably 5lb Pike

Meet Juke

Since the very first time I ever cast a rod with my friend Ben, the subject of owning a boat has been touched upon many times. At the end of last year the opportunity for Ben to finally own a boat of his own came along, and his long time dream had at last come to fruition.

Ben has worked tirelessly over the last few months fettling the boat. There is a saying amongst boat owners "A boat is a hole in the water into which you throw money into" This is perhaps a saying that Ben would almost certainly agree with. The list of purchases he's had to make before launching Juke is unenviable. Anchors, rope, chain, battery, floor matting, life jackets, electric motor, tow bar are to name just a few.

Thursday the 14TH April was to be the day that we would finally launch Juke. We headed on to a large glacial water and went about exploring various bays and swims and checking depths with the on board fish finder. We found a few decent areas to fish and went about casting lures. We didn't catch anything but we weren't too bothered as today was more about learning boat craft than catching fish... Hopefully that will come on our next trip.

We had a great day exploring the water, and I couldn't have asked for a better ending. As we came into shore Ben was the first to disembark, as he stepped out of the boat he lost his footing and disappeared out of sight (I'm laughing so much I'm struggling to write this) fully submerged he came back up absolutely soaking, making a mockery of the fact that he was wearing waders :D


Ben and Juke

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Spoons are not just for desserts

The Piking rods are hung up in the garage and I probably won't be bringing them out until late August beginning of September. Some may argue that October 1st is the traditional day of the start of the Piking season. However given that most waters will be in flood in November and the possibility that December through to January the waters will probably be frozen over, the Piking season is somewhat cut short by the elements.

Having said that the nights are getting longer, and the opportunity to head to a water to cast a few lures is almost too hard to resist.

I called Allan and suggested we head to a private water to see if we could tempt a Pike or two, foolishly he was agreeable.

The water we fished is pretty large and there are a few bays that hold a good head of bait fish. What self respecting Pike wouldn't set up home there?

I tried several lures but eventually chose a kuusamo spoon which Gord had talked me in to buying. (which I haven't paid him for yet. I'm sure he's losing a bit of sleep over this, no seriously he will be losing sleep over it, he's reminded me to pay him for it I'd say no less than six occasions.)

Spoons are often neglected on waters in favour of more 'in vogue' lures such as replicant's and Rapala's. My personal best Pike of 26 lb fell to a spoon. The flash of steel caught by the overhead sun as it cuts though the water is often far too a temptation for a Pike laying in ambush to resist.

A point soon proven by the fact that the only fish caught on this session fell to a spoon.

A Pike of around 6lb a little battle scarred probably from the rituals of recent spawning activities put a nice bend in the Jerkbait rod.

Just couldn't resist the spoon

The kuusamo 'Professor' spoon

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Bagging up time!

I'm becoming a little disillusioned with the world of blogging. The reasons for now I shan't go in to. It's even crossed my mind to finish blogging altogether. However I have been putting quite a few fish on the bank of late, so I felt inspired to write a little report.

My first Carping night fishing trip of the year, produced 3 decent sized Bream all of which were around the 4lb mark. No Carp on this trip. Panto fared a little better by landing two Carp around 9lb's.

I also fished a local lake and fished the Method, two Tench and one Chub provided a little sport, but on the whole it was a quiet session.

An early visit to a favoured Tench water wasn't the most porductive of sessions, although I did land one Tench of 5lb 8oz and a Pike of around a pound took a liking to my ledgered hook bait.

On a better note, the fish on the canal have well and truly woken up, no longer am I scrapping around in the reeds with bread punch hoping to catch a few small Roach.

I headed to my local stretch on Thursday, the weather was overcast and there was a light breeze causing a light ripple on the water.

It's a great sign of how the session is going to fish when you have a fish in the net within the first minute of fishing.

I caught a good head of Skimmers, Roach, Bream and even the odd Gudgeon, which were recently stocked in this water.

I finished the day with just over 14lb of fish, I even took the trouble to count them there were 53 in total. I'll be heading back there in the next week or so hoping for a big bag of Bronze Bream.

Wakey! Wakey!

First bag up of the year