Today presented itself as a good opportunity to go off out and try dead baiting for a Pike or two, my brother Chris deciding last night that the offer to join me was too good to pass up, so we organised ourselves at 7am this morning and headed off into deep Surrey.
The river was in good nick and was perfect for spotting Pike in the shallower water, with a few small Pike proving easy to spot but not easy to catch, nearly every slack for around the first 100m had a Jack Pike in, good to see a healthy population but none over 3lbs so we carried on walking to try and find more hideouts where more substantial fish may be held up, awaiting it's moment to pounce on it's unsuspecting prey.
On a couple of the beats we found a few more Pike but unfortunately they weren't feeding, but the scenery was nice and it felt good to be out of London, no noise of traffic or sirens, just piece and quite, with the constant chirping of the Kingfisher's as they worked the river, we did however stop up in a good swim around 2 miles up from where we started, first of all I spotted a Pike around 7lb sat in a slack behind some vegetation but only moved to eat my bait once it had come off during a cast which annoyed me a little but these things happen, but I was to get a break when I moved around the large swim and ran a Sprat along the far bank, the bait was out around 10 seconds and the float had barely settled when it buried itself and headed for the overhanging trees on the far bank, allowing it a couple of seconds to take it properly I then lent into it and a solid fish tore off downstream, a Pike was on at last.
With the very small amount of Pike I have caught in my lifetime I had forgotten how dirty they fight, every piece of tree or bush it could head towards with the priority of busting me up, it headed straight for it, with fairly sturdy tackle knowing the specimens that are possible I managed to turn it's head away from it's lair, a short time later I had a good sized Esox on the bank.
11 lbs 3 oz of Autumn River Mole Pike.
I was a happy chappy with that fish, not a monster but for me it was my second biggest ever Pike, I have a feeling though that this winter is going to see me bank more of these and bigger, but for now it is good enough, a fine fish and almost pristine.
After releasing her back to it's watery home I put my rod away for a while and tried to help Chris in catching one, after an hour passing he still hadn't managed one but had three takes and missed all of them but the Sprats were coming back with lumps missing out of their stomachs, very odd indeed but we were to find out what the culprit's were soon enough when the same thing happened so we left the take to develop and see what it may bring, cue the Crayfish, bloody thing was hanging onto the Sprat as if it was the last morsel of food on the planet, I never knew they were in the Mole but we found out they are and some massive ones too, me thinks a crayfish salad should be on the menu soon, as they do taste great when fresh and alive, the meat is a lovely fluffy texture and tastes very good, but enough of the culinary talk back to fishing.
The Pike proved very tough, so we headed down a few miles to another part of the Mole, the Pike population is again fairy strong and they don't mind showing themselves but we headed to a deeper area at the tail end of a weir pool which screams Pike and it certainly showed it's credentials with another two Pike for myself and Chris on the last cast of the evening managed to achieve the full house with the capture of his own Esox Lucius, after many opportunities he finally got his most clear cut chance and made it count.
5 lb 3 oz long lean but surprisingly weighty.
A little terrorist of the silver stocks.
Some serious dentures, I'd hate to be a 4oz Roach sharing a river with that gob looking for me.
And Christopher's skinny 5 lb 2 oz and heavily scarred.
All in all it was a good day, a long one but nice to spend time out of London and we both came out with the plan to catch a Pike each and we did, happy days.
Autumn is definitely upon us, with tree's starting to turn and the evening's bringing cooler weather.