Sunday, 7 December 2014

Blanking........Common Theme These Days.

 Time has been hard to come by recently with any spare time being spent on getting ready for Christmas, but Saturday morning was reserved solely for a trip out at dawn for Pike, in the outskirts of London winter has finally arrived and the thermometer in my parents garden read -2c.....perfect for Pike and I was hoping for a bright start, I had set up 2 rods, the first a sleeper rod armed with a 4'' dead Roach on a float fished slightly over depth and the second was used to throw some slow crank lures as the Esox were probably laying dormant on the bottom conserving energy so getting the bait down to them would be paramount to catching, 10 minutes or so of fishing and with the sun barely casting a glow across the night sky my sleeper rod bung started to dance about which was followed by a sharp pull under, the moment I hoped would happen.

Autumn going and winter is here.
Woke up to a lovely frosty landscape.
But this tasty bit of grub warmed me up big time.

 As I struck into the fish a decent weight hung on deep in the main channel and stayed 30-40 yards out for 4 or so minutes, I immediately thought I had hooked into a monster Pike and the fight was impressive to say the least but I was becoming slightly anxious that I still hadn't seen the culprit for the magnificent battle, being that I was using sturdy gear ( 20lb line & 45lb wire trace ) I began to apply a little more pressure and not before long a very good double figure Esox broke the surface and although she didn't look defeated the specimen slowly headed straight for the net that I had out and prepared, I thought to myself just play it easy for the last 10-15ft so no mistakes would be made......

........then my run of bad luck continued as the Pike turned away from me and swam for deeper water again the movement of its head as she bolted away from the bank threw the semi-barbless treble and the fish I estimated to be between 16-18lbs was gone and was quickly followed by a disgruntled slump of the shoulders and a few chosen words, some not suitable before the watershed!!.

 I have been cursing my luck with good Pike this season, 3 good doubles have been lost due to hook pulls and it's not something I enjoy at all, hard enough finding them but to have actually hooked and so nearly landed them seems all too much sometimes, such a shame. I carried on hoping they were feeding as I would expect in the freezing temperatures we are now experiencing but with a couple of hours gone without another indication I had to move on and seek more water that I know hold fish and some of serious proportions which I haven't managed to come across yet.

 With a few miles walking between my next swim that I had in mind there was plenty of time to dwell on what had happened earlier in the morning as to what went wrong but I felt everything that I did was the right thing at the right time and do put it down to seriously bad luck and although I could use a barbed treble to try and improve my landing ratio I do like to stay away from them as if I was to deep hook a fish for any sort of reason I would hopefully do it no harm easing out a semi-barbed treble where as a barbed treble will surely be secured at 3 points as opposed to 1 at the most.

A battle scarred skelly of 2.4
Greedy sod.
 Midday had been and gone and I was struggling really badly, bites weren't materilizing and fish could not be found everywhere I went apart from a rogue Thames Chub that nailed a gold 7g Mepps spinner which had seen better days but certainly had a good appetite, which was more than what could be said for the Pike but the colour of the river wasn't great and I'll put that fact down to the lack of action I had during the day, by 3o'clock I had all but given up my search and headed off home dwelling on what a fantastic day it could have been but it was a beautiful day to be out and nice to see winter in its splendour but surely will get better as it gets colder.


  1. Unlucky mate. Totally agree about barbed trebles and you're right to stay away. They are an absolute death trap; I couldn't be tempted to use them if I lost a hundred twenties at the net.

    1. Im not an advocate of barbed hooks at all but it has to be said they do have there uses when they are micro-barbed, but as for trebles being barbed I couldn't use them knowing how far down they can get hooked and could you imagine deep hooking a 20lb Pike and it dying due to the loss of blood or if you were to wreck it's gill rakes?, I couldn't sleep at night knowing that I'd just killed something, that's totally against everything I believe in and feel that they deserve a lot of respect, the least I can do is release them back to fight again another day in the same condition they were caught in, but I know that not everyone will agree with me and argue that barbed hooks cause no damage to Pike and have never had a fatality. Each to their own I suppose.

      Tight Lines Russell. J.

    2. I find the skin inside a pikes mouth very loose and flabby which can make pushing a barb out very difficult if it's inside the mouth. I want to get circle hooks to work but at the moment I just need to get out on the bank full stop!

    3. Well I'm not finding a lot of time myself but over Christmas I should get a fair few hours on the bank.....much to my delight and I have invested in a fishing boat!, so I know where some huge Pike live but without a boat they can't be gotten, the time has come, but will I get one?. I hope you manage some time out though, but barbed trebles belong in the tackle shop and not on the bank being used.

  2. Hello there James, I replied to you on my blog regarding the pike fishing on the Loddon, not sure if you maybe missed it as I know people don't always check back on replies.If you would like some more information and if I can perhaps be of some help please email me ( and I will try.


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