October has come and my attentions have now turned for a little while on to the Pike, I will this season make a concerted effort to catch a 20lb specimen and with plenty of knowledge now I hope that this will put me in a better position to capture my target. I kick started my Pike season on the Royalty and needless to say that the weather was certainly not what you expect at the beginning of October, 24c unabated sunshine, it felt like I was in an oven wearing my jeans and top, it's no wonder why the Pike weren't really on it, a few came out over the fishery but these all came out early morning before the sun started beating down.
I was joined by Brian for a bumper Pike trip, only problem was the bumper session didn't really materialize and we ended up struggling for hours to get knocks and interest, Brian managed a Pike of roughly 8lb and although not massive it was a welcome sight for sore eyes, the day seemed to fly past as I switched over to the trotting gear and armed with a couple of pints of maggots I aimed at bagging up on Chub, plenty were showing at the bottom of the railway pool and at first were very obliging as a constant flow of fish came to the net which seemed to average around 2lb, at the tail of the pool I spotted my target of the shoal, a Chub way over 6lb and probably a 7lber as the sheer size of it in comparison to everything was immense, clearly a big fish but had the knowledge to match as she wasn't even interested, how that would have changed the tone of the day.
|Captured among the shoal of Chub.|
|Too many of these.|
As evening approached we headed to our first choice swim and got our baits out in position, it didn't take long as the sun began to fail my float disappeared and I was connected to what at first I thought was a Perch but turned out to be the smallest Pike I've ever caught, cute....if a Pike can be called that.
Next cast the float went under again and another Pike of roughly 3-4lb thrashed around before being netted, it was kicking off but nothing big though, slipped that one back and the float stayed motionless for around 20 seconds and then it was gone again.....thought why couldn't it be like this all day!!, a better fish tore off and hung deep, this fish was no jack and she came up to the surface after a few minutes and tail walked twice before charging into a weed bed and went solid, after prodding the weed bed to try and release the Pike, a fish of 13-14lb broke free and shook the rig out releasing the end tackle and float, such a shame to have lost that fish, I really would have been happy with that, that's for sure.
|Slightly better but not massive.|
A few choice words and turning the air blue I thought let's get another bait and again "normal" service resumed as the float lay flat on the surface then tore off out into the bay, not a double but a fish of 7lb 8oz is not terrible, just have no luck really in catching bigger fish, so frustrating. After fish the Pike switched off totally and the feeding frenzy was over, we packed up on time and headed off to the pub for a couple and a Pizza. Happy days and all it missed was a 20lb Pike!.
Friday now and from the Royalty we headed to the Test in search of more chalk-stream Pike, a beautiful crisp morning was followed by a very warm blast of summer sunshine, I thought it was going to be tough from the get go and I wasn't to be wrong as Brian and I slaughtered the river with a selection of lures and we had no joy at all. With this going pear shaped at around 10am I decided to switch over to trotting and locate some Grayling, the trotter in me could simply not resist the opportunity to catch these stunning fish, so I found a shoal and spent the next 5 hours working my way through them and I had alot better success than I did with the Pike.
I ended the session on 22 Grayling to 1lb 10oz and ten over a pound which was fantastic, the shoal kept me there longer than I thought it would as I kept seeing this Grayling that I suspect weighed around 2.4-2.8, a certain personal best but she kept appearing then disappearing, that elusiveness had me transfixed and determined to catch her, needless to say by 3pm I hadn't managed to but at least one good fish is still around, a few Brown and Rainbow Trout fell to my single maggot approach too.
|Best of the day at 1lb 10oz.|
|A lovely brace of mid-1's.|
The evening wasn't too far away so we decided to start preparing for the Pike and found a fantastic looking slack and we set our traps, filled with optimism we sat glued to our rods but unfortunately the only take came to Brian's rod as a Rainbow Trout took a liking to his Sprat hook-bait, a shame but the day was spent in lovely part of the world and I had a fantastic day for the Grayling.