For many seasons now the thought of Pike fishing had excited me to the point that I'd hatch so many plans in order to catch them, so much so that they would be neglected almost entirely every time late-autumn would settle in. I guess as a species they didn't excite me enough. Looking back now it seems absurd, what can I say, other than I really feel that I am making up for lost time. This season has already been my most successful in relation to the amount of trips embarked on.
For me, rivers are naturally my favourite watercourses to tackle and I am yet to have caught a stillwater pike this season, I suppose one has to fish a stillwater to catch one. I will look to put that right soon enough, however, the river pike fishing I have access to is too good to ignore, the rawness of the stretches that I fish and the ever changing scenarios met on the bank or boat is what keeps me coming back time and time again. Since fishing for Pike a little more frequently I have discovered just how exciting it is, even when you aren't catching. Whilst on the look out for fish in clear waterways like the Wessex trio and rivers a little closer to home it can be an education in itself.
There is one place that I have Pike fished over the last 3 years that I can't get enough of, access is difficult and the fish are certainly not easy, however once you catch one you are well and truly hooked by the stunning appearances. Armed with some bait and my basic gear I hit the river. With the water being fairly murky on my arrival I hoped that I wouldn't struggle to locate fish and having arrived around 1330 I had just a couple of hours to locate a fish and be successful in catching her.
That proved to be more difficult than I envisaged as I couldn't find a Pike over 6lb and surely wanted something a little larger to reward me for the effort made to get there. Two hours came and went before I found a nice Pike, mid double from what I could see, tucked up under a far side bush on a narrow part of the river. My task was to get a bait close and the benefit of using small chublet is they love cover and the little tyke made its way straight towards the cover where the Pike lye. I thought it was a foregone conclusion, how wrong was I!
As my bait got within two-foot of the stationary Pike it spooked and bolted from under the bush and into mid river right in front of me, now by this point the sun was already losing its strength and dusk was not far away, I knew I didn't have long. So I wound my bait in and plopped it upstream of the pikes new holding station and let the bait drift down, again as it got roughly two-foot in front I could see the Pike shudder and in a flash of the flaring gills my bait was gone and the float bombed under, by that point I had already struck and I was battling a decent fish. A couple of powerful runs had line peeling from the spool in spectacular fashion and almost didn't want the fight to end but knew I had to get her in. Thankfully the hook hold was pretty good, right in the scissors and typically when Pike are hooked there they rarely come off, however they butcher the trace so its always a replacement job. However, with a Pike now in the net and on the mat its a small price to pay for such excitement.
Seeing her in the water I thought she was a little larger, nevertheless I was very happy to cap an afternoons fishing with a 14lb 9oz Esox, in less than ideal conditions! What with the constant soaking and the cloudy river it did make for a tough day, it all ended well!