Thursday, 31 January 2019

Pike Hunt: Hole-y Saturday...

 This day was always going to come along at some point. Another day planned in search of Pike and another day spent roving with an eye on the prize of another river twenty. A nice hour and thirty minute drive was punctuated by a series of dreadful roadworks which caused tailbacks of a couple of miles which seemed like it took an eternity to get through, all the while my Pike time was ebbing away and all I could think of was getting on the water.

Dreaming of catching more.

 Finally I reached the river and no time was wasted in getting the rod set up, within two minutes a bait was lobbed out and ready to go. I couldn't wait to get on it and with good reason too. Before dusk a large band of rain was pushing in and a quick drop in pressure meant it was going to get fairly windy too which never bodes well for stalking. Knowing this I pressed on my pursuit and settled for only two or three casts per 20-40 meters and allow the bait to drift through all the little eddy's etc.

 Twenty minutes or so had passed before the first enquiry and my float slipped under in typical jerky fashion, a quick wind down to the fish confirmed a Pike, albeit not a big one it didn't matter. 9lb 13oz, I'll take that. For starters. Back out with a fresh bait and I could see nothing in the run (mind you, I didn't see the one I'd just landed), so I moved on up when I came across a lump sat side by side with a fish fairly smaller, and that was a low to mid double! Was it a twenty? I was dead keen to find out.

Decent start!

 In a frenzied panic I got a bait out near the Pike to arouse a response but it wasn't the response I thought I'd get. As the Chublet approached she backed off then stormed upstream ten yards before slowly dropping back down onto position, I couldn't believe it. Not to be put off by the strange rejection I tried again with a similar reaction. After the second rejection I thought about leaving the swim and trying later, but I couldn't walk away from a fish that looked every bit 17-18lbs, not quite a twenty from what I could see but bloody close.

 Out went the bait again, this time I shallowed up the fishing depth and cast well upstream of her position which allowed the bait to slowly approach the awaiting Pike, all this time she sat on station, almost as if she waiting for the bait to come down again. Which it did. This time the outcome was explosive, at no point was I ever in doubt of her intentions this time. A massive gulp of water encompassed my bait and the rod lurched unhealthily to the river. I was connected to a lump but the battle was something of a damp squib as within a minute or so I had her laying in the net and ready.

 I popped her out to get her weighed and photographed, on the scales she was pretty much what I thought she'd be, all 18lb 9oz and I was well chuffed to have met her acquaintance. I snapped a couple of images off on my iphone to send to Brian and then decided as she had been a minute or so is to get her back in the water to revive...this decision however was to bite me horribly on the backside as I had left her to rest for a couple of minutes she had gained strength and began to show signs of fight. The decision to leave her for another thirty seconds proved to be the nail in the coffin as far as a trophy shot went.

my impromptu shot ended up being the shot!

 With a couple of powerful strokes of the tail she found a small hole in my net and I watched in horror as that hole became a gaping tear for which she swam through and back into the river! I watched in horror and couldn't believe it. That was not in the script and my fifth biggest ever Pike got away...yes I got a mat shot on my phone and knew what she weighed but I was fairly peeved by it. You live and you learn!

 After watching her saunter off into the deep I spent the next twenty minutes stitching up my net with 20lb fishing line so I could continue with my trip. What a palava.

 The fishing after the eighteen went down hill and cast after cast and section after section revealed no action and it wasn't until the light was failing and time running out did the float bob, one last time.

Another stunning river double!

 After negotiating a perilous snag in the margins I slipped my somewhat raggedy net under Pike number three. A beauty to finish off with and I was very pleased with my haul. 2 doubles and 1 just missing out. Not bad at all because just as I made it back to the car the heavens opened with that forecasted rain, perfect timing.


  1. Gutting that you didn’t get the trophy shot of the eighteen, but could be worse - pretty sure that’s the fish I lost a few days earlier :-(

  2. It may well be her although we know thats not the only lump loitering around!


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