As March approaches and the likelihood of the Pike spawning gets higher I get more weary of targeting them knowing the rigours they are about to go through. That said down here in the south for some reason they seem to spawn later, why? I think it is simply down to the temperatures but I am probably wrong. Brian is most likely the best person to answer that question, knowing I still have a week or two before the females start to gang up in preparation to spawn I decided to give them one more go.
Having already had a good winter I would really love to catch another twenty from a river, one so far this season is brilliant, the specimen head tells me to keep going and something far more special could end up in the folds of my net. To really know whether I'll get that chance I have to keep at it.
Bait this last few weeks has been tough to find and my reserves have been depleted. In the knowledge that I have to get bait before I can get out Piking does reduce my time out in search of them. Fast forward four hours I gave up and headed off for Pike, with three unwilling participants I made it to the Esox areas and hoped that something would be feeding. Having walked over a mile to my first port of call I could see plenty of features in the water and having spent a bit of time here this winter I have become quite fond of a few certain spots, this first one is one of my most productive.
However, it wasn't to be that day (Saturday) as I trotted a bait around for nearly thirty minutes without a sniff and my chublet remained unphased which is always a good hint that theres not much going on. With that I headed on up another 150 yards upstream to a narrower section where I have had a couple of smaller fish from up to around 10lb, this time I could again see plenty of features which screamed Pike, the biggest lure of this particular swim is a sunken tree where the Pike sit alongside and intercept whatever passes them. I only had to drop it in the margins and let the bait do the work....twenty seconds or so later my float went berserk as a decent sized Esox chased and nailed the chub. I allowed a couple of seconds to pass before leaning into the fish and seemed a good hook hold was in place and the fight began.
A specimen of possibly 14-17lb was charging around in front of me, scaring shoals of fry in the process, it looked a good fish, so I readied the net, albeit a little prematurely as she certainly wasn't finished. The longer the fight went on the more nervous I got, then in the blink of an eye she rolled on the surface and shook her head, which threw my chub clean in the air and off she went. I couldn't believe it.
As cautiously as I played her I played it back in my mind and don't think I could have done any better, just rotten luck I guess. All I could do was get another bait on and try again. So thats what I did, unfortunately I had to wait a couple of hours before I got another enquiry, I walked and fished many spots that looked likely and just as dusk was approaching my float dipped and thundered off, no mistake in its intention, finally I got my chance.
And with a slice of luck and good angling I made sure this opportunity didn't pass me by! A peach to boot aswell. My day was complete and on my only remaining livebait too. Days like this are sent to test us but rewards like these are there if we stick to the task. This more than likely will be the last roll of the dice. What a lovely fish to finish on if it is my last Pike trip of the winter.
|Made me smile! 16lb 0oz of a riverine powerhouse.|