Saturday, 11 December 2021

No Pleasure Without Pain.


 I write todays blog nursing a sore head as a very good friend of mine proposed to his other half and went out to celebrate and it was someones brilliant idea to order a large bottle of Tequila to the table along with copious other tipples, problem was I was one of only three of the party that likes Tequila, good for me! Or maybe not......I'm a touch on the lite side today and will abstain from any other alcoholic beverages until next week I feel, at 34 it is beginning to catch up with me, I never used to get pumping headaches like this.

 Kids, if any read this, consume alcohol in moderation, be sensible!

 Anyway, let's talk fishing. Yesterday was my first proper trip out in search of Pike. The previous Saturday I spent the morning out with my brother Rich and Brian for a recce on a local lake but only two small jack' were caught before the sun heralded the end of the feeding spell that we clearly just hit as we arrived.

 I arrived on the river having bullied my way through the northbound traffic around dawn and set about searching out water from the outset, big Pike were certainly what I desired but on rivers the prospect of catching one is much slimmer than I'd probably like. One thing that struck me was how overgrown the section of river I targeted yesterday has become over the last few years, some areas that were accessible just three years ago are practically impossible to get within 20 yards of the bank, two of my most successful areas were now totally out of reach and with huge bramble bushes everywhere it made for very uncomfortable fishing when I could get to the bank.

 Careful not to make areas obvious to other anglers I sought to brush through vegetation rather than crush or break so if I did catch I could keep them to myself if at all possible. Pressure + Pike = No Pike! It's not a scenario that I wanted to create. 

 As I looked through the surface layer to search for Pike I was rewarded very quickly as a large shape ambled past me that was possibly in the margins and it may have eased out into flow as it heard me cursing and making noise (not that I wanted to) as everything kept catching on the dense foliage and bramble thorns scratching and digging me as I tried to creep into position. 

 By the time I got organised the Pike had swam upstream and I lost its positioning so I decided to just grab my net and rod and try to relocate it, this took nearly an hour to do so but when I did find her I got myself in the best position possible, knelt down to keep myself off the eyeline and underarm flicked out my bait and allowed it drift down the current where I could just make out in the chop of gusty wind a flare of the gills and with that my float bobbed and then started to head over to the far bank margins where fallen trees offered bit of a headache so I struck a bit earlier than I normally would, thankfully for me I didn't need to worry as a rather dour fight played out in the flow before succumbing to the net in a very relaxed manner before going bat shit crazy in the net, at least she was mine and it was a big fish! 

 First thoughts were that she would cruise past twenty pounds, so I couldn't wait to find out what she'd go.

Oooooo, that will most certainly do!!

 Well it wasn't a twenty but not far off, registering a very pleasing 19lb 9ozs and what an opener for my winter season, conditions were not great but this was an awesome start. She was in great shape and feel she will be a comfortable twenty come end of February. 

 I slipped her back and composed myself before continuing. Problem was that I really really struggled to find another fish, I roved around numerous good looking areas, large slacks, undercut banks, weed beds etc, where I suspect Pike would be hiding up. But truth be told by about 1330 I was thinking of packing up knowing the traffic around dusk was going to be terrible as it always is on a Friday, so I headed back towards where I'd parked the car and opted to just have a quick rove in each spot to see if I had missed anything, I am glad I did! I could just make out the shape of a Pike about five pounds or so, nothing big but another bend in the rod would be fine with me. Oddly though the Pike was not even interested, as I retrieved the bait and large swirl erupted under my feet, I stopped the retrieve immediately and allowed the bait to waft down in the water column when it was inhaled by another very good Pike. 

 This one however did fight, completely opposite to the first, the initial take was met with pure power and a long surging run upstream didn't do anything to ease my nerves, then after a couple of minutes when I finally gained full control I could see the semi-barbless treble on the edge of its beak! I knew I needed to get this one in, but I couldn't. The net got stuck in the brambles somehow and I could not free it, so now I had angry Pike on a tiny hook hold and a net wrapped up with no help, it was a disaster waiting to happen, I had no choice but to ease off the clutch, put the rod down and try my best to free the net, it took a few minutes and a few little tares it finally came free, luckily for me the Esox was beaten so it didn't move and I gently slipped the net under it. 

 My trusty Avon's registered 16lbs 7ozs and the second fish of a brace weighing 36lbs exactly, I was very very happy, but very very ripped up, my hands and forearms are marked all over, put two holes in my jacket, a few small tares in my new Korum net etc, no pleasure without pain!!!!!

 By 2pm I was done and gone. Bish bash bosh, a pukka pair of esox.


  1. Replies
    1. Yes BB, I'd say so! just want to try get a few more on the bank before the season finishes.

      Tight Lines.

  2. Stunning looking pike - effort really worth the reward there - nice one!

    1. Cheers mate! It was dreadful down there to get to the banks, don't know about a chainsaw it needs a coarse of NAPALM!!!!

      But, yes I am super chuffed at the result, two bites, two Pike.

  3. I've always described pike fishing as 'giving blood', it's usually from their teeth but brambles are acceptable.

    A very nice brace, the bottom one looks a real racing snake.

    Oh, and as for the headache, serves you right :o)

    1. Yes, I couldn’t say no to Tequila, it’s just not in my make-up!

      As for the Piking it was a pukka start and in truth that 16 was actually quite plump, laying on the mat you get a good idea of how tubby she was, upright you don’t see that!

  4. Great brace of fish, well done!!

    1. Cheers Adam! I really hope it’s the beginning of a successful winter in search of them, my instinct tells me I won’t get many chances out in search of them mind you.

  5. Cracking James !!! wish I could get near fish that size

    1. I wish my local rivers had them too, for any good Piking I’ve got to travel about an hour at the minimum, so that reduces the amount of opportunities for short sessions. So I need a good 4-6hrs available to make it worth while. On this occasion it really was worth it.


Back to Plan A.

   I am well behind on this post, life has just been far too busy for fishing and all that comes associated with it, to tell the truth I am ...