Catch Fish with
For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
Early pike and a mini'grand slam'.
It gets light very early these days and although I like a spot of dawn fishing it takes an effort to get up unless I think the fishing might be a bit special. Anyway, the other morning I felt the urge to get up and go to the river simply to give it a try. I arrived as the sky was just starting to lighten and began fishing with a size 4 Ondex spinner on my little Teklon Concept rod and Mitchell Mag Pro reel - easy spinning. After twenty minutes of fruitless cast and retrieve I was thinking I'd made a mistake and wishing I had stayed in bed. Then, in the shallow water at the tail of a pool I had a pull and hooked a tiny perch, at least it was a fish. Next cast I had a better bite and found myself playing a half decent pike of about six pounds. It fought like stink in the shallow water until I was able to wrestle the camera out of my bag and take a few pictures. The hook was lodged outside the mouth of the fish but clearly it had grabbed the lure and missed. On the following cast I had another pike from the same area, then a small perch then I dropped a pike before landing a couple more. Six or seven fish in a very short period of time before the bites ceased as dawn broke. To me the interesting thing was the short period for which the fish seemed to be actively feeding - certainly no more than twenty to twenty five minutes. I MUST try it again soon to see if I can confirm the result. I know that the sea fish often have a very narrow window of activity at change of light but it would be good to check it out in the river.
In contrast my follow up session was to the same river on a bright but slightly overcast, warm afternoon. This time I chose to use a black and silver, J7, floating Rapala on the same rod, reel and line. My first choice of spot found the car park full of dog walkers so I drove on to another place further upstream. I began fishing on a gravel shallows below a weir. The water was gin clear and quite shallow (calf deep wading). With the polaroids I saw one or two small trout chase the lure but it was probably ten minutes before I had a proper bite. The lure was trailing downstream of where I stood and suddenly I had a ferocious hit and a fish exploded into the air. The trout was no monster and following a flurry of jumping and twisting it came in fairly easily and was released after a couple of pictures. About a pound-and-a-half I reckoned. I fished on for a further ten minutes before climbing out and walking upstream to some shallows where people tend to give their dogs a swim.
My first chuck was down into the very shallow water along my bank and I had barely straightened the line when the plug was taken. The fish was clearly a pike so it was played, photographed, unhooked and released before I fished on. My next bite came after I had cast into the deeper glide under the far bank. I thought at first that I'd hooked another trout but it wasn't long before the bump, bump of the fish told me it was a perch. It wasn't a bad fish for the stretch and again weighed well over a pound. I released it without returning to the bank then that was that - no more action of any sort. I soon got the message and returned to the car to drive back to my first choice spot. As I arrived another car was leaving so I parked and set off to the river to fish where I'd had my fish on the early morning session. This time I only had one bite which proved to be a tiny chub hooked on the tail treble of the lure.
I sort of regard the four species as a 'grand slam' for lure fishing in the river so although none of the fish were of any great size (the pike was the biggest) I went home well pleased with the session.
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My first early morning pike hooked under the head.
... and another pike, this time properly hooked.
Another picture of the same pike - still in the gloom.
The same one again - I just like the swirly patterns in tht water.
And a third reasonable pike..
The fourth one - a little smaller.
Ready to be unhooked.
The first fish of my second session in much brighter conditions.
Nicely hooked on the little balsa plug.
The afternoon's plugged jack pike.
A decent perch - my favourite fish of the trip.
The tiny baby chub to finish off my outing.