2014 – Session 4 – The One With The Choco-Mud Canal And The Nearly Not A Blank Pool Visit…

Today, Monday 27th January 2014, saw me visit my club’s stretch of the Shropshire Union Canal – but only for a very quick visit as it turned out. I arrived around 0830 intending to have a lure session for pike and perch (and chub too if they were interested in the lures) but  due to the water being very badly coloured – well, a clay suspension would be a better description really, I left at 0930. I had walked a few hundred yards along, casting in the ‘usual’ places with not a single touch – which was not at all surprising really due to visibility being so poor that the lures (a Shakespeare Midi S in Fire Tiger colours, and a Shakespeare Big S/Small S tandem lure in a similar colouration) were invisible to the eye at 3″ in depth. I used those particular lures as (a) they were the brightest colour I had and (b) they have a built in rattle to produce a sound pattern for predators to home in on. But as I say the water was so densely coloured I had no confidence at all and so decided to leave and visit one of my club’s pools for a couple of hours, that particular pool being on the way back home anyway, really.

Canal Lures

Canal Lures

So, I arrived at the pool at around 1015 and no time was spent setting up rod as it had been loaded up in the car fully tackled from the canal visit. There was no-one else there – and it remained so all the time I was there – millionaire fishing! 🙂

I wandered over to the far corner, one of my favourite places for all species as there is a shallow water (ca 3′) bay leading out into deeper water (ca 11′)  and also an island within casting range. I used a selection of lures including a roach coloured Shakespeare Midi S , a red and yellow banana deep diver,  and a Savage Gear Hard 4Play ‘Trout’ (19cm/52g) lure and spent around 45-60 minutes in that area without joy. I then decided to go back around the pool to fish the bank opposite my then current location and whilst doing so I made a few casts with the SG 4Play ‘Trout’ in good/likely looking places as I passed them by – and at one point I had a pike of around 5-7lb follow the lure in but only then to turn away at the very last moment :(.

Pool Lures

Pool Lures

Over the next hour I fished my way around the rest of the pool without any further excitement, eventually deciding to call it day at around midday as I needed to sort various things out for tomorrow.

But I did, on the way home, call in at the local Morrison’s and pick up three herring to try as bait later in the week. Never used them before and on a Facebook topic someone asked opinions of people’s favourite pike deadbaits which made me think of the herrings and the fact that I’d never actually tried them. Actually, Morrison’s had plenty of sprats too but had no sardines or mackerel – but I’ve plenty of all three of those in the freezer anyway.

BUT… the day wasn’t entirely fruitless – rather than I losing a lure or two, I actually found  a nice one bobbing in the margins that will be a good canal choice, I think – a floater but dives quickly and moderately deeply too it seems. And I also came home one bubble float to the good – bobbing away, again in the margins, not too far from the found lure actually.

As an aside you will note that I refer to the ‘S’ lures as being Shakespeare branded – there are also other makes (eg by ‘Predator Force’) of these type of lure (referred to generally as ‘alphabet lures’ due to the alpha-character type naming).

Shakespeare Big S Lure. Short, angled vane means dives relatively shallowly.

Shakespeare Big S Lure. Short, angled vane means dives relatively shallowly.

Predator Force 'Big S' Lure. Note the diving vane, larger and straighter than the Shakespeare Big S models meaning that this lure will dive far deeper.....

Predator Force ‘Big S’ Lure.
Note the diving vane, larger and straighter than the Shakespeare Big S models meaning that this lure will dive far deeper…..

And the  Shakespeare ‘S’ lures were actually based on the original Cotton Cordell Big ‘O’.
The ‘old/original’  (70/80’s) Shakespeare ‘S’ models were made in the UK but the newer model is Chinese manufactured.

To quote a post by Andy MacFarlane on the ‘pikengler.forumotion.com’ forum…

“Shakespeare Big S
Post Andy Macfarlane on Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:42 pm
Big ‘S’ lures are still made but here’s a clue. Look for the ones with a little hole next to the rear-treble hanger. The old ones (the best ones) were mounted on a little threaded screw for painting and the hole is still visible. The new ones though, don’t have the hole. If you can’t get the Big ‘S’, the Cotton Cordell Big ‘O’ can still be bought from places like Cabelas. The Shakespeare Big ‘S’ was actually a copy of the Cotton Cordell Big ‘O’. It’s the ‘O’ and the ‘S’ that gives these lures the name Alphabet lures, just in case you had read that term somewhere and were clueless.”

Besides the ‘S’ and ‘O’ models there are many other models with different alphabetic naming designations.

AROUND THE POOL

The Pool

The Pool

The Pool

The Pool

The Pool

The Pool

The Pool

The Pool

The Pool

The Pool

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2014 – Session 3 – Staffs-Worcs Canal – The One With Bites, Blanks And A Coffee Torture

Monday 20th January 2014, 0900,  and I’ve just made my first cast  from the banks of the Staffs-Worcs Canal, in area not too far from home. Target for the day are to be perch and chub, and in view of this I have selected an area of canal just below a lock where the centre channel flow travels from the lock to my right off to my left, and the nearside flow and offside flow are reverse that ie flowing from left to right and form two slow moving eddies on either side. I have selected this area because (a) it is little fished (only seen people fishing here once before on several trips and that mid-summer – probably due to the fact that between this location  and the nearest access point is a longish stretch of  a ‘No Fishing’ area and so people don’t bother to even get up that far), (b) there are usually fish in the area from previous experience and (c) the morning started with a heavy frost and temps down at 0C, thus moving water, due to friction, will be that *bit* warmer, I feel, albeit maybe <0.1C but every little bit helps.

Tackle:
Grandeslam 11′ Des Taylor System 3 Avon fitted with quivertip top, 6lb mainline with a 4 inch hooklink of  6lb braid attached via a size 14 snaplinked swivel and terminated with a size 12 Kamasan ‘Animal’ eyed, barbless hook, and a 1/8oz Arseley bomb for weight stopped on the line about 9 inches from the hook with an Enterprise Tackle Adjuster Stop.

Enterprise Tackle Adjuster Stop

Enterprise Tackle Adjuster Stop

Bait:
Tulip brand ‘Bacon Grill’ – good item, cheap from B&M (aka Bargain Madness) but also unlike its competitors it comes in a lidded plastic pot similar to marge/spread ones which mean you can take it unopened to the water side – which you cannot do with other brands as ‘tins’ are banned and thus need to be opened at home and the contents placed in a bag or plastic pot, etc which means if you open too much then you can have waste to discard if it goes off before it gets used up but if not enough is opened then you run out of that type of bait – and usually when its the winning one!  B&M also do Tulip Luncheon Meat and Chopped Pork With Ham. Also took large Aldi frozen prawns (only the cooked version although I do have uncooked tiger prawns in the freezer too), and a loaf of bread – unused as it happens but that will be dried until crisp and then powdered to add to my growing store of breadcrumb (5 gallon+ in store at the moment). When I say ‘breadcrumb’ I do so in the broadest possible way – basically, if  its to be thrown away and cereal based (cornflakes, porage oats, leftover crusts, stale biscuits, cake of any kind, tea cakes, anything like that all) it gets dried, food processorised and added to the bucket… so contains bits of dried fruit, seeds from buns, etc, etc as well as crumb…. to me you need some actual nitty gritty to hold fish – imagine a gorgeous smell coming from an Indian restaurant but when you enter the tables are just full of bits of broken poppadums? Would you stay long? How about if there were full poppadums and mango chutney, riatta, possibly a few small bowls of tasters? Hang around longer then? YES! and so with my basic crumb.  Also a pint of dead maggots for loose feed and a few pots of flavours/dips.

Anyway, as I said first cast, baited with a small (1/4 inch) cube of luncheon meat was made at 0900 to an area baited with a few cubes of said meat, dead maggots and a few prawns. At 0930 the quivertip bounced a few times and then nothing for the next 5 minutes, so I wound in to check the bait was still in situ, which it was. I re-casted to the same spot, and 2-3 minutes later the tip again went round a few degrees and the re-settled… and basically that consisted of the entire day’s excitement as despite bait changes and added flavourings, nothing would induce further action. And at 1200, despite having intended to stay until 1400 I packed up and headed home… however, that decision was not 100% influenced by the lack the action – I would say more  of a 30%-40% weighting. The remaining 60%-70% being due to….. COFFEE TORTURE!!!!!!!

Ok, cold morning ahead, flask of fresh hot coffee is packed in bag as you would….
However… when I put the flask into its case, I forgot to put its top – aka CUP – on it… so feeling the cool a little at around 1000, I take the flask from the bag, open the case and … no drinking utensil! A search through my bag also threw up no alternative pot or similar to use in lieu of missing device – and an attempt at sipping the scalding liquid directly from the flask was not a good idea. So there I was, getting thirsty and cooler as time passed despite slightly rising temperatures, with the flask making obnoxious faces at me from a yard away (actually, would have felt better if I’d forgotten the flask completely rather than it brazenly sitting there grinning at me!). And at noon, I succumbed and headed home…

Temperatures:

0900       Air: 3.7C           Water: 5.7C
1010        Air: 1.4C           Water: 5.6C
1100        Air: 1.1C            Water: 5.6C
1200        Air: 3.5C           Water: 5.6C

At around 0945, a quite thick mist dropped in the area but cleared by 1015 to a haze, and then dropped again, but not so heavily, for about another 15 mins around 1100.

PLANS AHEAD

Another canal trip planned for Friday possibly.
Two options currently in mind – both lure fishing.

Option 1 – another trip to the Staffs-Worcs but at a different venue – and 2 possible venues in mind. Both I have never visited before and would be spinning/plugging/dropshotting for perch.

Option 2 – a trip to the Shropshire Union, club stretch, lure fishing for pike/perch.

At the moment, option 2 is the one mainly in mind.

A Tale Of Broken Reels, New Rods and Plans For The Next Week…

In my previous blog I mentioned a broken reel which in turn has rendered a rod inoperable, at least for a while anyway.

So a few words on each item and concluding with my plans for next week…

BROKEN REEL

This is the second time I’ve suffered damage to this make and model of reel and both damages were on the seating/fitting area.
The reels are both Shakespeare Omni-X (130 size) – of the old light blue coloured version. The newer version of the same model is of a grey colour and so the difference is easily noticeable – although that’s not to say that the newer model won’t also be prone to the same damage – or that any other model/make is any different either – just that both occurances have been incurred, by myself, have been on the model in question.

In the first case, the shaft from the reel to the foot that fits to the rod snapped halfway along its length and in the second, latest, case the bottom half of the foot snapped off – and left the broken piece inside the reel fitment device of the rod in such a way that I am unable currently to get it out. (As an aside – I’ll need to saw a narrow slot in the fitting and then drill a small hole into the broken piece of reel and hopefully be able to insert a small nail or pin into the hole to allow the piece to be slid back out). In both cases, the reels themselves cannot be repaired due to the cast metal build – and if so would probably cost more in time, trouble and parts than the cost of just buying a replacement reel – and I think I’ve a spare reel or two already I can utilise anyway.

I think the breakage in both cases was due to the fact that I use a ‘quiver’ type rod holdall whereby the fully pre-tackled rods, complete with reel and end tackle, fit to the outside of the case unlike the more usual type where the rods are carried, untackled, inside the case and have to be tackled at the waterside. As I hate wasting time setting up at the water’s side the rod quiver method suits me best of all. However, there is a tendency for the reels to catch on other items of tackle in the car boot if left uncovered due to the angles, etc. To resolve this, Liz, my other half has made me some reel pouches – basically, a pouch with a velcro strip along the edge  and a flap also velcro’d –  the reel sits in the pouch, the flap wraps around the rod handle and fastens to itself by use of the velcro strips. The pouches are also padded to add protection plus when in sitru on the rod/reel they remove the angles and corners that cause the snagging. However, I have more rod/reel combos currently than I have pouches – and both cases of breakage the rod/reels were being carried without the prorection of a pouch. Possibly I need a few more pouches?

BROKEN ROD

As I said previously in the reel section, the remedy of situation is not easy and will take time to perform if such a thing does turn out to be feasible. But I do need the rod as part of my fishing plans for next week – or for a replacement to be obtained.

The rod was a Mitchell ‘Fire’ – an 2.42 metre (ca 8′) – spinning rod that I obtained from Go Outdoors a while ago, purchased as a rod/reel combo for £9.99. Actually the rod is a cracking rod, and has dealt with pike up to almost 21lb effortlessly BUT the reel is really a load of tat even coming as it did pre-loaded with line and that was removed and replaced with a better reel and more suitable line on the day of purchase. The reel is so bad that I maintain the rod without the reel would sell at £29.99 but they have to cut the price on the combo to make up for the reel! 😀

So seeing that Go Outdoors still sold a £9.99 rod/reel spinning combo I thought replacement would be easy – go in, buy, come out. But in fact the current deal features a different rod and reel… the reel seemingly of the ilk of the current one but didn’t look too closely at that as I wasn’t really bothered about it, just the rod was my primary concern. And the rod was completely different – not a Mitchell ‘Fire’ but something from Shakespeare – the ‘Firebird'(?) – and instead of 2.42 metres it was 2.10 metres (ca 7’) and also didn’t feel as powerful a rod as the Mitchell ‘Fire’ either. So that left me in a bit of a dilemna until I thought to look at the specialist rack of spinning rods and there I found 3 direct options for 2.42 metre rods plus one other of interest….

  • A Leeda spinning rod – right length but like the Shakespeare one it felt a bit lacking in power. £12.99
  • A Ron Thompson spinning rod – felt nice and good power BUT had an overlarge butt ring to my thinking. As Dick Walker himself said, there’s absolutely no need for any rod ring to be larger that 10mm – beyond that and it will often impair performance in casting rather than enhance it. The RT rod one was at least 25mm! I hate the aesthetics they create too! £9.99
  • A Mitchell ‘Catch’ spinning rod – which apart from different name and colour of the blank felt identical to my Fire’. £12.99
  • The other rod of interest was another Ron Thompson spinning rod of same feel powerwise but slightly longer at 2.70 metres (ca 9′). £9.99

So obviously the rod of my choice was the Mitchell ‘Catch’ – so I trot to the counter clutching £15 in my hands to pay, the assistant scans the rod’s bar code and says ‘£7.97, please’. It seems there’s currently a Go Outdoors promotion of some sort in progress – not too sure the details of it, just  the fishing section?, storewide?, etc. Anyway, I came away feeling very happy with that! I may return and get that Ron Thompson 2.70 metre rod now it fits within the promotion – can always remove and replace that terrible butt ring within half an hour.

So at the moment, I’ve got the rod I need for next week’s planned outing, and there’s the possibility of repairing the broken original at some time in the future. Happy bunny! 🙂

See: http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/mitchell-catch-spinning-rod-8ft-p260923 for the Mitchell ‘Catch’ specification.

PLANS FOR NEXT WEEK

At the moment I’m planning on a Staffs-Worcs canal trip first locally, on Monday, in search of chub and perch, fishing on the quivertip with luncheon meat and prawns as the predominant baits (pellets and boilies are not allowed on the stretch where I intend fishing) with bread as a backup and dead maggots as bait and loose feed – and probably small balls of groundbait (mainly crumb) will come into play too. And I will also take a few dips/flavours to enhance the baits.

Later in the week, possibly Thursday or Friday, I’ll be taking my new spinning rod out to my club’s section of the Shropshire Union Canal in search of pike and perch…

I was originally hoping to make three trips out next week. but the weather for Tuesday and Wednesday looks a bit dodgy, but if Wednesday should start to look good then I may go out to the Staffs-Worcs a little further afield than Monday’s destination in search of some larger perch, again with the lure rod in hand.

2014 – Session 2 – In Which Nothing Changes…. A Reel Breaks Leading To A Broken Rod & The Landing Net Nearly Gets Lost & Other Things Happen That Due To Decency I’m Just Not Going To Mention.

OK, it was Friday 17th January and I headed off to a local day ticket water, Himley Hall Great Pool. This is a water run by Dudley Leisure Services and is an excellent venue for a remarkable price, standing the the grounds of Himley Hall, a place that was handed over to the care of Dudley Council  for the public benefit by a past Earl of Dudley. For a while it was also co-managed by Wolverhampton Council, I believe, too and in part used by Wolverhampton Polytechnic – later University.

Anyway, fishing there is available all year round now. Previous years the water had a ‘close season’ of March to May when fishing was not allowed but in 2013 a whole year opening with no close season was trialed and due to the results of that trial this has now become the norm for the future. Costs are a very good £5.20 a day March-November with half price concessions for the aged, unwaged, etc., and December-February the ticket is £2.60 for everyone. I think, these charges will rise in the new financial year though – and I think that the charges will be £6 (March-November) and £3 concessions and December-February.

It is also a water that has featured on one of the ‘Rod Race’ challenges on TV with Matt Hayes and Mick Brown fishing for the many crucian carp in there – and they also fished in another episode, I think,  on another of Himley Hall’s pools, the Rock Pool, in which fishing is not generally allowed these days. Matt and Mick were at that time fishing for the grass carp that had been placed  in there to devour the weed that had been building up and, job done,  they were to be transferred into the Great Pool IIRC. Also the Rock Pool used to be a trout pool back in the 80’s and I fished there on fly during the coarse fishing close season that applied globally within the UK at that time.

Back to the Great Pool… It holds many good sized tench, roach, crucian and common carp, roach, perch, etc including, of course, my target of yesterday, the pike 🙂

So on the day I arrived at the pool, electing to fish peg 30. A cast out with the depth/fish finder found a constant firm bottom of 4.5′ all around and in front of me. I tackled up and first casts hit the water at around 0835.

I used two rods – both homemade, 2.5lb TC, and 11′ in length made from Northwestern blanks in the 80’s and both fitted with reels and line of 18lb BS. One rod was rigged with a standard homemade snap tackle setup of 2 size 6 treble hooks on 25lb BS seven strand wire, with a float set to around 5′ depth so that the bait (a whole sardine) lay still on the bottom. The second rod, also floatfished, was terminated with 25lb wire again but with a single size 2 at mid length and a size 2 with a size 12 hook whipped to the back of the shank to give a sort of Jardine tackle setup where the smaller of the hooks is used to hold the bait.

th

A commercial double hook.
My homemade one consists of a size 2 single hook on to the back of which, whipped with cotton/braid and glued over, is a size 12 single.

This was fished with a sprat as bait at around 3′ depth and allowed to drift with wind and current.

Anyway, as for the fishing there’s not a lot to say – not a touch had been had when I packed up at 1500 – despite casting to different areas, tweaking of baits to try to draw attention, etc.

I does seem that a bit of luck had been had a bit further up the pool in deeper water though with the warden saying that one double had been caught and one fish lost that day… and a couple of other doubles had come form that same area in th preceding week.

So yet another pikeless session it was for me then.

Water was crystal clear on the day…

Temps:
Air: 4.9C rising to 8.2C then dropping back to 7.2C
Water: 4.9C rose to 5.C maximum.
But water temps were strange in that temp rose from 4.9C at 0900, rising  steadily up to 5.1C at around 1100… but from then on, at regular 15-20 second intervals, it cycled 4.9, 5.1, 4.9, 5.1,… etc as if there were a circulating smooth undisturbed undercurrent.

MISHAPS OF THE DAY

1. Despite the lack of action I thought I’d take a few sceneric photos of the pool for illustrating this post. BUT it seemed I’d left the camera’s memory card at home from when I’d downloaded the previous pics… and my camera does not have any built in memory at all… so I was unable to do that …

2. And then I thought – take a few pics with the phone’s camera… errr… phone left at home too…

3. Had a new landing net pole – a Middy Carp Baggin’ Machine take apart pole. 3.8 metres at full stretch but can connect together to give 5 different sizes from 1 metre to the full 3.8 metres. Anyway, for the day I set it to its 3 metre configuration and sat the net in the water to dampen and sink to ease use later if needed. As I say it wasn’t needed, and so about half an hour before packing up I decided to pull the net in and lean against a convenient tree to drain and dry. However, it seems I didn’t push the top section on properly – or rather, didn’t twist to lock as one does in the pub with beer glasses to upset the grumpy barmaid :D, and so on pulling the top pole section with net remained 2 metres out in the water!! Tried to catch the net and rim on the 2 metres of pole in hand and did so at times for it only to slip off and end up further away. In the end I had to pull one of the rods in and drop the treble hooks down on top of the net mesh to catch it that way. All succeeded and the net and pole section were recovered OK.

4. On the car park…. CENSORED DUE TO YOU CERTAINLY NOT NEEDING OR WANTING TO KNOW.

5.  Arrived home and unloading the car to discover that one of my reels has suffered a broken reel seat and also currently prevents the rod it was attached to being used unless I can find a way of removing the broken reel part which will not be easy. The reel attaches to a rod by means of a stem and foot (sort like ‘ ‘T’ toppled  over 90 degrees), the top of the ‘T’ representing the foot that fits into the reel attachment device on the rod. The attachment device consists of a fixed slot in the bottom of the fitting with a similar but moveable slot that is locked down by a nut on a thread – so effectively the reel foot is held in and between these 2 slots. However, the reel foot has broken level with the top of the fixed slot and thus nothing protrudes to catch on to try to pull it out and it is held in the slot under the compression of the slot walls too. So reel has has a missing foot, which cannot in any way be repaired, so that’s a throwaway… and the rod is unusable (at the mo anyway) as there is no way to be able to attach another reel until the jammed up slot can be cleared, and that’s looking like unlikely. Good job the rod only cost £9.99 so not a major financial loss – and is easily replaceable from Go Outdoors – comes as a rod/reel package at £9.99 actually, the reel is absolute rubbish to be honest, but the rod is a cracker and on a par with similar rods selling at £20-£30 and maybe even more.

Not been fishing for a while….

Since my last session – a blank piking session down on the pool on the 2nd January – I’ve not been out since due to a bad case of a cold combined with conjunctivitis that was like a continual eyewash with concentrated acid, crushed chilis and a bit of sand thrown in for good measure. Given that part of the cold symptoms involved a very sore and bruised feeling throat, the soreness moving around and intensity moving up and down daily and that the cough has gone from wet to dry, from gurgly to unstoppable tickly when just starting to talk would cause enough vibration to start 20-30 seconds of uncontrollable coughing then it has not been a pleasant time – esp as the worst of throat and cough occurred over the same night and was the worst night in my 63 years of life, I reckon. In fact, I have described my ‘illness’ elsewhere as a major battle of Napoleon/Wellington proportions with tactical retreats by the bugs drawing the good guys (my anti-bodies) out of formation to chase them away – only for the bad guys to perform a flanking and reformation manouevre and attack the weakened rear of the good guys, who in turn formed a good old British square to repel, etc, etc… Actually, thinking about it perhaps I ought to contact Bernard Cornwell with details of this so he could use the ‘ploys’ involved in my bodily battle to translate them to a new Sharpe book? 😀

Anyway, that said, it does seem that I’m winning at last… very few coughs, throat almost just a memory and conjunctivitis defeated with the help of anti-biotics from the doctor.

And so, the newly invigorated boy’s mind is turning back to fishing again. Hoping to pop out, probably Friday as earlier days in the week I already have plans for, and I’ll also need to do tackle sorting ready to go on one day too. Top two options for me at the moment are (1) canal – quivertipping for chub or (2) canal – lure/plug fishing which can be further split into (a) for pike or (b) for perch. Options 1 and 2b would be the Staffs-Worcs canal but different areas, and option 2a would be the on the Shropshire Union canal. A third option is to go to a local day ticket pool – possibly deadbaiting for pike, possibly bait fishing for other species.

And I’ve just thought – I need to go get my Wolverhampton AA card today so that I’m ready for a couple of the canal options, the other such option being a club water which I already have valid membership of until the end of February.

Looking back at the events of 2013 in my mind it seemed a very enjoyable year but not as rewarding as those previously in terms of quality, etc. BUT looking at notes, etc I have had a couple of personal bests, and PB equals, caught my first (and second) grass carp ever, had better average catches (ie sizes bigger in general and more of), so really I had quite a good year in my terms. The only major disappointment being the lack of one single pike since the start of my season from 1st October and think perhaps this was colouring my few on the year as a whole. But anyway, as they say, ONWARDS AND UPWARDS, and THE ONLY WAY IS UP!!

Anyway, that’s it for now… if plans go as planned the there will be a fishing report on here at the weekend – and one with good news in terms of results! 🙂

2014 – Session 1 – But things haven’t improved…

Thursday 2nd January 2014 finds me back at the pike pool full of all the optimism one gets at the start of a New Year. OK, it is ‘just a number’ really and no physical reason at all for that particular time to be any different to any of the preceding times – but psychologically it does open up a new start, a refreshed and relaxed new beginning, and a spring in the step towards what lies ahead…

Unfortunately though, for me,  it was a continuation of the dearth of pike getting attracted to my baits that I’ve suffered since the start of the pike ‘season’ – which for me runs from 1st October until the end of March these days – in older ‘closed season’ times of course the season ended on the 14th March.  And even this season is of my own personal making – there are no restrictions on pike fishing nationally or club restrictions on the waters I fish – I just like to look forward to ‘the first day’ and, in fact, most of the other fish species are still active and thus prefer to target those and move towards the piking more and more as the temperatures drop over the winter months, the other species tail off and the pike come into their own.

Anyway, this session of yesterday’s….

I arrived at the waterside, tackled and baited up and rods were in the water at around 0900. Reading a recent article in the journal/blog kept by Stewart Bloor – a local respected angler who has done a weekly angling blog since 2003, look him up on the ‘net by searching for ‘Stewart Bloor’… and he has a fair few videos on YouTube too – he talked about using a predator groundbait (in sea fishing terms this is effectively the shark fisherman’s ‘rubby dubby’) created by mashing fish entrails, heads, bodies in a food processor along with breadcrumb to bind and additional fish oils to add extra attraction – and so I’d prepped some which I fed around the baits in the water and slightly upwind too to allow the ‘trail’ of attraction to be carried down over the baits.

I started off the day with  two rods, both fishing half mackerel (one with the head and the other the tail) with one placed just on the bottom slope and the other on the level bottom. Then over the course of the day I moved location of the baits, twitched, etc and eventually for the last couple of hours I switched one rod over to a sprat suspended at various depths between half depth and 2′ deep and drifted over the corner of the pool I was located in and also along the margins.

However, as the title of the blog suggests, none of these manoeuvres was very successful and not a single sign of any interest was shown at all by the species that is Esox.

I finally gave up at around 1430….

There was one other guy on the pool who managed to get one pike of around 6lb.

Still, as always, a day enjoyed being out on…

Temperatures over the day:
Air: started around 3.5C, rose to 10C and dropped back to 7.5C
Water: started at 5.2C, dropped to 4.7C, recovered to 5.0C

Plans for next outings are away from the pool… hoping to do some lure fishing (pike/perch/chub) and bait fishing (for whatever) on the canals next week.