Session 60 – Final Session of 2015 – In Search Of Pike…

Tuesday, December 29th, and it was off to Pike Pool 24 for my final session of 2015 – a pike session with deadbaits.

Weather for the day was excellent – calm and bright with blue skies – air temp on leaving the house at 0730 was 8.5C, at 1100 in direct sunshine it rose to 21C on the thermo but out of the sun was 10C-11C throughout the rest of the day.

I fished two rods.

Rod 1 was set up as a running submerged float paternoster(*) with a 5’ link to a 2oz lead and the bait fished with an 18”-20” trace thus the bait (a jack – NOT a small pike but a small (3”-4”) sea fish a bit like a miniature skipjack tuna) was suspended around 3.5’ above the bottom in water of depths of around 12’-17’ depending on location. The wire trace was fitted with one size 2 single hook put through the dorsal muscle of the bait and a bait flag fitted.

Rod 2 was set up as a standard ledger rig using a snap tackle consisting of 2 size 8 treble hooks and the bait was a needlefish (aka bluey or pacific saury)…

Both rods were fished open bale arm with standard alarms on the front rod rests with drop back arms fitted to the rear rod rests to help indicate drop back bites.

During the day, 3 takes were noted – all drop-backs… the first on the paternoster rod came at about 1300, the strike met resistance momentarily but then a hook pull occurred …. and later two dropbacks were noted on the ledger rod but both times after about 12”-24” of line movement the bait was dropped….

At 1530, with light dropping it was time to pack up….

A couple of things incidental…

On arrival I got out my echo-sounder and in the 12’-17’ depth bands the water was alive with fish swimming at around the 8’-10’ levels…

And the pool was packed with anglers – although I think I was the only piker there until about 1500 when a lure fisher arrived, the rest after carp. Usually on a mid-summer’s morning this pool is ‘busy’ if there are 4 people there (inc Liz and I) – must have been brought out by the change of weather after weeks of cold, wet and windy…. Anyway, the carpers seemed to be catching well enough…

And so ends my final blog of 2015 – and hopefully my first blog of 2016 will appear shortly 🙂

TEMPS: 

Water: 8.5C to 9.0C
Air: 8.5C to 11C

TEMP TRENDS: 

ScreenHunter_04 Dec. 30 12.54

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[(*)Running submerged float paternoster:

This is created by the use of a John Roberts paternoster boom…

ScreenHunter_03 Dec. 30 12.51

… and an egg shaped polystyrene ball. The ball is pierced so that the vertical/weight arm passes through and the hollow horizontal arm sits above… the weight/link is then clipped to the vertical arm… the main line is threaded through the horizontal tube and terminated with a clip to attach the wire trace plus bead/stop knot to allow a longer bait drop.

When in use and cast out, the the poly-ball floats up to the depth set by the length of the weight’s link, and then the main line is gently tightened until the line is lightly tensioned against the resistance of the ball.

The advantage of this ‘running’ paternoster over the standard ‘float on main line above the trace/main line connection’ (fixed float) is that line can be taken freely with only the length of line on the reel spool (open bale arm) limiting the amount due to the main line being totally independent of the weight/float whereas with a fixed float paternoster there is very little ’play’ before the float/weight are felt and can cause the fish to drop the bait prematurely…]

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Session 59 – Lure Of The Canal…

Tuesday, December 8th, I decided to head to a stretch of the Staffs-Worcs canal that is available on the Wolverhampton AA card … the decision to visit that stretch being influenced by (a) its quite a nice stretch of canal – usually with good features (brambles, overhanging bushes, etc) over on the far bank and (b) its likely that I will not renew my WAA card for 2016 when it expires at the end of December 2015… due to having taken out a BAA card for the coming year which gives me access to lengthy stretches of the ‘Staffie’ and I also have a couple of stretches available via my membership of Kinver Freeliners … and if I should decide to fish on the odd occasion on a WAA stretch then day tickets are available on the bank at £2.50 per day.

You probably noticed in my opening paragraph the phrase ‘usually with good features’ – as currently it seems that the legalised hooligan/vandal organisation that goes under the name ‘Canal and Rivers Trust’ has deemed it necessary to wipe out that vegetation almost entirely – and has made the towpath side almost golf green like. As they intend to dredge the Staffie along its entire length from its confluence with the Severn at Stourport up to its confluence with the Trent & Mersey canal at Great Heywood in Stafford I can only hope that the bankside destruction is just a part of allowing these works to go ahead unimpeded – and that after the dredging is completed and for the next 25-40 years (the frequency of canal dredging) the bank sides are again allowed to grow naturally… OK, I have no problem with mowing/maintaining a path of say 1 metre width for walkers/cyclists/etc but to mow an entire 10 yard width of bankside, esp along the water’s edge and under hedgerows, to golf course standards is a waste of money and more importantly causes destruction and disruption to the habitat of our native flora and fauna…

Rant over….

And so it came to pass that I arrived at the canal at around 0945 and started off with a small oval purple/turquoise pearlised pattern blade spinner – which over the session was changed to other blade spinners as I walked along the banks to the furthest limit of the WAA stretch… and as that area is known to have pike (99% of the time I’ve fished this swim I’ve had takes or at least follows….) … I tried larger spinners and then a mini-S lure in roach pattern, and finally a ‘Rapala Countdown’-type lure in fire tiger patterning – but no joy from perch or pike at any point of the walk. I had a coffee, a few more casts into and around the ‘pike area’ and then walked back to the car, casting out the fire tiger lure at strategic and promising looking points but to no avail and I finally arrived back at the car and left the water at around 1230…

Plans for the next outing – Thursday 10th December – Pike Pool 7 – a deadbait session and possibly an hour on the lures at the end of the day.

Session 58 – Lured To The Brim…

Friday, December 4th, and I head off on a lure session with Liz to a pool not previously visited although I had seen it in passing travelling along the roadway to another fishery… and had heard from the club’s Facebook pages that a good number of pike were being taken on lures there… and so we set off.. at around 0945, Liz having had a physio appointment to attend beforehand and thus arrived at around 1030… dropping Liz and the tackle at the gate and then taking the car to the car park and walking back down to her…

Pool looks very nice – and pikey – I must say with fallen tree branches in the relatively shallow waters giving it the feeling of the wind imitating Mr Crabtree and whispering ‘There’ll be an Esox lurking within those areas, Peter’….  and possibly with the recent high winds there may have been more of the fallen branches than there were previously… anyway, all looked good on a mostly calm and bright day…

So we both started off on the roadside bank with Mini-S lures on our 30-80g lure rods and progressed anti-clockwise to the far end of the pool where we discovered that passage around the top of the pool was hampered by bog/marsh – or we needed to climb up a steep hill possibly to get round. In the event, we retraced our tracks back to the roadside and accessed the rest of the pool by traversing clockwise…

As we moved about lure changes we made as we went along but, as usual, not a hint or sign of any fish life was apparent… but one Big S lure was lost to a tree by Liz when a gust of wind took the line over the branches…

Liz also suffered a reel failure with her reel jammed and unusable about 30 mins before we packed  in and so we used the one rod between us… and I ended up with half a jelly lure when, again, the bushes grabbed hold of , presumably, the tail end of it and wouldn’t let go…

And so at around 1400 we decided to call it a day and headed off to grab a beer and a bite to eat at a local hostelry….

Plans for next week – totally undecided – most likely will go out per usual on Tuesday, weather permitting, but still umm’ing and aah’ing as to whether to baitfish or to go luring again – undecided on venue type for either – pool or canal – pike or perch – or general coarse even – and then as to which pool or canal that would be…

Session 57 – More On The Lure

Tuesday, December 1st, and its back to the Big Pool…..

Arriving there around 0945, I set up 2 rods – a 30-80g rated rod with a 20cm Savage Gear 3D pike as the lure and a 10-40g one which, over the day, was used with a number of lures ranging from 13cm Savage Gear Soft 4Play bodies in scull lips to Midi-S type lures and jellies with jig heads.

I was due to meet a fellow angler there later in the morning – and did so…

Anyway, we both fished various lengths of the pool but to no avail and not a single follow or nip even were noted until we packed in at around 1300 and headed back home.