Session 3 – Pool Piking

Friday 20th January at 0730 saw me heading to Pike Pool 1 for a session with a couple of new pike rods to try out and they were also fitted with a new ‘submerged free running paternoster’ set up I wanted to try out. As the rods are primarily intended for river fishing the reels were loaded with 20lb BS mono rather than my more usual 40lb BS braid as the former is more resilient to the abrasion arising in a river scenario. Anyway, the rods themselves are 12’, 3lb TC, Diem carp rods with abbreviated handles and the reels are XLT 5000 Freespool reels – a good reel for £15 – have several now (most of mine and Liz’s pike rods – about 12 of them in all – are fitted with them) and find them excellent in use – and also they come with spare spools as standard unlike many other brands.

The rods in use felt great although (*SPOILER ALERT*) they did not get tested with a fish on the end of the line unfortunately and I was very pleased with them – and at £8.75 each (Dragon Carp specials) well worth the money!

The new ‘paternoster rig’ seemed to work ‘OK’ – again no fish hooked to test out that bit but didn’t appear to get any wrap ups on casting or retrieve but not sure if I’ll use it as a standard set up again, at least in the form it was, maybe in a modified arrangement though. The ‘rig’ was basically made up with a John Robert’s paternoster boom to which a black painted polystyrene ‘egg’ was slipped on to the down arm that the weight attaches to, and a small black painted polystyrene ball slipped on to the arm through which the line passes to the trace in order to stop the weight of the bait tipping the arm downwards. Things that weren’t quite right with the rig as it was were (1) when casting the lead and bait usually hit the water 10+’ apart as boom slid up the line on the cast which seemed to attenuate casting distance – perhaps the use of a bait clip to anchor the bait to the lead until they hit the water would resolve? … (2) possibly the polystyrene egg/ball combo was too buoyant as even with a 3oz tethering weight it was hard to tighten properly as it seemed that most of the weight was being taken up by the poly-spheroids … so next trial would be with smaller versions … (3) the ensemble just seemed cumber/troublesome to pack and transport on the rods quiver and fiddly to finalise (add traces, weight and link,…) and not sure if it’s not easier to just use a standard pop-up or standard float set-up… Oh well, I’ll carry a couple of modified versions in my kit in case I find a situation where it may be useful and can put on as and when needed…

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The fishing…

There was a heavy frost on the ground as I left the house with the car thermo showing 2’C … air temperature rose to about 4’-5’C over the day … and water temperature was surprisingly high at 8.5-9.0C …. however, a very light but also very cool south-easterly breeze made it feel the coolest session of the past 12 months easily even with jacket and waistcoat kept on – and I think I’ve only kept them on one other occasion in that period. Also, as I fished a swim on the far bank of the pool it meant that the breeze was playing directly on the back of my neck – plus a large bush meant that I was shaded from whatever heat there was from the sun on what was otherwise a bright day.

I started by fishing 2 paternoster setups – a dead roach on one rod and a headless/tailless/gutted mackerel on the other and fished these for about 4.5 hours without any sign of interest at all … and due to the coolness of the breeze on the back of my neck I packed in those two rods, setup my heavy lure rod with a 19cm Savage Gear 4Play Salmon Smolt Liplure and loaded any unnecessary gear back into the bags at 1330 and started the walk back to the car with a few stops on the way to cast the lure… and I did have a couple of minor ‘adrenaline moments’ with one take of the lure but the hooks failed to take hold and fish went … and one follow of the lure ending in a missed lunge .. and the disappearance of both fish despite several casts over the areas in both cases. And then ended the day poorly with the lure lost up a tree despite the 40lb braid that was in use – the trace swivel splitting in half….

So, that was that…

Planning a canal lure session with Liz on Monday 23rd and another (different) canal lure session on my own on Tuesday 24th. Monday is a canal that we’ve fished before but not in the area we’ll be visiting this trip and the Tuesday canal is an entirely new venue…

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