Session 6 – 2017 – Luring The Pool And Into The Doghouse

On the morning of Monday 6th February 2017 Liz and I set off, with lures and spinners, heading for Pike Pool 3 in search of Liz’s first ever pike – and my second pike of the season despite having pike fished at least once a week on average since the start of October 2016!

There had been a heavy overnight frost – had to eat breakfast porridge in car while I warmed it up pre-trip (a lot of cars go ‘missing’ around here when people leave them warming and unattended!)  – despite having used a full can of de-icer on the windows too…. and, when I had tried to start the motor, it wouldn’t! So my, almost £100, purchase of a ‘battery booster pack’ last week was justified when I clipped it on and car started immediately…. So even with engine running, heaters full on and with de-icer on windows it took 20 mins to get a clear view through the glass – and car thermo was still registering -2.5’C external temps!

Anyway we set off on our pre-planned 0930 start out from the house – by then the thermo had risen to 1.0’C, and a couple of miles later was up to 4.0’C, but when leaving the urban area and in the rural the temps were back down to 1.0’C. Obviously, we were a bit concerned regarding the state of the water given the temps – as on a previous visit to the same water and it was slightly warmer then too, the shallower half the pool was completely frozen over – however, we passed a few other bodies of water en-route and all those seemed to be ice free so our hopes were raised – and justified on our arrival.

We had planned to fish light – I carried 4 lure rods (2 each) to cope with tiny to huge lures along with the foldable/collapsible landing net all wrapped in webbing straps and also had a rucksack with the lure boxes and the usual lightweight utensils (camera, spare traces, scales, weighing sling, etc) whilst Liz carried an insulated shoulder bag with our coffee flasks – and to walk around to the far side of the pool before tackling up and actually starting fishing. With even the very best of intentions, tackling up and fishing the ‘outwards’ journey never seems to work – as before arriving at the more distant and usually the best water you are already tired and fatigued and decide turn back early – or at least I am and do…

So … all went to plan… that far anyway… We arrived at our starting point, had a coffee whilst we decided upon and clipped on our starting lures of the day …. myself I chose a Savage Gear Hard 4Play (13cm) in Koi Carp colouration (white with orange and black splodges) whilst Liz, under previous advice from her Dad (from Cyprus via Skype!) chose a 1” silver blade spinner…

So we started the day off – but the first swim didn’t offer any rewards and so after 20 mins or so of water foaming we moved to our second location about 20 yards further along… and it wasn’t long before Liz was connected briefly to a fish but the hooks came adrift … a few casts later she again connected to a fish but again the hooks pulled but not before she’d glimpsed the pike … and another few cast later she again was into a fish and, third time lucky, the hooks managed a good grip and I was able to net her first ever pike… quickly unhooked and weighed it came to 4lb 4oz….

AND THEN CAME THE DOGHOUSE MOMENT!!…. {OMINOUS MUSIC MAESTRO, PLEASE!}….

Obviously being a ‘first’ Liz was very keen on recording the moment on ‘film’ (or SD card as it these days)… however, the camera was still in the rucksack and I always take out the batteries after each session and had forgotten to fit them earlier. So having had the pike out of the water for a short while but with more delay to come to deal with the camera I decided that I’d pop the pike in the landing net and dunk it in the water to ease its stress, etc. However, the net we were using was a collapsible/folding type for ease of carrying around and as I placed the net into the water the locking mechanism slipped allowing the net to collapse around the fish and thus freeing it… and it took advantage of the situation and disappeared into the rushes and so no photo record was able to be made… And Steve was now definitely NOT ‘man of the moment’… Especially as I was wearing my new headcam which MIGHT have regained me some favour with some footage of the capture IF ONLY I’D HAVE SWITCHED IT ON EARLIER. It was a lovely looking pike though, well conditioned and marked.

Oh well, damage done and after fishing the spot another 20 mins or so we moved on to the next location the pool’s dam wall along which reeds grow and at one end there is an overhanging tree by a large bed of reeds, at the other a couple of trees that have fully collapsed and lie in the water with branches asunder – basically, it looks more a stereotypical ‘Mr Crabtree’ pike area than even the book given ones! But despite spending an hour or so fishing the length of it – and I trying several changes of lures inc shads – neither of us had so much as a nudge…

So, we moved on to the next area where an old submerged dam exists – so the water depths change dramatically as you pass over it – another stereotypical pike spot where you can visualise the pike lying below the dam wall ready to ambush prey as they cross from the shallower side… So I got Liz casting over the wall whilst myself I fished alongside but casting into the shallower waters… and lo and behold I had a take on the small green shad type lure I was using – and landed a 3lb 2oz pike! My second pike of the ‘season’! Not the biggest and not in the best condition either as it seemed that others of its brethren had been trying to turn it into a tasty luncheon… with one fresh looking wound and an older scarred one too… but after the long wait it was worth its weight in gold to me!

2017-02-06-dudmaston-big-pool-steve-3lb-2oz-pike

And so… after a walk back to the start of the pool and a few casts around a spot where pike are said to lurk but not on this day … and a coffee whilst we packed down the rods … a few spots of rain started to fall and we headed up to the car and off to the pub for a pint and a cheese cob….

AND NOW … ‘that’ net has been stripped down, the metal parts awaiting a trip to the council tip along with some other general stuff that is ready to go and the mesh was removed and is in storage in case of future need… AND a new Savage Gear Pro XL Folding telescopic (70cm x 85cm net, 122-297cm telescopic handle) rubberised mesh has been ordered and is en-route …. so hopefully no more doghouses in future for me!

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