Session 54 – And The Pike Continue To Taunt…

Friday 20th October I headed off to Pike Water 17 with the view to engaging with some of its pike.

I decided to use live bait and so to comply with the laws of the land regarding the transfer of live fish between waters this meant that the bait fish had to be caught in the water to be fished – and to comply with club rules that fish dead or alive are not allowed to be removed from the waters this also meant that the bait had to be caught on the day of use.

So I arrived at the water’s edge at around 0730 and after preliminaries of putting some maggots and a small amount of cereal bait out into the intended swim – both to attract the small silvers to be caught for bait but also for the silvers themselves to hopefully be an attraction the pike – and setting up nets and the ‘station’ in general, I set up my coarse float rod for obtaining my bait and also my 2 pike float fishing rods ready for use later.

I fished the coarse rod for a couple of hours using a size 16 hook with maggot bait fished around 4’ deep over a 9’-13’ slope around the edge of an overhanging tree and had around a dozen or so small (1-3oz) silvers – and also had a few bigger fish on too but unfortunately they managed to throw the hook…

Having obtained a sufficient quantity of silvers I switched over to my pike rods. Both rods were fitted with greased 40lb Spectra/Dyneema braid, on which 18” wire traces fitted with a single size 2 hook on to which the bait fish was lip hooked and with a double hook consisting of a size 12 hook whipped to the back of a size 2, the size 12 being placed just under the bait’s dorsal fin. Small pencil type floats acted as the indicator and also to set the depth that the baits were fished at.

And so, for 2-3 hours I fished the rods at various depths, various distances, and various areas to the left and right and not a touch – so I decided I’d wind them in and have a play with my Deeper Sonic depth/fish finder and have a few casts around the area and then to go back to the coarse rod for a while… which I did… and returned the used and unused bait fish back to the pool…. and tackled down and put away the pike rods.

Anyway… I *JUST* knew it would happen….

First cast with the maggot rod … a small silver comes to hand … I unhook it and drop it in the water … 1 second later, big splash and swirl as it’s taken by a pike! So I quickly whip the sonar device off the heavy spinning rod I use for it and replace it with a wire spinning trace and a plug and cast up and down the bank edge – depth of water at your feet here is around 3’6” to 4’. But after 15 mins or so nothing was forthcoming so I went back to the maggot rod…. a few more small silvers … a better fish throws the hook … a 3lb 9oz mirror carp is landed…

2017-10-20 Steve - 3lb 9oz Mirror Carp 04

3lb 9oz Mirror Carp

… and a few more small silvers … and pop one back in the water …. SPLASH AND SWIRL!

So out with the lure again … nothing … change lure to a wobbled horse mackerel on single/double hooked trace … still nothing … so just drop close to the edge to fish itself as a static deadbait whilst fishing on with the maggot rod for a few more small silvers and another good fish that pops the hookhold… then I cast out and catch the bush alongside and have to snap off (did get float and all the end gear back though after using weedcutter-on-a-rope to snag it and get it back)… but by now its about 30 mins to packing in time and not worth re-tackling the rod up so I tackle it down and pack it up and spend a bit of time with the ‘wobble’ rod …. and I do actually get a take but the hook fails to find a hold and the pike is lost … a few more casts elicit no further action and time comes to tackle down….

Yep, I think the pike in this water like to make fun of me! A couple of seasons or so, same water and actually in the  same swim, I was pike fishing and a couple of pike swimming together would pass me by every half hour or so – but wouldn’t take a bait whatever I did – and even on one pass they stopped about 6” from the bait as if considering it for a few seconds and then turned towards me whilst lifting their heads and looking as if to say “REALLY!!? YOU EXPECT US TO FALL FOR THAT? REALLLLYYYY????” and then later as they passed again one grabbed the tail of the other as they passed as if it was saying “LOOK I’VE CAUGHT HER!”. Yep, got no respect for me have the pike in this water… LOL!


Min:                 13.9’C
Max:                13.9’C
Average:         13.9’C


ScreenHunter_31 Oct. 21 12.50


NOT ONLY Session 51 – But Sessions 52 And 53 Too ……

This is an all very short and sweet report of the three sessions I had whilst on holiday at the pool of Lakeside Holiday Village in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset where we stayed from Monday 9th to Monday 16th October….

So, Session 51 was a short lure fishing session of about an hour or so on Monday 9th with Liz…. as usual we arrived on site early at around noon so that we could have a short session on the pool and a beer or two in the clubhouse before getting the keys to the caravan which become available around 1530. We tried spinners and small lures without any success at all….

Session 52 was a solo outing by me starting at around 0700 and fishing until 1130 before heading back to the caravan for breakfast and followed by an afternoon up in the town. A tree had fallen into the water at the far left side of the pool and looked a stereotypical Mr Crabtree “There be pike in those branches, Peter” scenario – however, even after baiting up the area with smashed up anchovy and float fishing a sardine deadbait at various depths from on bottom (depth of  approx 55”) to 24”, static and drifting, near and far from the tree not a single touch was to be had…


Session 53 was a day’s general bait fishing for bream/carp/etc with Liz, fishing from around 0900 to 1530. We both fished on feeders with maggot, meat and sweetcorn (and I discovered I’d not packed my worms before setting off from home)…. And, once again, same result as the previous two sessions with not even a sucked maggot.



Min:                 14.9’C
Max:                15.5’C
Average:         15.2’C


ScreenHunter_28 Oct. 18 08.14

Back home now and planning session 54 to be a pike session on a pool with deadbaits and, hopefully and if I can catch any, livebaits too on Friday 20th.

I’ve had a bit of luck regarding obtaining some double paddled handles as I mentioned I wanted but couldn’t find anywhere in the previous posting. After posting on a forum, I’ve had a couple of offers to buy spare ones plus, possibly, a commercial source. I’m in touch with one of the offerers and aiming to send monies for 3 handles today or tomorrow…. after that and if all works ok with them on my reels I’ll contact the other guy…

NOT Session 51 – But Close To It……

OK … so I *HAD* planned to be out today (Friday 6th October) but as they say ‘ the best laid plans of mice of men…’ and so my session today has been postponed due to the need to prepare for next week’s Somerset holiday. And that means sorting out not only the pike gear but also the ‘general’ stuff too and that means mix’n’matching the gear from several bags … the lure bag, the pike bag and the general bag – into one mixed one. Plus the need to get general touristy holiday wear and other stuff – food, toiletries, bed linen, towels, etc – sorted too. So no fishing today.

All going well so far – rods, reels, lines (mine and Liz’s) are all sorted and ready to load into car – 1 float rod, 2 ledger rods, 1 pike rod and 1 spinning rod each plus my general purpose spomb/WaterWolf/FishSpy/Deeper Sonar rod. Landing nets and poles and banksticks that live in the rod quivers all present and correct … the Korum Mat Bag is loaded with the net float, groundbait bowl, float box, hook wallet … and today is ‘booked’ for sorting the gear in my rucksack and doing a prelim check on Liz’s fishing bag….

Tomorrow is designated bait day – so will be off out to get a couple of pints of fresh maggots for hookbait which will be bagged with the air squeezed out to put them in statis and fridged – already got about 3 pints that are 7-10 days old bagged in the fridge and in statis that’ll be used for free feed, etc. Plus a quick check what I’ve got in the fridge with regards to particles, pastes, etc and replenished if need be. And as weather was good yesterday (‘strike while iron is hot’) I dug up enough worms from the worm pit to suffice the week ahead…

Sunday will mainly be double checking the gear. Also general packing of clothes, etc through the day… and in the evening putting the baits in a coolbag with a few ice blocks and loading up the car ready for an early Monday start… Also have to take the cat to the cattery – oh fun and joy for them!! LOL! Previous comments have included ‘Not the friendliest cat is he??’ … and last time he wouldn’t let him change his bedding or litter tray attacking them when they tried and to feed they just dropped his bowl inside the door… But when we get there he purrs and just lies in our arms as good as gold … He spends most of his life outdoors and doesn’t like being cooped up and we usually had friends come and feed him via a timer feeding tray but he’s got back leg problems and needs to be given pills twice a day now to alleviate that hence the cattery

Monday, hopefully arrive at the ‘village’ around 1300, pop to reception and show our EA licences (no licence, no fishing!) and generally book in. However, the caravan keys are not officially available until 1600 although they usually do get made available by 1530 … so in the interim we’ll pop to the pool for a spot of lure fishing with the lure equipment that will have been conveniently packed on top of all the other luggage … LOL! And also a pint in the onsite clubhouse.

And the plans for the rest of the week – Tuesday 0600-1130 I’ll be off down the pool pike fishing then back to Liz and the caravan for breakfast followed by an afternoon out … one of the other days Liz comes fishing with me for a full day … and hopefully I’ll manage a couple of other sessions too. And we have to fit in our traditional holiday Wetherspoon’s breakfast too one of the day’s …. something really decadent about breakfast with a pint of porter/stout along with it! LOL!

So that’s it then … probably not blog over the week as I’ll only have my android tablet with me unless I have a good ‘un and maybe a short mention will be posted, otherwise it’ll be a multi-session post made on our return home.

BTW … the broken reels from last time … made one good reel from the pair by replacing the broken handle with the good one from the one with the broken gearing and actually improved the reel as the newly fitted handle is a double paddled one which I find far more effective than the original single paddle type. And mentioning that – spare/replacement generic handles are easily obtainable for reels via places eBay/LightInTheBox/Banggood for about £2 or less each BUT I’ve only managed to find single paddled ones. The only double paddled ones I can find are for Shimano reels which, beside being expensive (£15+ each) will not fit any other make of reel as Shimano use a square cross section shaft whilst all the others use a hexagonal (possibly octagonal?) shaft. And I cannot locate a source of ‘general’ double paddled handles anywhere despite several makes of reel being fitted with them… and, in fact, Dragon Carp have a deal of 2 reels for £15.99 ( that have double paddles and I am considering getting some just for the handles and throwing the bodies and spools (unless they fit any of my other reels) away. But £15.99 for 2 handles still seems a bit steep to me….

Session 50 – An Eventful Luring Day…

Monday, October 2nd – as a ‘traditionalist’ piker this was the second day of my pike fishing season (October -> March) – and thus this was my first session of the year in search of Esox Lucius. I was accompanied by Liz and we headed out on a lure session to Pike Pool 3, leaving the house around 0930 and arriving at our first selected swims at around 1030/1045’ish…. and we fished until about 1500 … and not another angler was to be seen on the 19 acre pool all day long … and only a handful of dog walkers and ramblers passed by too…

Throughout the day Liz fished with her favourite 16.5g Shakespeare ‘Devils Own’ Scale patterned blade spinner…


… whilst I used a variety of spinners and lures including a luminous twin-bladed blade spinner, a 35g copper/silver spoon, a couple of Savage Gear 4Play (soft and hard bodied) lures and a 12” eel with wriggly tail.

I had a couple of takes in the first swim but caught nothing … the closest to being caught was a small (8oz-12oz) perch that shed the hooks when it rolled about 20’ out…. Liz had one take and that resulted in the sole catch of the day – a pike of 1lb 11oz…

2017-10-02 Liz - 1lb 11oz Pike 01
1lb 11oz Pike

And that was the day as far as ‘fishing’ was concerned … not eventful really? But the tackle happenings add to the tale of the day…

One rod tip was snapped off – as was the reel handle on that rod. Just before we decided to pack in Liz’s lure got caught by the wind on casting and the line drifted over an overhanging tree and on attempting to retrieve the lure itself got pulled up and into the branches – so Liz was holding the reel handle and yanking to try to tug the lure free when the rotating end of the handle broke off …. so far the rod was intact but then I grabbed the braid line and wrapped it around my lower arm and jacket sleeve to try to pull it free directly… but as I pulled the line to the lure I was also pulling on the rod tip … Liz got as far as saying ‘Be careful the rod tip is going to …’ and {{{SNAP}}}….. it was too late! Anyway, not an expensive rod – £9.99 when I originally bought it but the identical replacement (Ron Thompson EPV2, 10’, 30-80g spinning rod) that I bought today had gone up to £12.99 … daylight robbery!! LOL! I did eventually get Liz’s lure back too – but at the cost of having to wade out slightly deeper than my boots were waterproof to and ending with a soggy foot…

One reel seemingly packed in with a gearing problem to the spindle – quite a new reel and I’ve quite a few of the same make/model that I’ve had no problems with – probably from a ‘Monday Morning’ batch as they say… anyway, as spindle would not rise/fall the line wasn’t being spread up/down the spool and thus was building up on one area and causing tangles on casting….

Had problems with two other reels too – but my fault as I had fitted non-standard spools to the bodies eg a spool from a Shakespeare 140FD reel onto a TFG reel body in one case and another (poorly) cross-matched spool/body coupling leading to poor seating and consequently poor line lays or spools slipping. So reels would be OK with the correct spools fitted… problem is that generally reels don’t come with spare spools and I like to have alternate spools with different line strengths available – and so tend to mix’n’match spools across my reels at times. And on the day I made poor choices… not a problem as I’ve a fair few spare unused reels at the mo having bought a job lot in a local auction, just time consuming swapping the reels and re-tackling the rods..

The day ended OK though – at the local pub supping a couple of beers and munching on scratchings before heading home.

OK… so what for the future?

Well hoping on Friday 6th to head to Pike Water 14 for a session of deadbaiting and possibly a bit of wobbling and luring…. and on Monday 9th off to Burnham-on-Sea on our annual £9.50 Sun Holiday week to a holiday village that has its own, resident’s only, pool and so hoping to do a bit of general coarse, a bit of lure fishing and a bit of deadbaiting over the course of that week.

Session 49 – Float Fishing On A Pool

Monday, September 25th I set off to a club pool (KF-VV) that I’d not visited in a while. A mixed, commercial type, fishery with a lot of species in there from carp, the usual silvers, tench, perch, barbel, and chub and probably others too.

It was a ‘mucky’ day with misty drizzle on arrival at around 0730 and later was interspersed thoughout the day with dry, bright spells and spells of heavier rain too until around 1400 when it became quite pleasant – and by the time I left at 1600 most of the gear had dried out.

Mucky Morning

I elected to fish the bank to the right of the picture to the far end of the conifers, a swim that faced a small island, and one that Liz and I used to fish as our ‘usual’ swim but tend to have drifted off to favour another one these days. However, it seemed that a fair few decent fish seemed to have been taken over this area fairly recently so I thought I’d give it a go.

So I started to bait up the and another brave soul arrived and he elected to fish the swim opposite – although mostly out of sight due to the intervening island – and he left at around 1200 I think as I didn’t actually see him go but noticed his absence later… and I think he caught as I think I saw him with his landing net in use but not sure…

Baited up with red coloured crumb, with hemp/wheat particles, a tin of creamed rice pudding and a good dash of hemp infused oil added…. and over the day I catapulted out maggots as I fished.

Bait for the day was maggot and worm fished on 6lb line under a 4g dumpy bodied waggler on size 10 and 16 hooks using both laid on/lift method and on-the-drop methods.

A lot of carp were cruising the surface over the day but small free fed marshmallows elicited only brief investigations by those and but more so by the smaller silvers.

I ended my session at 1545 having caught a fair few small fish of several species – gudgeon, roach, bream and perch – with a couple of bigger bream at around 8oz and the best fish of the day was a 2lb 8oz bream.

2017-09-25 Steve - 2lb 8oz Bream

2lb 8oz Bream


Min:                 15.2’C
Max:                15.5’C
Average:         15.4’C


ScreenHunter_26 Sep. 29 12.11

Session 48 – Back In The U.K.

So having arrived back in the UK on September 12/13th it took me 10 days to get back on the water, rod in hand. I had anticipated that I would be fishing on Friday 15th but I’d underestimated the amount of prep work I needed to do which included making up new groundbait, getting maggots as well as the other general stuff. And so it was Friday 22nd September that I finally headed off…

I decided to visit a local club pool (AA-GH) with the float rod in mind in search of chub and bream although a decent roach, a possible perch (not many in there – I’ve had one small, <1oz, perch caught up in the landing net on one occasion and have heard of a 3lb+ perch being caught there but other than that I’ve not even managed to capture one on the WaterWolf underwater camera on the occasions I’ve put that out) … but being its a carp pool that is the the most likely species to be caught.

Anyway, I arrived on site at 0730 and found my desired location to be free so I quickly baited up the area I intended to fish (to my left on the edge of an overhanging bush) with a small quantity of crumb with particles and maggots added, put the probe of my thermometer in the water and prepped and slung out my new Deeper Pro Plus sonar fish/depth finder. Worked well, but seems my old ‘Lucky’ hadn’t been telling the truth about the contours at this swim – ‘Lucky’ reckoned on a 14’ depth in general but with several sharp drops in areas down to 28’ and 40’, whereas the Deeper showed an constant 13.7’ to halfway back to shore and then a constant sloping rise to 3.5’ at the bankside. However, the use of the Deeper was somewhat curtailed by the fact my Android tablet had failed to charge overnight…

I also baited an area out to my right and put my Waterwolf camera out over the area – however, I’d got the camera set to suspend too high in the water (4’-5’) and due to the murky water not good results were obtained – one job for today is to shorten that anchor line to 3’ or so.

Anyway, at the pool, had my mess with the technicals and was ready to fish…


The water depth at my intended location was around 10’ deep and so, I set up the float rod with 6lb mainline, a size 10 barbless hook on a 6” hooklength of 6lb braid, a sliding 4g dumpy bodied antenna float shotted with 3 SSG shot plus an AAA shot at 4’ from the hook and a SSG shot just above the hooklength – and the float set around 12” overdepth in order to fish ‘laying-on/lift method’.

Baits used over the day were worm/maggot, Babybel cheese and luncheon meat and all attracted nibbles at least.

First cast was with worm and maggot and whilst waiting for my first bite I noticed fish cruising on the top and so I catapulted out some small marshmallows which were soon being taken and so I decided to get the ‘floater rod’ set up… but having completed setting that up I noticed the line on the float rod twitching and the float gone and so I struck – however, what I’d failed to notice was the reel handle that had been backwinding as I missed the bite and on retrieval discovered the float was now 40-50 yards out in the pool!

Anyway, I tried for a bit with the floater rod and marshmallows which attracted some interest but not a proper take before going back to the float rod … had a bite, hooked into a reasonable fish which I played for several minutes (either a good bream or a carp) before the hook pulled … and as the fish was quite close in at that point the float and hook catapulted straight into a bush – and resulted in having to snap-off and loss of the float.

Over the rest of the day, I had a fair few nudges but only two proper bites with one of those resulting in a bream of around 8oz-1lb shedding the hook at the bankside and the other the landing of a 2lb 3oz common carp.

Packed up about 1530…


Min:                 14.7’C
Max:                15.3’C
Average:         15.0’C

Sessions 46 And 47 – Cyprus – Luring On Reservoirs And A Sea Fishing Trip

From August 29th until September 12th we were on our Cyprus holiday – well, until the 13th really as the return flight, although it took off at around 2230 (Cyprus time) on the 12th, didn’t land at Birmingham Airport until 0130 (UK time) on the 13th, and after then getting the 0230 (actually came at 0255) coach into Wolverhampton and a taxi back to the house we didn’t actually get to bed until 0515.

Anyway, I managed to go fishing on two of the days over there…

The first of the days was an hour or so in total spent with a spinning rod and a blade spinner on two reservoirs. Nothing to report other than I had not a single follow never mind a take or capture. However, conditions weren’t the best with bright sunshine and both reservoirs, I was told, were 40 feet below normal level.

The second day was a 3 hour sea fishing trip on a boat – along with the parents-in-law-alike, brother-in-law-alike and Liz plus about 5 other anglers. The boat was anchored on a drift in three different areas over the course of the session and the family all caught – and think the others did too – but not anything of size. Most had sea perch but Liz’s Dad did best of all with the greatest number of those (6, IIRC) plus he also had a mousefish which dentally was similar to a piranha!

So, a couple of enjoyable, if not physically rewarding sessions.

And whilst away I bought a Deeper Sonic Pro Plus depth/fish finder to replace my old ‘Lucky’ one. The new one is more capable with a better display and also has the facility to be able to create and save contour maps of pools which I’ll be making use of. I’ve not managed to use it yet as I’ve not had a chance to go fishing since my return home for various reasons – too much re-sorting of tackle needed meant that a planned outing on Friday 15th had to be postponed – and now next Monday’s (18th) planned trip has also been aborted as the car needs to be looked at for a scraping noise and its booked in for that and for the annual service… so now looking at Friday 22nd for the first trip out.

I have put the interim time to use though – gathered worms from the worm pit into the holding box in the garage, made some pop-up sticks for my pike baits ready for the October start of piking, made some long (12”), thin (1cm) pike floats, ground hemp/wheat/birdseed in my new grinder for groundbait additions, made up some hemp infused oil also for use in groundbait and as a flavour/dip, sorted out and filled some new 60ml bottles with various glugs… and still some work to do with changing line on the floater rod, prepping the pike rods for the new season, mixing up my dry groundbait mix (on last bag), etc….

And I’ve located a good local source of pellets, crumb and groundbait mixes – I bought 2 x 3.5Kg bags of 2mm pellets for £5.50 each, and also got Liz 2 x 2Kg bags of red groundbait for £1.50 each. Several people had mentioned/recommended the place to me over a time and I managed to get there this week … and as Arnie said ‘I’ll be back!’ without a doubt when new supplies are needed… A one-man operation it seems, working out of a shed and a portacabin and he actually makes the groundbait/crumb himself (available as white and brown crumb and groundbait in red, black, brown, yellow and green). Don’t think he does mail order though so you need to visit in person…