Monday 7 February 2011

Finally back in business....

A beautifully marked double
 After a shaky start to my Sunday afternoon session which had me changing plans at the last minute, I finally got off the mark for 2011. These last four weeks have been some of  the toughest I've known since I got back into my fishing a few years ago.  You know the drought will end eventually, but the wait can be excruciating at times.

Since Saturday lunch time and after checking the forecasts for the next 48 hours again,  I decided to head to the Trent to fish for roach and dace,  also with a Pike rod out until it got dark. Then because its been so mild for a number of days, I would switch over to  barbel on one rod and leave a paternostered roach on a starlight float out for zander.
When I arrived at the river however, I found it running like chocolate and surging through with at least a foot or so on, plus the wind was still at gale force level in the Derby area. I didn't fancy my chances apart from maybe the barbel and then only if I could keep a lead down on the deck. What with the way my luck's been recently, I decided it was better to cut and run and head back to the River Anker, which I had noticed looked in fine form on my way up the A42 travelling towards the Trent.

At the Anker - I set up the centrepin on my float rod with a 5BB stick, the pike rod went out to a marginal bush on my right up stream. The centrepin was again a challenge especially in the gusty wind but I still managed to get a bite almost straight away.  Soon enough I'd caught my first roach, so small I thought it was a minnow at first.  This was followed by more micro roach and then the odd ' bigger' sample up to 2oz, that amazingly I  managed to weigh for the 'bloggers' percentage record weight challenge.  I had to smile when I 'hauled' this ruffe in, and on the pin too. (Keith - I don't know what it is mate, I just attract em ? )

"Taking the ruffe with the smooth "

Darkness fell all too quickly, but I wasn't ready to go home yet.  So, with a few fresh baits in the keepnet that I could use, I headed for the nearby Cov Canal to try for some zeds. 
The swim I had planned to fish was occupied ! but it was one of the local  lads I met down here at the end of the summer ( funny how you don't mind when it's someone you know, but you feel peeved if it's a stranger). We caught up on each others fishing news, then I headed to the next spot along the canal about 70 yards up.  First cast on the float produced a small zed that must have sat chewing the bait for a while as I hadn't even noticed a dip register on the float. The fish was weighed but only managed to scrape a mere 9 ounces on my scales. I hoped I wouldn't have to put that score on the board !

The other rod was set up ledger style with a bobbin to alert me to any takes, unfortunately there was nothing for the bobbin to do all evening ! Back on the float rod however, I was getting some movement from the float as it danced the telltale bobbing along dance, I wound down to strike but pulled out of the fish. This happened about 2 more times within only a few minutes between bites, until on strike three I felt the rod hoop over nicely. The fish came in towards me but hugged the bottom, the way only a large weighty fish can do.   I thought if this is a zed it could be the magic double? but at the same time I realised that the familiar head shaking that zeds usually give was not there.  From the feel of the fight I decided it would most likely be the other candidate  - a pike.  Sure enough a spotty green flank glided up through the water in the light from my head torch. The fish took off on another powerful run before finally being subdued and brought over the net cord. The duel single hook rig did the business, hooking the fish nicely in the edge of the upper mouth near the scissor on the bottom hook, I didn't even need forceps to remove it.

11lb 10oz canal pike

It seems I have lost my weigh sling so had to weigh it in the net. The total was 13lb 4 oz with the net weighing 1lb 10oz,  so by the power of my vast mathematical acumen, I calculated it was 11lb 10oz and a new PB for me - by just 10 oz (OK, OK I did check it on a calculator too - just to be sure I'd converted the ounces correctly and wasn't diddling myself). This is the second pike I've caught at night and from virtually the same spot (it's not the same fish). It's also ironic that I always catch  my pike PB's when I'm zedding ! (I suppose I could try catching zander whilst piking and see if that will bring a bigger stamp of zed !)

I landed another zander again on the float rod, this weighed in at exactly a pound. (weighed in the blue plastic bag)  My scales have been checked against several avery scale brass bell weights in 4oz, 8oz , 1lb  and 4lb and are pretty much bob on !

So I'm finally on the score board with a  few species, the roach and zed are pretty pathetic percentages I know but it's a start at least, and a damn sight better than I had on the board this time last week.

Chuffed with the pike though - thanks go to Sean who was on hand to take the photos once again !

Session 3:30pm - 10pm
Ave temp 11c
Pressure steady 1015 hPa
Wind dir SSW 20km/h
Moon - made of cheese !


  1. Hi mate, this looks very simliar to the one that Danny had? Was it from the marina? He had it at 11lb 3oz a few weeks ago. Well done you deserve it after your run recently.

  2. Hi mate, have had another look. It is not the same fish do not htink the patterns match. Sorry

  3. Well done Lee, lovely fish. Keith will be pleased for you too. Pike aint alf bad either...!

  4. lol thanks Jeff, yeah think I've found a little pike hotspot there - apparently a 17 came out a week or two back.

    Hi Andy, no it's from the Tamworth stretch of the cov. Cheers.

  5. Thats great to hear Lee, good luck on the 17!

  6. Yes a good 30 percenter would be nice, I'll certainly be trying.