Sunday 30 September 2012

The one that got away

The kids and me were on the way to my Mom & Dads for another quick visit about 6:00pm, lure fishing tackle was in the boot.

"Fancy half hour on the canal" I said.
" Oh not fishing" said Hollie.
"Yes, come on just a quick go before the light goes, I'll let you have a go too" I said trying to induce some enthusiasm from them both.

After a short walk I was casting across the canal, whilst the kids sat quietly on a wall playing games on my phone and the NDS.

Working the soft 4play for a while without any signs of a take I decided to move 20 yards down to cast to a reed bed. I had a few casts around then finally felt a hit but the fish came free as it surfaced. It looked silvery like a zed to me and knowing from experience that they will normally take a dead bait straight away again if they slip the hook, I quickly cast back over the spot where it came free to see if they would do the same with a lure.  There was another pull and a fish was on, this was a small jack though, maybe I'd been wrong about seeing a zed I don't know? but I wasn't too bothered I'd got a fish on and now I just needed to land it so I could show the kids their first pike.

Jacob keeps his fingers well back
Photo's were taken and the kids were excited although Jacob wasn't too sure about the pikes teeth (he's not daft Dad).  Hollie suddenly became interested in fishing again and wanted a go on the rod, so I let her reel in a few casts I made for her.  It's difficult to impart all your years of experience to someone who has barely even held a rod very much let alone reeled a lure in an acceptable fashion that will fool a fish, (hell, I'm not really that experienced with lures myself yet).

After a few iffy retrieves I had an inspired thought on how I could slow down her erratic winding.  "Just reel in time to one potato two potato" I said and let her do it without my guiding hand reminding her not to forget to gently flick the rod tip now and again to make the lure flutter up in the water. As I watched Hollie retrieve the lure back near to the bank I wondered if she would achieve just the right action without any old habits to iron out,  then the rod suddenly pulled round in a full curve down toward the water a few feet from the edge of the tow path in front of us. Fully expecting it to have snagged on a branch or some other debris, I grabbed the rod near the spigot and pulled it towards me to lift the offending snag. It turned out to be a large long greeny - yellowy gold spotty shape  that rose up in the water. My senses snapped into realisation as a fish of good double proportions "lolled" on the surface.  I uttered Jesus, or bloody hell look at the size of that or something.  Hollie now just instinctively handed the rod over to me and she rushed off to grab the net that was about 8ft behind us.  The pike now realised something was up and dived pulling the rod tip down further.  Before I had chance to react and give it some line the single treble hook pulled and the fish was off !

It was a mixture of elation in that the lure had succeeded in tempting a decent fish and gutting disappointment that I'd managed to lose it. But I suppose if the hook hasn't got hold properly then there's not a lot you can do. The points still felt sharp so it was just unlucky I think.  Hollie wasn't that bothered though and seemed pleased enough just to have seen it and that was almost as good as actually catching it for her.  I just wished that we'd landed it for a photo of Hollie and me holding her first pike, a probable 12 or 13lb fish !! Still there's always next time.

Thursday 27 September 2012

More on the lure ... with another ticked off the list

Just a few quick lure sessions to report on lately, well I tell a lie I did have a blank during a mornings pike fishing on deadbaits the other weekend, but apart from that I've only been  sneaking in a half hour after work here and there.  If I'm honest I quite enjoy these little quick fishing fixes but they do tend to stop me getting around to a proper session after the non predators.

Today was a great example of one of these quickfire sessions, I was trying out the 4play soft body  roach  for the first time down the canal. The lure was twitched slowly back giving a great impression of an injured fish I thought and within about four casts it was grabbed by this great looking zed. My first ever zander caught on a lure and I've got to say was completely unexpected. Weighing in at a reasonable 3lb 13oz - (well reasonable for the canal).
I was really pleased with it, something I've been wanting to achieve for a while ever since watching Mr Hayes on wets nets repeats catching zeds on lures on the Warks Avon. Shame I only had the phone's camera with me.

First of many on the lure ?

The results on my usual river have dipped a bit of late (might be the very clear water conditions prior to the latest floods?) and I can't seem to settle on a lure that I'm really confident in again. I doesn't help that I've been buying them like they're going out of fashion in recent weeks. Too many lures in the bag is not always a good idea. Unless of course your out all day where you might have the luxury of giving them all a decent go. Any way I digress, the good old yellow red head kopyto is still bringing the odd result and tempted this hungry little chap, amazing that he managed to get this three and a half inch lure so far down its throat !

Hungry ?!!

Looking ahead...

I'm really finding lure fishing enjoyable but at the same time I'm hankering for a few bait fished sessions now that Autumn is upon us, and with all the big stripey's that are being caught around the country its hard not to get inspired to try for another big one too.  I know a few spots where a carefully chosen bait fished in the right spot might just produce what I'm after.  Then there's barbel and chub to think about, the barbel will start to get more and more difficult to tempt as the water gets colder. The chub will become slightly easier as winter approaches, or at least more accessible in their hidey holes in the snags when the weed beds start to die back anyway. A few zander trips will definitely be on the cards, visits to the Severn and Avon are already being planned in the hope of a big beast.

Finally there's all the pike fishing I am planning to do over the autumn and winter.  I am looking forward to this the most at the moment, and holding a big pike up for the camera is the image I tend to see in my dreams.  So I expect that it will be the pike that receives most of my attention over the next few months ahead, not least because they are the most accessible large fish to me locally, and until I satisfy my current obsession with them I might just get stuck in a pike rut for a bit.

13cm 4play soft body "Dirty Roach"

Friday 7 September 2012

Nailed !

Been trying out the small 3" Kopyto's since they arrived a few weeks ago but had yet to catch on them. To be fair I hadn't given them much of a go really.

I had another little dabble on the way home  yesterday and decided to leave the spinners in the bag and try to tempt something on the small 3g red /white jig. First cast near some weeds and overhanging bushes and bang fish on !

Nailed ! - first perch on a jig


No more interest after that in the couple of swims I tried before heading home in time for tea !

Holiday snaps ...

Just got back from Majorca, (Mallorca if you're Spanish). The weather was a little changeable, not that it stopped us enjoying our week away. On the flight we were checking in hand luggage only to reduce the costs ( cheapskates) and after researching what you were allowed to take on board I read that you might not get a rod through customs in your bag. I risked it anyway and slipped an old Shakespeare 9ft telescopic in my small case. There were no issues going out through East Mids Airport but I got a bit of an inspection on the way back leaving Spain. I think they just wanted to check out the long stick shape the showed up on the x-ray machine. They still allowed it back home with me after realising it wasn't an offensive weapon after all (not in my hands anyway).

Of course I managed to shoehorn in a few short sessions while we were there. The results were small, in fact quite minute but I never blanked once over three sessions.

My son Jacob even got in on the action,  helping Daddy land this little monster.
I took only a rod and reel but no terminal tackle (sharp hooks etc not allowed in the case) and only managing to find some hooks for sale in a local supermarket  I had to improvise with a ledger for weight.
Champagne super sinker !
An old champagne cork cage I found on the floor and some suitable sandstone rocks did the job.
Oh and the hooks were a pack of size 12 to about 5lb mono, the bait bread and slices of ham from the all inclusive breakfast buffet ! All the fish came on ham, although they were really hard to hook stripping the bait in a swift jabbing take that was almost impossible to hit. A bit like chub or roach on speed. I don't think the hook size helped much and a size 16 or 18 would have done the job far better for these tricky little blighters. Shame I didn't tempt any bigger fish but these little scamps were so much fun trying to hook I kind of got preoccupied with them.