Monday 31 December 2012

Ending the year with a struggle

I've not been posting much of late, this is because I've not caught anything to show for my efforts since the last entry. Despite this poor run of form, I thought I'd just throw a quick catch up together.

I've been fishing the local lake for pike a few times since November but I can't even report a single run on there yet. The sessions have been short bursts of 2 to 3 hours each and all of them during the morning so far.   There have been reports of a couple of mid doubles out recently but nothing more than that. I don't now if I'm wasting my time on there and the big fish have all gone but I would dearly love to catch a decent double (or better) from here if they do still exist?  I don't know why really it's just something about the lake that always pulls me back for more punishment. A lad stopped to talk the other day, asking the usual questions before telling me him and his mate had witnessed a decent sized fish ploughing into the fry in one of the bays. He said they chucked lures at it but couldn't get any interest.  I expect the fish was spooked to the other side of the lake by the way they were crashing around in their swims when I looked over a bit later!

I'm not sure why it is so difficult as the lake holds plenty of bait fish and is large enough to support a number of larger pike. I don't know if they are wise to my baits or I'm just not dropping on to the fish? The numbers of pike may have been somewhat reduced by the catch and none release members of our fishing community, but there must still be a few bigger fish left which would hopefully make the effort worthwhile if a run could be tempted from even one of them. The quest continues and the plan is to keep trying here and there through the rest of the winter and right into the spring when the fish will have spawned and will be ravenously  hungry again.

So far I've tried a roaming approach on various swims around the lake using deadbaits either popped up over weed or on the deck where there is no weed,  drifted at various depths and even twitched back slowly, but still no signs of a take.
The lure rod has been employed of course, although I should really do a session without the deadbait rods distracting me and using up my time slot, so I can give my newest lures in the growing collection a proper chance.
I've visited the canal recently but not found the fish in feeding mood since all the rain has been keeping the water a constant brown near to any river inlet.   I did a bit of exploring along an urban stretch I sometimes pass in the car that was a bit clearer, but only managed a small perch on a light jig. The snags were abundant around the bridges - which you have to accept in this urban style fishing I'm afraid.
In November I joined some workmates on a trip to Boddington Res for day out where we were treated to an adventure just trying to get to the water. Well getting to water wasn't so much a problem as the floods around the area were encircling all the entrances and lanes in the valley, but once we found a safe parking spot and waded through floodwater to get to the submerged car park and up the embankment we were able to set up and fish. It was a completely wasted effort though as the water that was still pouring in from the inlet stream continued to colour the the entire res turning it more and more chocolate throughout the day making our chances of any fish extremely remote. Needless to say the three of us blanked that day.
Slowly turning chocolate !
Finally just a quick thought about the black death from the sky (or cormorants), I saw three last week at the lake near me in the two or three hours I was there.
.... Today in the same amount of time I just lost count !
 At one stage I saw a flock of five in the sky together. You could have literally filmed a documentary about them. It's getting ridiculous now, I'm no expert but surely this affects all wildlife in the ecosystem and not just the fish themselves. Other inland bird species must suffer as a result of so many of these sea birds living inland and competing for food and roosting sites like this, not to mention knock on effects on other wildlife, plants and trees etc.  
When out for an afternoon walk today with the family we saw a chap shooting ducks across the swollen river tame opposite in the flooded meadows, I couldn't help thinking he should be leaving the ducks alone and targeting something else !
Where I used to see one or two a day,  I now see flocks of them !
Black Death - to a fish

On a lighter note I saw plenty of other bird life at the lake this morning, from buzzards to herons and then capping it off were two white egrets locked in an air battle to defend territory, the first egrets I've ever seen in this area.  Too quick for me to get the camera out in time unfortunately.
Happy New Year ...  lets hope it's a good one !


  1. You will catch pike on sea baits in coloured water -they hunt by smell and are always feeding though sometimes you do wonder where!

  2. Yes true the coloured water didn't stop us though, but its hard to keep as confident in those conditions.

    Looking forward to some time on the rivers too if the rain will let up, or maybe I should just give up on pike for a bit and go barbel fishing instead !