Thursday, 30 October 2008

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Mad dogs and Englishmen might go out in the midday sun. The sanity of Anglers who venture out in conditions as we experienced on Tuesday across the nation must also be questioned. Womble came to pick me up at 5.30am and as he arrived in Saughall the Hailstones were descending and thunder and lightening announced his arrival. Sensibly after a discussion in my kitchen we decided against our original destination in the hills of North Wales. The alternative venue we chose still presented us with rain, sleet, more hailstones, oh and some sunshine. Such a climate change can often be fatal for Pike fishing and all morning went by watching the weather extremes from beneath brolly and shelter. It came almost as a surprise when at 1pm i got a run and landed a nice jack of 8lb which turned out to be my biggest fish of the day. No sooner had i re-cast this rod it went again and a fish of 6lb came to the net. in the next half hour i added another 3 smaller jacks; 2 falling to the same lamprey i had caught the 1st 2 fish on and a tiny fish which took a lure which was as big as the pike. Then nothing for the next 3 hours until the right hand rod went again and another nice jack (pictured above) about 7lb screemed off. I called on Womble to take a foto to remember the day and whilst he was there i was telling him about a jack i had caught earlier which had 1 bulbous eye (also pictured above) like one of those Black fantail goldfish, when i got another run and yes! you guessed it i re-captured the fish to be known now as Marty after the great comedy actor Marty Feldman. Womble worked very hard with no reward and lost a number of his favourite lures to boot. No justice some days Piking!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Martin's first Pike

My old mate Martin Watling has shared alot of good fishing with me for all species except my beloved Pike. I had promised to take him to correct this recently and this week i took him to a very obliging venue in mid-wales which has served as a training ground for many of my mates over the years. The venue delivered and within minutes of arrival Martin was no longer a piking virgin. He landed a super little jack about 7lb and added 2 more fish of 6lb and 4lb during our stay. I managed 3 fish on baits and one on a lure. All small pike but feisty little beasts that tail-walked and really impressed martin. He is hooked. Now to get him a big lump!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

October; Pike and Dragonflies

Womble and i enjoyed a breezy but picturesque autumnal day on the Dee on Tuesday and Stu landed a super little Pike and captured a super photo of a late dragonfly on a rod holder. Quite the David Attenborough.

I added a couple of jacks later in the day as the sun set on a super day.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Ireland October 2008

Well, I am exhausted as i write this but also exhilerated after just returning from a super week in Ireland organised by Chester Preds Top Ireland guide Steve 'Gulper' Lewis. It was a crazy last minute phone call from Steve that persuaded me to make the trip after someone had dropped out. I managed to get cover at work after a serious amount of begging and then Steve booked me a flight because he was taking the boats over on the friday and i didn't finish work until saturday morning at 6.15am and had to be at the airport for 10.30am. Mrs Gulper; the charismatic Dawn picked me up on the other side and i was in Ireland at long last. The birth place of my mother and the place of many piking dreams; especially after the stories and photos i have had from Steve over recent years.
Above are some of the photos from this memorable week. Lots of fun and some super fish in some horrible weather which didn't help the fishing but it didn't deter us and with Steve's experience of the locality we manged to land some big lumps. Fishing isn't all about catching fish and in Ireland the social side is second to none. A few pints of Guiness were enjoyed of course and some great food eating out, but also sampling some of Steve's kitchen skills; which are equal to his boating/fishing. A big thankyou for Steve's friend from Coventry; Baz Stokes who skippered the Predator 3 boat. I shared some laughter, great conversation and a remarkable brace of 20's with this genuine gentleman. It was a priviledge to fish with him. I must give a special mention too to Steve's dad Geoff because he has taken to piking like the preverbial duck to water and has again caught some great pike. He produced the highlight of the trip whilst we all were bait fishing by managing to land an awesome Esox of 17lb 12oz on waggler gear; 4lb line and a size 14 hook. 25mins of heart-thumping action which we all enjoyed tremendously. Geoff You are a star! You made me laugh constantly and well done for some super fish.
I was lucky enough to land my 3rd biggest Pike on my first trip to Ireland (29lb 2oz) and out of the blue in awful conditions a couple of days later added a 21lb 12oz fish at the end of a difficult day where Steve had to use all his knowledge and skill to find us some fish. Baz and Geoff got new PB's 27lb and 18lb 5oz respectively and although Steve didn't get amongst the big lumps he had quantity with a best of over 15lb. He worked hard for his fish whipping the water into a froth with a classic copper spoon and it paid dividends; putting fish after fish on board his boat. The 2 skippers have a little competition between boats and the trophy was hard fought and saw the fight go in to the last day with just a point between them. On the final day it was testing conditions again; more rain than i have seen in a while and Steve and Geoff managed one last push and managed to take a few fish and lift the trophy whilst i blanked for the 1st day of the trip and Baz managed just a single figure predator.
Great memories...........Can't wait to do it all again.....especially the Guiness.