If you know particular waters well and know the resident Esox feeding patterns you can often manage to get a result in just short trips. I had two hours to spare today and visited one of my regular haunts that fishes well at 'Last Knockings' as Jon neafcy refers to it as. I prefer the expression of the'witching hour'. In reality on this particular venue i like the last hour of light and the 1st hour of darkness. Some waters it can be midday or between 11am and 1pm. Others it is first light and last light. There is no golden rule. It is worth making a mental note of the feeding conditions. Many fastidious Pikers record dates, temperature, wind direction, moon phases and even barometric pressure. If this scientific approach floats your boat so be it. The individuals who record this information must be luckier than i because i go fishing when i can go fishing; when work and other commitments allow. Do these anglers who religiously record conditions limit their angling to days when their statistcis dictate; I don't think so. Each to his own...
Pictured above is a frisky little fish that gave me a good old scrap today in conditions that statistics might not have approved of.
All fishermen have experienced the joys of catching great fish and most of us have felt the heartache of lost legendary monster fish. My fishing partner 'Womble' has felt those highs and lows over the past week or so. He has been catching some super river fish lately with regularity but sadly last week he had on an enormous fish which he got to see in clear water and estimates in the upper 20's even a possible 30. He was distraught when i spoke to him. I hope he returns to his spot and the lady obliges next time. Pictured above is a super fish of 15lb that didn't escape his net.
Many of us study the markings on the body and fins of pike so we can recognise repeat captures. Above is a re-capture for sure of a green curtain on the Bridgewater Canal in Salford. Originally caught in 2007 by Stu 'womble' Maddocks who claimed it was his PB for a curtain. Last week the lovely Melissa of Contact Tackle in Blacon re-captured this specimen item of habidashery at a reduced weight; curtains sadly tend not to gain weight in the Bridgey. chuckle! I have included a foto of the original capture for comparison
Today Wednesday i had planned over a month ago to have a day out with local tackle dealer Dave Clark but sadly something came up and Dave didn't show.
I wasn't sure what to do. The Dee still held alot of water but i decided to find some slack water and give it a go. I started off in the morning wandering along the bank trying swims i hadn't fished for a few years and trying some new ones. I found some promising deep holes for future reference and I managed to land a number of small chunky jacks but nothing over 6lb. I switched to a favourite spot after midday and immediately landed some better fish to 8lb; 3 coming to the net in half hour. Then i managed a super fish of 17lb 2oz (pictured above) which put up an awesome scrap and I added another frisky jack of 8lb before light faded and Womble visited from his upstream venue. The Dee was coloured and this puts alot of people off. Rivers can intimidate alot of people and especially in these conditions but i advise people to extend their river craft to discovering the behaviour of fish in these conditions. Watch the movement of the bait fish because where they move to the Pike follow. They will obviously look for slack water and so should you. Even in the muddiest of conditions fish can be caught. Today the river was kind to me; 8 fish including a nice upper double.
As you might have noticed on previous postings regarding the 'Bridgey' I am a big fan of this often ignored canal. It is the only reason i keep renewing my Warrington Anglers membership. I fish this canal from Runcorn to Manchester city centre and beyond and it continues to produce big fish for me. I have learnt alot about canal fishing which can be different in style to other types of fishing for pike. Fishing with experts such as Steve 'Gulper' Lewis has taught me where the fish are to be found which is of course half the battle and when to fish and the added advantage of pre-baiting.
Tuesday i took along Tom and Melissa from Blacon's Contact Tackle who are keen anglers who have got the Pike bug. Above is an example of the stamp of quality fish this canal can produce. This fish had never seen a hook. A perfect hard fighting Salford Pike.
Sadly there are no fotos attached to this article of fish caught on Saturday's outing and that is because we all blanked on a day that started with so much expectation. I decided to include this foto of Yam Yam of a trip years ago when he caught 2 jacks at the same time; both getting lodged in weed and Yam Yam preceeded to strip down much to everyone's amazement and march headlong into the water to recover the fish which he did. He should get some sort of PAC award. Chuckle! Paul 'Yam Yam' Humphries came up from the Midlands Saturday to join myself, Gulper, Martin and David on a trip to a North Wales Reservoir which has produced some big fish on previous outings to Chester Pred members. But it isn't all about catching trophy fish. The bank reverberated with laughter all day. I haven't had so much fun blanking in years...........Gulper cooked up one of his famous fry-ups and The weather was kind and the scenery spectacular. By the looks of the banks the venue has had alot of visitors. Sadly the visitors haven't been taking away their bait packets and other rubbish. It is very upsetting. This venue 15 years ago had never seen a piker and now it is not only been over-fished; it has been over-fished by heathens who have no respect for the countryside. Anyway, apart from that negative the day was thoroughly enjoyable