Friday, 26 December 2008

Look what i got for Xmas!

I couldn't resist the chance of a Xmas fish from the Dee. I got out of bed early today; boxing day with a delicate head from the excesses of yesterday. The Pike haven't really been on over the last week but i had so much confidence at first light when i saw the river was in perfect condition. The level was right with a nice flow with just a tinge of colour. The regular faces appeared before light and we all discussed the prospects for the day. Tony promised to catch some livebait for me and duly did especially after he was given some extra tuition from Dee 'legend' Reg. To be fair to Tony he wasn't doing alot wrong and was catching regularly before Reg imparted his expertise regarding his world famous 'Molehill Groundbait'.

My livebaits went out at first light and as the bungs danced in the flow of this majestic river on a stunning crisp winters day my heart beat a little faster. But sadly the morning went by without the hint of Pike activity. My old mate and Piking Ace Paul Gratton made a late appearence and whilst the Pike weren't biting we caught up; sharing stories of past triumphs and other fishing anecdotes the way only fanatic Pikers would understand. Everytime i talk to this guy i learn lots.

Although i had no runs there appeared to be Pike about; The livebaits at regular intervals went crazy in a way that usually indicates the presence of those beautiful speckled green underwater monsters. But nothing came of these eratic bung bouncing episodes til mid afternoon when Paul and myself were talking Pike tactics etc and the left hand bung bounced and began to move off. the result was a plump jack of around 7-8lb. Well after that nothing much happened for the next hour and then as before the livebait started moving excitedly and as Paul and i watched the left hand bung it bounced and then went flat upon the surface indicating something had picked up the bait. As i picked up the rod the fished moved off and i hit it immediately. At first i thought it was a small fish but it hadn't woke up yet, but as i applied pressure it resisted and made a number of powerful runs. As it came towards the net we could see it was lip-hooked with one treble and as it resisted the landing net i feared i would lose her but after a few missed heartbeats it was in. Paul dutifully weighed and photographed the fish (pictured above) and it weighed 17lb 10oz. A stunning river fish and a lovely Xmas present.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Womble's Double Hook-up

Pictured above are two fat doubles caught by 'Womble' on a un-disclosed North West Stillwater. We can all have days of waiting for a single run but on this occasion before Xmas 'Womble' managed a double hook-up and managed to land two super fat doubles.

Merry Xmas!

Xmas has not been a great time for me since losing my job 10 days before the festive season. But silver linings exist everywhere. I have enjoyed a super day with my parents and my belly is full and i am still full of hope and positivity for 2009. Last week i managed a couple of sessions on Dee with little success; one small jack in the fading light at the end of the day's fishing two days ago which was probably around 7-8lb. The Pike might not have been in the mood but i enjoyed the company of the regular Dee fanatics and their usual banter and good humour. The day was highly entertaining.

Earlier last week I managed a session with 'Womble' before Xmas which was also filled with our usual brand of Cestrian schoolboy humour and 'Womble' managed a nice double which weighed 15lb(Pictured above) and although the fish managed to give me a nice bit of 'Gill Raker Rash' it is always a pleasure to bleed for the cause. The foto above shows my gill raker rash and a slashed bait which was the story of the day for me. I had a mischievious jack in my swim which killed a few of my dace but cleverly avoided my hooks.

During that day on the next peg i befriended a super bloke; Rick Brown. A gentleman and also a good Piker. Rick managed a couple of super chunky Dee doubles that day when the Pike weren't tremendously hungry. Rick has caught some super Dee fish in the past and has sent me a great foto of a perfect Dee specimen over the magical 20lb mark (foto above). I look forward to spending some more time on the bank with this knowledgeable angler.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Great Ouse Wombling

STOP PRESS! Cambridgeshire PAC Top Piker Andrew Allebone has sent his contribution to the trawling of disgarded waste products. Andrew is an avid trolling Piker who ventures up and down the lengths of the great Ouse with shads in tow and has on occasion managed a few Pike and Zander for his efforts but he claims his best fight came in the form of a seat cushion weighing a massive 46lb; a personal best for Andrew. He has also added such specimens as car tyres, a very rare eel net and even a fly rod and reel. Well that has raised the bar even higher and set new heights for the Chester preds and Region 88 boys to aim for. These Fenland Pikers do take some beating......................

Monday, 8 December 2008

Fortune favours the brave....and Mad Pikers!

Slash and Womble ventured out this week whilst the rest of the nation stayed by the fire. They made an early start on a North West still water. The margins were lined with 20ft of ice. But the intrepid duo were rewarded with a sunrise that was breathtaking and added to this Slash; aka Matty 'Mudguard' Yarwood also managed a fish. Bravo Slash! Photos above..........

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Blithfield does a record bit of old iron

In response to my feature on some of the disgarded waste caught by Chester Pred. members on the Bridgey I received an interesting e-mail from my old mate 'Noddy' Neil from Region 88. Neil and Buzz were out last weekend on Blithfield and the lads managed a huge specimen (pictured above) which looks like the remains of a lobster pot. Didn't know there were any lobsters in Blithfield. Those Region 88 lads have really set a challenge for the Chester boys with this huge specimen which could be a Blithfield Record for the species. In very testing conditions with temperatures below zero. Neil reported problems with icy rings. Well, an icy ring is one of the hazards of boat fishing in sub-zero temperatures i guess. These lads have excelled themselves though and must be very proud of their achievment. Congratulations!.....

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Pike Feed in the dark

I see so many anglers packing up when the sun goes down. It is at this time my heart starts beating a little faster. I have had so many fish over the years after dark and even in the middle of the night and they tend to be the bigger girls(fotos above are two 20's that were 2 of 4 20's that came in 2 hours after dark). Stu McMorrin and myself have been fishing a number of Lancashire Lodges recently; waters that see quite alot of pressure. As an experiment we have been placing baits in the margins overnight ensuring they are visible which isn't a problem as these waters are crystal clear. The baits have all been disappearing. Some will have been retrieved by water rodents no doubt but we are confident that Pike have learned that there are free offerings to be collected after a days fishing, when anglers disgard un-used deadbaits. On pressured waters I am sure Pike have worked it out that these nocturnal freebies come without hooks and are readily available most days on many waters. For many years I have also noticed that Pike also gather around the activity of matchmen and not only do they get attracted to the silvers being retrieved but also await the emptying of keepnets when the odd casualty of their net incarceration will be only too gratefully excepted as a nice supper for the wiser Pike. As a youth on the Dee i used to wander the match lengths talking to match anglers asking if any of them had been troubled by Pike and i also observed who was catching and from where. I use to wait until the weigh-in had finished and dived straight in with a juicy free live-bait which i had usually acquired from the very matchman who had been resident in the peg.

Succesful Pike fishermen are adept at working out not only where the pike live in various seasons but also about feeding patterns. Study your waters carefully. Some guys are scientific about recording data and they swear it pays off for them. I take mental notes each and everytime i go out and every day is a 'Day at School'.....