Saturday, 31 January 2009

Gulper finds another great water..........

Steve 'Gulper' Lewis came up trumps again today with a new still water. Not the biggest water but a water crammed full of lovely pike food such as bream and roach. Getting the boat in was a bit tricky but we managed it. Pictured above are a selection of photos of some quality fish we took today which included 3 upper doubles and another 20 for me aboard Steve's boat. Every time I get on that boat I get lucky. Credit must go to Steve's boating skill and presentation of the baits rather than my angling skill. No petrol engines allowed on this small lake but Steve has got the best electric set up i have seen with a bow-mounted electric trolling motor he specially imported from the States.

The day couldn't have got off to a more explosive start when we got the boat into the water i baited one of my rods and one of Steve's and just dropped them over the side whilst Steve organised the boat's floor space. Literally 90 seconds after i dropped my bait over the side Steve shouted to me 'You're in'. He had seen the bung bounce in that unmistakable way that signifies a pike attack. Before i could even turn around I heard the reel screaming off and after a short but explosive fight Steve put the net under my 7th 20 of the season. The next 3 hours were frenetic and then it went dead. Some waters fish midday and some first and last light. This place went crazy early morning and then died. We tried different baits and presentations from late morning until the close of play but not one run came of it. I was surprised but It was still a phenominal days fishing. Can't wait to go back. All the fish were really fat. Their bellies looked ready to burst.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Friendship, A Great Fish and an even better Sandwich

After a week of frustration chasing a new job a small dark invisible cartoon cloud hovered above my head and had been following me all week. But having a good mate like Steve 'Gulper' Lewis soon puts a smile back on my face. Today, Steve got the boat out to tackle a large stillwater he hasn't tackled before but one i know quite well. I was excited because the last time i was aboard 'The Fury' i caught a big lump of a fish. Steve really knows how to work his boat amd present baits perfectly on these big waters. It was an early start as usual. We always attempt to be on any water before light. The temperature was cool but the wind was kind and in the early light we found the roach topping in one bay. We trolled early with roach and lures and almost straight away Steve had a take on one of his super spoons that caught nearly 30 fish this season in Ireland. Sadly this fish shook the hooks but this was a sign to encourage us. We continued and shortly after i watched Steve's bung bounce under violently and disappear. Just as Steve was about to strike the bung popped up. The Pike had cheekily managed to steal his livebait. We started to think it was going to be one of those days. We continued to troll and the baitfish were still topping and then we were given a sign; a large pike swirled behind one of the bungs. So, immediately we lowered the stop knots and put the baits up near the surface and immediately it payed off. Re-covering the same area the Pike had swirled at the bung my reel screamed with a vicious take and i instantly felt the heavy head-thumping of a decent fish. After a short but hard fought battle Steve slipped the net under a fish just short of the magical 20lb mark(photo above); a PB for me on this water. Not long after Steve broke his duck and had an awesome scrap with a very plump jack that was hard to believe(photo above). We worked hard covering alot of water the rest of the day with no further success. A special mention must be given to almost the highlight of the day; and that was possibly the greatest breakfast sandwich ever made(photo above). Steve's culinery skills are well known and have received high regard in past Blog postings but this was outstanding. He concocted one of his famous triple decker sandwiches which was filled with a layer of Pork and Herb sausages and a layer of Deli. cured bacon and 2 fried free range eggs. The ingredients were literally mouthwatering and they were cooked to perfection. As i type this i am beginning to salivate.....................

Gulper Dude! Thanks for being a top mate but even greater thanks for that sandwich.........Awesome day!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Fenland Wombling........

Another entry for the best caught piece of rubbish caught whilst piking comes from Mark Philips in the form of a double hook up; A nice example of a decent sized brolly but attached to the brolly by some bizarre coincidence is a Duplo Lego toy. Now that's a first! Brolly's aren't the heaviest of adverseries but they can put up a hell of a fight.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Dave's PB Tyre

My old mate Rick Brown just sent me this photo of a Specimen Tyre caught on Ellesmere by his mate and Piking nut Dave. The leviathen was in good condition and fell to a bulldawg.

Please keep sending me your photos of your specimens caught whilst piking..........Well done Dave!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Bass Fishing

Above are a number of Bass that Gulper and Dawn have caught both in Canada and Spain. Wide mouth Bass are a terrific little predator and pound for pound fight as good as any predator. Wide mouth Dawns are also to be respected! Also pictured above is a British diminuitive predator; The mighty Perch. Which leads me onto Chester Preds RO's Bass Style Challenge.

Gulper loves his predators even the smaller ones. You might have noticed on previous posts a selection of British Stripeys he has caught. The Perch is one of the most beautiful of British fish and on light tackle are good sport. For those of you who love the Perch Gulper is organising a trip to a Scottish Loch renowned for big Perch for a weekend in April. It will be fished Bass style in boats over 2 days. There will be a prize for the biggest Perch and Pike(also present in this loch to a decent size) and for the best weight over the 2 days. 5 fish each day to be weighed. Those of you that don't own a boat then please don't be put off. Places in other boats might be available and there is access to a boat on the loch. We will be travelling early saturday morning and staying in a Lochside motel saturday night. Those interested please contact me or Gulper. Further details will be posted closer to the event. A date will be chosen soon and I will of course contact the interested parties.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Buzzin' in the Florida Keys!

My old mate and Predator fanatic Darren 'Buzz' Conroy had a special Xmas across the Atlantic. Whilst we struggled in sub zero temperatures Darren flew to warmer climes with Big Fish in mind. Pictured above are a selection of Photos from his trip. I had a phone conversation last week and it was very clear he was still on a high and understandably so. Baracuda, Dorado and a PB sailfish. What a trip! Darren has promised me a full report for the blog and i for one can't wait to hear in greater detail about this memorable trip. Congratulations Darren!

Series of blanks ends with a jack

Since New year's Day like many in the country i have been finding Piking hard going with several blanks to my name. I still enjoy my time on the bank even when i blank but eventually i crave a run. Today i went canal fishing just for an afternoon with Gulper. As i waited for his arrival due to him being delayed because of work my pencil dead with a juicy Lamprey below bobbed delicately and slid away and after the half-hearted takes Wes and i experienced last week on Bala it did cross my mind whether i would get a hook up. But the rod bent over and i initially thought i had got myself a nice small double but it was just a tough ugly little jack of 7lb. It wasn't the biggest Pike i have ever caught but it was very welcome. I have to thank Gulper yet again for his knowledge of this water; On a short session just a couple of days ago he'd found the roach that the Pike follow and feed upon. The fish had extensive scars on it's rear which it had obviously received in it's youth from a larger Esox and survived. It went chilly this afternoon with a naughty wind that was biting as it went dark but the weather has warmed up slightly and hopefully this will herald a period of Pike feeding voraciously. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Get well soon Bob!

Pictured above is my old mate Bob Reynolds pictured holding a tiny jack and a chunky fish of 14lb 8oz. This was Bob's first ever Pike outing, Not a bad start. Bob had a stroke this week and is in the countess. Thought i would publish these old pics and say get well soon Bob! Hope you make a quick recovery and get out on the bank catching big fish soon.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Waiting for the weather to change

This week i have been job-hunting and also taking advantage of this period of enforced leisure time by putting a few hours in on the bank. I had a great day with Womble wandering the river and trying some new spots. Womble managed a couple of super little fish. The Pike fishing on the river has been slow for 2 weeks and these 2 fish were encouragement for future trips in this area. I had a very educational day on Bala aboard Wesley's boat. I learned more about this water in one day with the young pike ace Wesley than i have done on the bank in years on Bala. Four tentative dropped runs between us told us that the Pike are just not in the mood at the moment. We both agreed as soon as this weather breaks the Pike will really turn on.
I added a day on the Dee with Lancashire all-rounder and top Pike angler Paul Haughton. We both enjoyed some great sport on the waggler and stick float but the Pike failed to wake from their chilly slumber. But the day was full of laughter; starting from the early morning arrival on the river meeting up with Tony and Pete. I attempted to convert Tony to Pike fishing. I set him up with a rod and hoped he would feel the excitement of a thumping river pike but it wasn't to be. But there will be other days and i am determined to get this true gentleman a big green speckly beast. Paul got an insight to the potential of the river. He loves rivers the same way womble and i do and i know he will return to catch some big fish. He also has the same esoteric sense of humour as myself and i have enjoyed fishing with him the last 2 trips.
Back to job-hunting this week but hoping to get out during the week with Wes and Womble and the warmer weather is promised and Pike action could be frenetic. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Dawn keeps showing the guys how to catch Pike!

Chester Preds 'Glamour Girl' Dawn Lewis Aka Mrs Gulper managed 4 christmas doubles in an hour on the River Bure whilst Steve and Coventry Pike Ace Baz Stokes were busy catching baits. After she won our summer carp competition; 'The Nige Williams Livebait Cup' i did strongly advise the Chester Preds Club regional organiser Steve that he should not encourage Dawn's interest in fishing. Even though she is great company and obviously enjoys being one of the lads or we enjoy being one of the girls in her company. This is becoming highly embarrasing. The salmon fishing fraternity has never truly recovered from Mrs Ballantyne's famous Salmon record fish which still stands to this day and i don't think Matt, Womble and myself have yet to get over her summer carp victory. She never demonstratively gloated; not a feminist taunt passed her lips or even a chuckle of ridicule. It was far more subtle than that. She just smiled humbly and annoying is that?

Pictured above is Dawn with one of her super Bure doubles and a foto steve captured when the weather deteriorated and Dawn retreated sensibly to the centrally heated cuddy on Steve's boat The Fury. What a big Girlie! Steve would have thrown me overboard if i had tried that. She looks very contented on both pictures! GRRRRRRRRR!

Friday, 2 January 2009

Mally's Monster

Pike Fanatic Malcolm Hough has put in some hours on the river lately. He is as crazy as me! Well he got his reward over the festive season with this huge river lady weighing 20lb 10oz. A super chunky Esox. Congratulations Mally!

and a Happy New Year to me!

Making the most of my time in the ranks of the un-employed i rose early today in the pursuit of a New Year's Fish and boy did i land a beauty. my digital scales showed 20lb 1oz but she looked a whole lot bigger but i will settle for that weight, but i am purchasing some Reuben Heatons as soon as i get a new job. I advise everyone to avoid digital scales in the cold weather; they will take lb's off your fish. Weight isn't everything and she was a stunning Pike and one i won't ever forget.