Catch Fish with
For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
Nigel and I went pike/grayling fishing the other day. It was towards the end of the very cold spell and it was a bit grim. We began by trying to catch bait and within seconds I had a small dace. Normally I'd have considered it too small for pike bait but I had a feeling that we might struggle so I put it in the container. After twenty minutes or half-an-hour with nothing but the odd minnow we decided to give it best. Nigel opted to try for the grayling while I took the one pathetic bait and had a go for a pike. My first spot, usually a banker, was apparently fishless so I moved on. the second place was a deep, bankside hole under an overhanging bramble. I lowered the float in and the bait swam down. the cork jerked. Was that a take? I tightened but there was nothing there. I drew the bait to the surface and as I did so a nice pike loomed up behind it and swept gracefully past - missing it completely. In went the float again and after a couple of minutes the same sort of action was repeated. I tried a third time and once again the pike missed the bait completely. It looked decidedly sluggish.
I'm a bit slow on the uptake sometimes but it seemed to me that, in the cold water, the pike just couldn't be bothered with any sort of chase. I walked along to my pal and borrowed half-a-metre of nylon which I made into a dropper and attached a half ounce weight. This was tied to the swivel of my wire trace to construct a simple paternoster. I took the float off and returned to the pike spot. My idea was to pin the bait in one place so that the pike couldn't miss it. Sure enough, after a minute or so, the line tightened and I was in.
Nigel had the net and by now was out of earshot so I had to play the pike out, lie down on the muddy bank and slide the fish ashore. After a couple of tries I managed and by now my pal, seeing me in action, had returned. He took a couple of pictures before returning to his float gear. The only other action of the session was when Nigel landed a salmon kelt on his grayling gear. still it was a pleasant afternoon and we didn't blank.
The following day was a little bit warmer so I decided to try again. This time I only caught minnows so I decided to try for perch. The minnow was lip hooked on my smallish circle hook but I kept a wire trace just in case. Sure enough after half-an-hour or so I had a bite in mid-river but I could tell at once that it was no perch. After a bit of a tussle I managed to land the pike - not a giant but a beautiful fish nonetheless, nicely hooked on the little circle hook.
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The same fish.