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).
Jake's first pike.
I had a couple of trips to the river and the lake last week. Neither session was very productive but I had one nice perch on a Rapala from the river and my smallest carp of the year - a beautiful six or seven pound common - on floating crust from the lake. However, the most interesting and enjoyable fishing was with my pal Ben and his son Jake now aged 11 (doesn't time fly?). Ben has obviously taught him well. He's already caught dace, carp and one or two other species. However, the river fishing can be tricky at this time of the year because of the heavy weed growth so I suggested that while Ben tried spinning for trout or perch Jake and I might try to catch a pike.
We arranged to go in the evening so earlier in the day I went to catch a few dace for Jake to use as bait. I'd rigged up a rod with a single circle hook on a trace of knottable wire and a split wine-bottle cork as a float. While Ben went off spinning with a Mepps Jake and I lip hooked a dace and set it swimming in one of the few deep slacks. For perhaps ten minutes the floated bait made its way round the pool - Jake was keeping the line nice and tidy and trying to avoid the bait burying itself in the lilies or the bankside vegetation. We were both watching the float when suddenly there was a green flash in the depths and the cork shot under. At this point many novice anglers would have struck as a sort of reflex but Jake did exactly the right thing and gave a little bit of slack. Then the time had come to draw the line tight, the rod bent and the clutch began to buzz as the pike took off upstream. Line poured from the spool as the fish made several strong runs then suddenly everything went dead. It had found a bed of lilies. We walked downstream and after a bout of heaving suddenly it moved again and it was free of the snags. The fish wasn't tired yet and as it neared the bank it ploughed into a mass of trailing sedges and pondweed. I grabbed the long-handled net and tried to poke the clutching vegetation clear of the line. Eventually the strategy worked and Jake was able to draw the fish over the rim of the net. We had it! Phew!
While I was getting my pliers to remove the hook Jake went to shout for his Dad. We admired the fish and weighed it at nine pounds - not bad for starters. Then Ben took a picture and we slipped the pike back to fight another day. After that it was bound to be a bit of an anti-climax. Although we fished on and hooked another, smaller pike, this one came unstuck and escaped. Ben managed to catch a couple of smallish perch on his spinners but we all had a very enjoyable time. I guess that when you go fishing and the son catches a bigger fish than his Dad that's exactly how it should be eh?
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My nice perch on the Rapala.
My titchy but attractive carp.
Success! Jake with his first pike - cracking fish!
One of Ben's perch - just a little smaller.