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).
End of the season.
I've just realised that it's the best part of a month since I wrote a BLOG page. In truth I havent't done much fishing over that period although I did go to the river before the season ended. I had hoped to catch one or two chub or perch but there was no sign of either. Out of season trout were a bit of a nuisance on my small lure and when I realised that they were the most likely catch I switched to using a circle hook and a large, lip-hooked, wobbled sardine for bait.
The river was pretty clear and it was possible to see the bait as it fluttered up and down in the water. For five or ten minutes I walked the bank trying each likely spot with no sign. There were quite a few fallen trees along my bank and I came to a place where an old poplar lay in slack water which was several feet deep. In went the sardine and I gave it a couple of twitches as it sank. Suddenly I realised that I could only see the head and tail of the bait. A decent pike had darted out from beneath a fallen branch and grabbed the fish as it sank.
What to do? I watched and waited as the pike hung in mid-water with the bait clenched in its jaws. There was no chance of hooking it as the hook still lay outside its mouth. It was probably a minute or more before the pike gave a couple of gulps in an attempt to turn the bait. I tightened the line and it was on and fighting hard. Despite my best efforts the fish went down and ducked under a big branch. I tried to follow and lead the line past the branch but it was no use and everything became solid. Bugger! I could still see the pike but it was well beyond the reach of my net so there was no chance of wangling it out in that way.
I pushed the rod tip well under the water and eased off the tension. To my astonishment (and relief) the fish slowly but surely swam back towards me and emerged from under the tree the same way it had gone in. I tightened the clutch a bit and lifted the rod which made the pike attempt to return to its hidey hole but now it couldn't manage to swim against the drag and after a bit of a tussle I was able to net it. Without lifting the net from the water I took a picture and roughly measured the length of the pike with my tape (85cm so about 7kg) before unhooking and releasing it. My one and only bait had now gone so I packed in and went home.
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Nuisance trout on a Rapala.
... and another.
Not a bad pike - note the sunken tree (top and left) that caused the trouble.