An angler's journal

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Pike: Up and running

I finished work on Thursday with the intention of making it out for what would equate to about two hours of fishing. With the date being October 2nd, the previous day had seen what many view as the opening day of the Pike deadbait season. With this in mind my target would be to try and sneak a Pike out.

The colours of autumn
It was a fine autumnal evening. The sun, low in the sky was producing some beautiful reflections on the water. My chosen approach was trotting a dead roach. With the river still low and clear I had doubts that a static bait would be sought out by fish that were probably holding up in cover. I would remain mobile, spending 15 minutes or so in each likely looking spot before moving on to the next.

Having spent a lot of time on the river over the years, it is my opinion that the margins are prime Pike territory. These areas often have cover in the shape of trees, reeds or other vegetation and often give you a few feet of water. My second swim fitted this description perfectly. As nice slow flow to keep my bait moving with overhanging grass and reeds. I dropped the bait a few yards upstream and let it trundle slowly through the swim. I had set the depth so that the bait was suspended and would be able to find its way through the swim unhindered. I was also using size 2 single hook on a home made trace with the dead roach hooked next to its dorsal fin to present it a natural position in the water. I have more confidence in single hooks for smaller baits and it makes deep hooking very unlikely. That's not to say I don't use trebles. If the bait size necessitates their use then they will be employed but it's important that bite detection and early striking is employed to avoid deep hooking.

On my third trot through the swim the float showed a fish had emerged from the cover and grabbed my bait. The float surged under and started moving away from the bank. With a smallish bait and obvious indication that the bait had been grabbed confidently, I struck early and saw the rod bend into action. A lively fish put up a good scrap but was safely landed. The hook was positioned in the scissors and was removed by hand, vindicating my use of single hooks. Unfortunately, none of my subsequent swims produced but it was nice to get the ball rolling and I am sure better conditions will arrive in the coming weeks and I can find a few more.

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