An angler's journal

An angler's journal

Sunday, 8 March 2015

River Severn Piking

The penultimate weekend before the river season finishes proved to be quite profitable. Friday evening saw me sneak in a quick hour session on the Warks Avon for a small lure caught pike.
The weekend's Avon opener
But the serious session had me visiting a dropping River Severn that had lost quite a bit of colour on Sunday. Therefore, I resisted the temptation of targeting barbel and set my stall out for pike. Visibility was a good 2ft, if not more so I fished deadbaits and soft lures.

My first swim saw me fishing a large slack area just off the main flow. Bait was a sardine mounted on a set of number 6 trebles with the float set at about 6ft. I kept myself busy by working the lure around the swim while my dad (who had come along to spectate) and I watched the float. Around 30 minutes had passed when we began to discuss moving on to the next spot. Just then, the float bobbed and moved a couple of feet downstream. It then turned and moved purposefully in the opposite direction.  I was in and it felt a good fish. With spring approaching, it was a far cry from the torpid battles of the pike I had caught in deepest winter. This fish had some power and had the reel screaming on several occasions. A muscular looking fish was netted and I suspect it had never been caught before such was its impeccable condition. The scales showed 12lb 1oz, which was my biggest river pike of the winter and represented a great start to my morning.
What a start

By now it had started to rain. As morning turned to lunch, it became heavier and persistent. Several swims were tried and vacated. Eventually, I found a peg that contained a pike. I cast out to check the depth. The float was set too shallow so I brought the rig back to make my adjustments. As I lifted the bait from the water, a pike shot up from the depths, paused before it slunk back. With the float now set, the bait was lowered back into the swim. With an active pike in residence, confidence was high. Therefore, it was no surprise when, within two minutes, the float slid away and pike number 2 was on the bank. It was a much smaller fish at around 6lb but more than welcome.
A 6 pounder kept things ticking along

The rain had finally stopped and with it the mild, cloudy weather that had been present throughout the morning. Replacing it was a clear sky and a noticeable dip in the air temperature. It seemed to kill sport as several likely spots were fished but resulted in nothing and the session was completed.

Today, probably saw me bank my final pike of my winter campaign. It's been the first winter where I've seriously targeted river pike above every other species and it's been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I've learnt a great deal and undoubtedly become more confident as a result. Today also sees just one more weekend left, which will see a final fling on the lower Severn with the hope I can finish with a decent barbel or an obliging zander, maybe even both.

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