An angler's journal

An angler's journal

Monday, 8 August 2016

Pike: Lake District at Grasmere

The Lake District is a magnet for tourists. Beautiful scenery made up of hills, mountains, scenic villages and of course the lakes and the source of Wordsworth's poetry. Much of the landscape was defined during the last ice age some 15,000 years ago. The thawing process carved the huge valleys and created the deep, mysterious lakes that we have today.

With a family break planned, I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to sneak a few hours fishing at some point. Many of the lakes contain trout meaning pike fishing cannot commence until autumn. However Grasmere is not one them meaning it would provide me the chance of some action for the price of a day ticket. Grasmere is considered one of the area's smaller lakes but it is still around a mile long and approaching half a mile wide. With depths of upto 70ft it's a pretty daunting water, especially when confined to bank fishing. A boat would always give an advantage of being able to cover more ground in what can appear to be the proverbial finding a needle in a haystack. There is little information to be found about fishing the water and I knew it would come down to my own watercraft if I was to have any luck.

I arrived on the banks at around 6am. The lake was perfectly still like a sheet of glass with reflections of its surroundings.
The scene that greeted me
There was no doubt that regardless of how it fished, it was a scene of traquillity. An early start meant I had the lake to myself before the hoards of walkers arrived later. I fished Grasmere once before. On that occasion I managed to observe some predatory attacks which helped me find some pike. I managed to land one with some other follows that day. This visit did not afford me any clues as to the whereabouts of the pike. There were small fish topping all over but there was no sign of anything larger.

I started at the end of the lake. The lake itself was characterised by a shallow ledge that extended about two rod lenghts before a sheer drop into the hidden depths. This area looked good for a fish with the water exiting into the River Rothay. I cast a 4" soft shad around the area. It failed so I continued to make my way around the shoreline. The hours passed and I tried every
The hours passed
lure in the box but I didn't even see a pike. I tried not to be too disappointed. It's a tough water afterall and many better anglers than me have left empty handed. The fish literally could've been anywhere and I had only really scratched the surface of this huge expanse of water.  By now it was late morning and the banks were getting busier. Children and dogs were paddling on the gravel beaches and I knew my time had come to leave. A blank was staring me in the face. A stiff breeze had appeared which transformed the lake from a calm picture of beauty to that of waves lapping the water's edge. I was buoyed by this as I felt that this might trigger a feeding spell.

I trudged back to where it had all began at the end of the lake. There had to be fish there with so many smaller fish in the area. I cast out knowing it was now or never. Would they be feeding?
At last
To my amazement I hooked a pike and a lively one too. With the rod held high to keep the fish away from the many dangerous looking boulders, I guided it up and on to the shallow shelf. It was here the fish demonstrated some impressive bursts of speed as it attempted to return to the depths. It was great sport and a reward for the uneventful hours that had preceded it. A fish of around 8lb was quickly photographed and returned. I cast again and another pike grabbed the lure. This was smaller but again gave a good account of itself once in the shallow water. It even gave an acrobatic tailwalk across the surface. A couple more casts returned no more action so I called it a day. After hours of absolutley nothing I had managed two at the death in about 5 minutes. I guess that's just fishing.
Like buses, another quickly followed


  1. Ah yes, hard fighting summer pike. Those two look as if they have been struggling to put back the pounds after spawning. Surprised to see them looking so slim in August though. Well done.

  2. Yes, they were a little lean. Thanks for reading.

  3. You can't beat a summer pike. I've caught a few and the colouring is amazing. Once again nice read Lee.

  4. You can't beat a summer pike. I've caught a few and the colouring is amazing. Once again nice read Lee.

  5. Thanks BM, glad you're enjoying the updates.