Thursday, 4 October 2012

A River Pike Treble

It wasnt a classic Pike fishing dawn, the absence of frost under foot, far too many leaves on the trees , however it was a classic Autumn dawn with heavy dew covering the long grass and a soft mist blanketing the field which would lead me to my swim on the river Wye.  The morning had a distinctive chill and the sun was still to rise as I made my way down river.

I was in search of Pike, I chose to fish a slack area due to the river being high and coloured and bringing through lots of debris, I was hoping the prey fish would find sanctuary out of the main flow and in tern the pike would follow.
I intended to fish 2 rods , a float paternoster on 1 and a float leger on the other.  The paternoster rod would be cast to the edge of the main flow, with a deadbait and a small amount of foam inserted inside to make it "swim" about a foot above the river bed.  The second rod would be traditional float leger.  Baits are mainly roach or perch with bait flags for added attraction in the murky water.  With the rods cast out, I grabbed the camera for a couple of scenic shots and as I attempted to take a picture of the misty Wye, I walked into my tackle box with the lid open and managed to empty the entire contents onto the muddy wet grassy bank!  For the next 10 minutes I was on hands and knees salvaging as many beads, run rings, buffers and swivels as I could, I think I got most of them!  Now I was in need of a brew.

Brew in hand waiting for a bite
The paternoster rod fishes itself with the deadbait twisting in the current to attract any nearby Pike, its just a case of casting to different parts of the swim.  With the float leger rod, every so often I will pull it back a foot at a time in the hope of alerting a Pikes attention as the bait twitches along the bottom.  It was on one of these "twitches" that I had my first take.  As I slowly reeled the deadbait it went solid, I let off a little slack line and watched it tighten down and I struck into my first Esox of the day.  The fish put up a spirited fight swimming around in circles then diving for a partly submerged willow tree, before I netted a lean 7lber.  Fishing with braid lets you feel every head shake, lunge and surge the Pike makes its very exciting.

Lean "twitched" 7lber
As the sun began to burn away the mist, it started to feel warmer and the female moorhen that had kept me company decided to leave the sanctuary of a partly submerged tree and venture to the opposite bank in search of breakfast.  Within half an hour the float leger was again showing signs of a take, slight bob on the float, vibrations from beneath causing ripples to emanate.  The float sailed away so I disengaged the Baitrunner and struck into another river Pike.  The fight was a good one with the Pike tail walking several times, lots of heart stopping head shakes on the surface from which I could see it was only hooked with one of the trebles, so I carefully played the Pike into the waiting net.  A chunky looking fish with a small blemish on its flank other than that it was perfect.  I was glad of my new purchase which was the Abu Garcia Pike Net from Harris Sports Mail, the mesh is rubber coated which makes untangling loose trebles a breeze.  The Pike was in the 8lb bracket, a healthy looking fish with strong markings.

8lb Tail Walking Pike
It was nice to have a few early Pike under my belt however, as suspected the fishing went quiet for a while so I had a late breakfast and several cups of tea. The sun was now very strong and this, I think, had an effect on the fishing, I no longer needed my fleece hat or norgie top which had served me well during the colder misty morning.  I placed the fleece hat on the back of my chair upon which a dragonfly took an instant liking, hovering, landing and defending from other winged insects!

Winter hasnt arrived yet
It was now approaching noon and as the minutes ticked by it seemed as though the action was over for the day.  Thankfully there was now some cloud cover which subdued the suns rays onto the river.  If I was a betting man I would normally put money on the paternoster rod to produce a fish, however this was not the case today as the float leger rod which was now cast further down the swim ripped off again, the fish quickly taking the float under followed by a few yards of line off the spool.  I bent into the fish and it instantly felt heavier.  The fish stayed deep as it took line and there was a healthy bend in the rod.  Most river Pike fight like tigers and this one was no different.  As all pike fisherman will be familiar with, its a heart stopping moment when a Pike surfaces, slowly opens its mouth wide then you know the big head shake is imminent and theres nothing you can do about it, so many Pike have thrown the hooks this way, fortunately, the trebles held firm and I slipped the net under a cracking river Pike.  Superb looking fish, these Wye pike are some of the best around, with a fat belly and big fins.  A pleasure to catch.

14lb of River Pike
The Pike went 14lb, a nice start to the "pike season"  3 fish for around 29lb.  It was  an enjoyable and busy session, with the recasting and twitching of baits to induce takes.  I do enjoy a days river piking.