Sunday, 6 January 2013

Back To My Youth Pike Fishing

I spend the two weeks of Christmas and New Year visiting family in north Buckinghamshire.  This is where I grew up and lived before moving to Cornwall in 1989.  I really did not want to spend the whole period sitting around the house and as the nearest coastline is about 120 miles away sea fishing was possible but not practical.  Two weeks with no fishing would give me withdrawal symptoms so I decided to stay local and do some Pike fishing.

Prior to taking up sea fishing, Pike fishing was my favourite type of freshwater fishing.  Maybe it is because Pike tend to be bigger than the average course fish or maybe it was their ferocity that attracted me I am not sure but I do know that it appealed to me more than pulling out Gudgeon from the canal.

There are three methods of Pike fishing, live baiting, dead baiting, and lure fishing and in my youth, I have done all three.  I am not into live baiting now whether it is sea fishing or Pike fishing.  There are so many great lures on the market that I really do not see the need for live baiting.  Sitting still in the cold dead baiting did not appeal to me therefore, lure fishing on the move was the method for me.
Not wishing to go into any great expense buying new tackle for once a year fishing I decided to use the same tackle as I use for my shore Sea Bass fishing with plugs.  The rod and reel is definitely suitable and arguably, some of the plugs could be mistaken for some of the freshwater baitfish.  All I needed were wire traces to cope with the Pike's teeth.  I purchased my eight-day temporary rod licence in Cornwall.

I could try several lakes as well as the River Ouse and the Grand Union Canal.

On arrival, three days before Christmas it was soon clear that I had a problem.  Constant heavy rain meant that the lakes and rivers were flooded and the canal was very murky from muck washed in from the land.  It looked like I might have to abandon the idea of doing any fishing.

Over the New Year period, the rains stopped and the floods receded.  On the last day before I was due to return I finally managed to get out and do some fishing.  I decided to fish a lake in the Cosgrove area north of Stony Stratford known as Broad Water.  It lies just off and parallel to the Grand Union Canal.

Broad Water Lake Running Parallel to the Grand Union Canal

You have to fish this lake with very shallow diving plugs due to the weed and plant life that grows up to the surface.

I decided to use an IMA Komono SF-125 that dives to about 30cm.  Hold the rod high and the lure runs just under the surface.  This plug has colouring similar to a sprat and I know twitching a sprat is a successful way of catching Pike.

IMA Komono SF-125


Pike are notoriously lazy and I decided to retrieve the plug very slowly with pauses in an effort imitate an injured fish thus easy prey for the Pike.

There was no one else fishing which meant I could wander the lake trying different pegs.  The left end of the lake seemed to be where the Pike were lying.  The reed beds were within easy casting distance.  An overhanging tree lay from the far bank, which I could also reach.  Varying the cast in a semi circle meant I could cover a lot of ground and features.

I managed to catch the following six Pike and I returned all of them.

None of the Pike were very big the biggest being about 3lb however, it was good sport and good to get out and do some fishing.  I had been checking the weather forecast back home and it was unlikely I would have been able to get out on the Kayak.

I certainly would not give up sea fishing for course fishing.  A Mackerel on the same tackle would have given me more of a fight than any of these Pike but it was good to re live my course fishing day's prior taking up sea fishing and I will make this an annual event.

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