Plodding along after pike
Left to right: the middle Severn, first pike of the week, my first lesser celandine of the year, the final pike from Dudmaston
I’ve called this article ‘Plodding along after pike, because that’s exactly what my experience have been during the latest sessions at the water’s edge. I ended up catching on two out of the five visits that I made and considering how unstable the conditions have been, I actually felt that I did quite well. Bear in mind that the backdrop to that statement is the harshest winter in thirty years and that’s why I’ve been reasonably happy with just a 40% hit rate.
And to reinforce the comment about the conditions this week, no two days were ever the same. At one stage I thought that we were going to see a breakthrough in the weather, only for it to suddenly fall back to sharp overnight frosts of minus five and minus seven. One thing that is important in angling is stability, and when conditions are about as reliable as my first British Leyland made car I had when I was seventeen, you are automatically on the back foot.
I did two sessions at Dudmaston on the Kinver Freeliners ticket and three on the middle reaches of the River Severn. The odds were that the river would have produced the goods, instead it was the lake that handed over the fish. The Severn looked good with water clarity, temperature and overall conditions pointing to at least a few pike. But I had absolutely nothing at all. On the other hand it was the average looking lake where I caught my fish. That’s angling for you eh!
Bait-wise I fished deads with sardine, roach and even a gudgeon. With the conditions being as they were I opted for small baits as opposed to a big one. I was thinking that I had more chance of catching a pike on a snack rather than a hearty meal. With the river season about to end – and Dudmaston also following the traditional close season – this will be my pike fishing finished until the autumn at least. It’s certainly been a struggle over the last couple of months but I’ve enjoyed the challenge.
On the nature front I saw my first lesser celandine of the year, on the Severn. There were masses of very early leaves and right there in the middle of them, standing out due to its bright yellow colour, was the flower. Bird-wise I saw ravens at Dudmaston along with greylag geese and a male goldeneye. A range of flowers will soon be showing everywhere and before long I will be reporting my first butterfly. I wonder what species I will see.
Video number 10 on list
(Originally published March 2010)