The middle Severn produces the goods
Left to right: pike on session one, caught within seconds, snowing on the Severn, in bright sunshine
On the first of the sessions in this pike fishing article I found myself on the middle Severn with Lawrence Breakspear. The conditions weren’t perfect with water temperature at 3.7C and the river itself steadily rising, but as we know it’s not very often everything comes together. And even when it does, nothing is guaranteed anyway. The bottom line is get out there and work around all that mother nature throws at us. We started off fishing together in a wide swim and before we moved due to back flow problems created by the extra water, Lol had a pike take his bait as he retrieved. On for a few seconds, it very quickly shook itself free.
Going upstream we dropped into adjoining pegs that had overhanging bushes in them. But as every hour passed the chances of connecting with a pike diminished. In fact Mr Breakspear had already gone home and I myself was getting ready to pack away when one of my floats came alive. The result was the first fish above. Great to get a fish under my belt, but I had already packed the camcorder away so the fight itself remained lost forever.
And talking of the Sony Handycam, the whole of session two was destined to memory-only as well, as I will explain. I was doing a short morning trip to the canal and although I hadn’t caught any pike, I had managed some fantastic footage of a muntjac deer. Later I stepped to the side with my binoculars seeing if it was still around when I heard a loud ‘plop’. My camcorder had decided to go for a swim and all I saw were the tripod legs sticking up out of the water. Never mind, these things happen, although I was disappointed to lose the deer film.
Armed with my new camcorder, my next deadbait cast out was on a lake where I was fishing with Stephen Collett. Steve is the main man at Harris Sportsmail, and if you read my angling journal regularly you will know that the company is now sponsoring the site. Check them out, there is a good range of tackle available and with a dozen employees at the base in Norfolk, a fast and reliable service is guaranteed.
On angling internet forums you often get people asking if company x is reputable and has anyone had issues. Well of course, there will always be a disgruntled customer somewhere along the line, but reputation is important. And just in case you think I am shamelessly plugging sponsors, do an internet search (I did) and you can read comments for yourself. In many ways the internet forum is a real test of what people think. Sometimes it can be a very cruel place, but one thing is for sure any weaknesses (real or imaginary) will soon be exposed.
The fishing? Well, as far as pike were concerned I blanked. Well actually, I suppose that’s not quite true as a small jack took the worm on my float road as I targeted perch. But more about that session in a forthcoming article. I like to write a piece based on species, so I may sometimes mingle two weeks of fishing to produce a couple of articles. I must confess though I don’t fish very well when I try two species in one session. The more focused I am the better I perform. So this particular pike and perch trip is definitely the exception to the rule.
Finally, I was back where I started – on the middle Severn. Casting out my first rod just before noon, I had a take in seconds. And this time I managed to get it on camera as well. Because it was a tight little spot I was fishing, with all the commotion I decided to move. And lo and behold, within minutes of putting the baits out in the second swim I was playing another pike. You can see the fish above, and what a difference in exposure as the last fish was taken in extremely bright sunshine. It was so warm I took my fleece off yet an hour later it was snowing! Ah, the joys of the British weather!
Video number 7 on list
(Originally published February 2010)