A result on the canal (pike article and videos, entry 488)

With my intention to predominantly fish the River Severn for pike this season, the high water from the start of October affected my initial plans. It didn’t put an end to them though, just delayed them. But with the river persistently carrying extra water it was a few weeks before I engaged with it. And even then it had an extra couple of feet, but crucially it was dropping.

Fishing on a bend with a clump of overhanging willows immediately upstream I was able to present a sardine perfectly with just a small bomb holding bottom easily in the semi-slack water. I was fishing right on first light and I had a run in the opening hour. The result though, as you can see in one of the videos, was a hook-pull.

Just before the hooks pulled

Although my hopes were high for the rest of the session, I had no more action. The only times I had a quickening of my heartbeat was when the float was caught in the minimal current and just for a brief moment it looked like I had the beginning of a take. But not to be out-foxed I returned to the Severn three days later.

First river pike – unusual colouration

Again fishing a deadbait on the bottom with a float as an indicator I had sardine on one and a small perch on the other. It was the coarse fish that produced the goods mid-morning. As you can see from the photo, my first river pike of the new season wasn’t a monster. But sometimes it’s just good to catch, regardless of size. And this one was unusual as far as colouration was concerned.

The pike was obviously hungry as once in the net it up-chucked a number of fish that it had devoured. It was still empty though as far as belly potential was concerned. Unlike me. I was on a food-free session having pigged-out the day before on loads of junk food including lots and lots of clotted cream ice-cream.

Don’t venture out without these

Although my article format has been pretty much the same since day one other than developing it, I’m forever changing my video approach. The current system of regular but shorter clips allows me to cover a lot more specifics and produce them as stand-alone presentations.

And the need to get my side-cutters out gave me the chance to do a video on these essential items. They’re not optional extras and to venture out without them is irresponsible. The ones I use are Greys Prowla and you can get them from Harris Sportsmail via the link at the foot of the page.

They’re not expensive, but that’s irrelevant anyway. They’re basic must-haves. There are other brands and retailers of course, just make sure you get some quality side-cutters, with the manufacturers name being a decent guide to get you started.

So although Honest Joe’s Pike Cutters may seem like a bargain at 99p, the reality is on this you will pretty much get what you pay for. Oh and by the way, although I very much doubt if he exists, I made Honest Joe up! So to any tackle manufacturers named Joe, no discredit is intended at all!

Tamed on the prototype rod

My second pike of the session again threw up lots of smaller fish as it snacked its way towards wolfing down my sardine. The fish was tamed on the Rock Tackle prototype predator rod I’m currently fishing with. It certainly coped well and continues to pass the test I’ve set for it.

No more fish followed and my final act as far as the camera was concerned was to snap the sunset. As an angler I love a good sunset as it usually means I’ve got a night’s fishing ahead of me. In this instance though it signalled the end of the session. A few hours later I was playing football and although we lost 2-0 I got man of the match. So a pretty decent day all round!

The sun sets over the Severn

If you read my Angling Journal regularly you may recall I’ve had a couple of chairs fail me in recent weeks. Firstly I had a Wychwood Solace leg joint break then the stitching came away on a Nash Indulgence, meaning the seat collapsed. To make it a trio I had the same thing happen to another Wychwood. More broken legs than a Mafia vendetta campaign at this rate.

I’ve always thought though that the bar that holds the front legs of a fishing chair is a definite weak spot as there’s just a basic weld either side. If one of those go then the chair ceases to exist. I’m surprised someone hasn’t come up with the idea of bolting the support piece to the legs. It would certainly be a stronger connection. As for me, anyone know where I can get hold of a cheap dodgem car?

Another chair bites the dust

I picked up on a tweet that the Yorkshire-based Angling Star is no more. Way back in the days before I started my website I wrote a few articles for the publication. In fact searching out something for a photo it reminded me I did a few bits and pieces here and there back then.

But I did make a deliberate choice to focus on my own site and certainly the way it has grown in terms of a following it has proved to be a right decision. In the early days of my site internet influence wasn’t as dominant as it is now. And I certainly didn’t have any prophetic insight, I just liked the idea of publishing a weekly update on-line that’s all.

The Angling Star, sadly no more

I completed my fishing week with a visit to one of the local canals. Although they are in there, it’s not a noted pike venue. So on that basis I set out with the target that one fish, regardless of size, would be a result. I fished a couple of rods, sardines on both, and put out a few handfuls of sloppy groundbait to create a cloud to attract some small fish to the area.

Leaves didn’t cause any issues

It’s the time of year when, just like the railways, leaves can cause a problem. And although I did have leaves on the line, I made sure I dropped my baits into clear spots, so I had no issues. Then it was a case of settling back with a flask of tea and waiting.

Small, but a result!

I only had a short session but I got my result. The float trembled, vibrated, moved and dipped and a minute or two later I had a small pike on the bank. I’m always stressing the importance of fish in relation to the venue, so on that basis I was a happy bunny.

There’s plenty more pike fishing to come between now and next spring but in the meantime I’m switching to sea fishing. Join me next Saturday and share in my holiday experiences as I pursue whiting  in North Wales. (published November 17 2012)

My angling site HERE

This week’s videos:

Pike fishing. Essential items: side cutters HERE

My first river pike of the new season HERE

This week’s pike fishing gallery HERE


Greys Prowla side-cutters HERE

Follow my angling adventures on twitter: