WINTER COMES WITH A VENGEANCE – Stillwater PIKE fishing. Blog entry 553

With the bait season running out I wanted to get a few pike sessions in before it was too late. With the days getting longer as we move on into the year, I needed a 6.00am alarm to ensure I was bankside at first light. Not that the wake-up call had chance to sound anyway; as is often the case, I was wide awake ten minutes beforehand. My body was so keen it had woken itself up and was eager to go fishing.

The lake on session one

As well as my usual duties before fishing, this time round I had to add ‘scrape the ice off the windshield’ to the list. With such a mild winter, it’s been a long time since I had to do that. The water temperature at 6C was holding up well though, just the colour that wasn’t ideal. A you can see from the video though, that wasn’t an issue as I caught. Just the one, but that’s the fine line between ‘success’ and ‘failure’ in angling. And I was just happy to be on the right side of the line.

Happy to be on the right side of the line

My next outing was to a different venue, one that I have fished before for other species, so it was nice to target predators on there for a change. With very heavy rain and gale-force winds, I did a head-to-head with the elements. There was no way I could have pegged my umbrella in, it would have been ripped out in no time at all. To say I got wet was an understatement to put it mildly. Even though I was wearing a Sundridge suit it offered no protection at all against the extreme elements. And to add to the mix, we had some heavy snowfall as well for a while.

I like fishing in the snow

I do actually like fishing in the snow, but although I caught, the action took place beforehand so I didn’t get a fish photograph with a snow-backdrop. By the time I packed away I was well and truly soaked, not to mention freezing cold. It’s been such a mild winter so far I’ve hardly had a cold toe or a blue finger, but in this one short morning session the elements more than made up for it. But driving home all I could think of was my next outing.

Caught before the snow hit

That was to be on the Staffs/Worcs Canal and I conclude the video this week with that session. After hooking a pike some time back on worm while perch fishing, I decided to return with my predator gear. As you will see from the footage, I had a fish on and then lost it in the branch it got entangled in. I was disappointed, and in line with my experiences on the canal, you certainly don’t get many bites of the Esox cherry.

Always use a mat when pike fishing

The photograph above was taken on session two, and as the caption says, always use an unhooking mat when after pike. As with fish-welfare stuff in general though, I don’t think we should be attacking other anglers over issues but rather educating. Some drums are worth banging and ones that are to do with putting fish first definitely fall into that category. But bang the drum nicely. (Published February 15 2014)