Without a doubt, the most famous and well-known date on the angling calendar is June 16. But for me there is another one, that although not so prominent among fisherman, is very high up on my list. October 1. The start of the pike bait-fishing season. Although it is a traditional date, it does have very practical reasons for being so late in the year, and that’s why many clubs actually have this in their rules and regulations.
Pike are very active during the summer months and will quickly swallow a deadbait, which a few months later can be more easily avoided. Anyway, with the river looking good for some early-season piking, I decided to kick my campaign off with a few sessions on the Severn, and in particular, the middle reaches. With the water being clear (relatively speaking), that was perfect for deadbaiting, which is in effect sight-fishing.
On the opening session, and within half an hour, I’m into a fish. However, my initial high hopes of an early campaign fish were dashed as I had a hook-pull. As always though, it’s preferable to strike the cautious side of the line rather than risk a deep-hooked fish. Pike may look ferocious, but in reality they are very sensitive and delicate once in the hands of the angler. Treat them with respect as they’re certainly not the sort of fish you can ‘have a go at’. Do your homework and preferably get connected with an experienced angler.
Session two was more of the same, as I had an enquiry, but no fish. On that occasion though, I didn’t even get to the striking stage. On the rod, I was like a lion ready to pounce. But no pouncing actually took place. Well, as they say, third-time lucky and I was back. Not that I believe in luck in angling, as I’ve recently documented on a few occasions. However, it does make for a talking point, or at least a nice headline. And the story turned out as planned, as I finally banked a pike. Not a big one, but after two blanks, very welcome indeed.
After the Severn pike having the upper hand, I was hoping to turn the tide on my last session of the week. Unfortunately though, following some pretty heavy rain, the river rose and more importantly, the colour changed dramatically. Anyway, not to be outdone as far as the species were concerned, I headed for the Big Pool at Dudmaston. This is on the Kinver Freeliners ticket and although the pike don’t go big, it’s a very pleasant place to fish. I banked a couple of pike as well, so rescued my week. (Published October 25 2014, the 589th consecutive Saturday)