Friday, 26 October 2012

Big river dace

I went for an enjoyable day trotting a float down a nice glide of the river today. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, not something i've done for a while (i've been preoccupied with pike!). I was using a Drennan floatmaster, the perfect tool for trotting double maggot to a size 16 kamasan. Steady feeding soon brought the dace on the feed, and one or two of these were clonkers, including this one of 8oz.

Occassionally, i would hit into a grayling, and i ended up catching 3 on the day up to 12oz, and bumped off another 2 more.
Overall, a good day, if a bit cold.!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A pb pike of 24lb 15oz - stunning river fish!

I've been exploring more of the river this autumn, marking up OS maps for stretches i can fish etc. After chatting with a mate last night, i decided on a stretch that i'd not fished before for this morning. The initial aim was to do some trotting for anything that came along, but i was also going to try this new stretch for pike as well. Although pacey, i was reliably informed that there were some deeper holes that may hold a pike or two.

I got there and the river was near normal level but very coloured still, shame. After flogging away at the float for two hours or so, all i'd caught was a dace, so i changed my plan of attack. In came the float rod, and I set a pike rod up cast to an undercut bank. First bait was float fished Pollan, a bait i've not tried much. After 5 mins or so, the float moved to one side, bobbed and then dissapeared. I hit into it, and realised it was nothing special....a 3 1/2lb chub that had spent a while chewing the head of the pollan before getting hooked (not the first time this has happened to me!).

Next cast to the same place i put out a small smelt, my favourite bait. After 30 mins or so, the float bobbed, and disappeared again. This time, my strike was met by absolutely solid resistance. You know the difference straight away between a jack and a big girl with practice and this just didnt move. After 30 seconds or so it decided enough was enough and absolutely tore off, completely unstoppable, straight into the flow. It took me 5 mins to recover this run, but it tore off again. The fight lasted a good 10 mins before i got it into a netting position, and thats when i realised i was struggling with my 42 inch landing net. I thought i had it, but the pike had other ideas and went for another run. Eventually i was able to get the pike upstream of my net, and the let it sail down into the waiting net. I lifted it out and knew she was a 20. The scales were wavering around 26lb, and the sling was wavering about 1lb. I could have called it 25lb, but i'll be honest and say 24lb 15oz, a river dream come true.

Sorry about the dodgy self takes...


Friday, 5 October 2012

A couple of recent piking sessions

I've started my piking season off now, beginning with a morning session on the river. Despite trying a couple of different stretches, and doing about a mile of walking looking for the pike, none were forthcoming, but it was a lovely morning to be out, and the river was in fine fettle....
The next week, the river had fined down after some heavy floods, and when i got there, the river, though back to normal autumn level, was coloured like chocolate. Not the best conditions, but I tried my best. After a few hours and a few different swims, a pike took my sardine hookbait. The float bobbed and disappeared (love it when that happens!) and i hit into resistance, but shortly after it went slack. I noticed the belly had been torn, so I imagined it wasnt a big fish. A quick change to a small smelt, and within seconds of dropping it in, the float disappeared again to yield a 6lb 2oz pike. Not big, but a bend in the rod with a determined attempt to get in a snag. Here's hoping for some double shortly...

A go at making my own pike floats

I've decided to make my own pike floats recently, i'm just a little tired of forking out £3 a float! This was my first attempt....

I started off by purchasing a length of 13mm balsa dowel, cost me £3 from Hobbycroft and was enough to make 5no.  7 inch floats.

Following this, I sanded off one end ready for the wire loop (being careful not to let the dog eat it). I could have used a swivel, but these are quite costly so I decided to spend £1.50 on 4m of 1mm brass wire. This was twisted around a thin screwdriver to make the eye.
A hole is then made into the dowel using a nail, and the eye is glued into place using araldyte.

The balsa is cut to make a float 7 inches long, and sanded off at the other end. I then applied a coat of normal household matt white, followed by some white gloss. The end is the painted either orange or black (both will be needed to suit conditions), and ta da!!
I'll be giving it a go this weekend...