11 February 2013

Canal Piking...

The plan was for an early start on the canal in search of pike, I had all the gear left ready at the door the night before but just after 6:00AM the phone rang, it was my friend Sam asking me if I had looked out the window yet. I didn't need to, I could already hear the torrential rain from my bed and after dragging myself out of bed and looking out the window I could see that the rain was every bit as bad as it sounded. With no sign of it easing we decided to leave the fishing for another day, to be honest I was shattered so going back to bed suited me just fine. However when I got up a few hours later, I saw that the rain had all but stopped and my gear was still sitting ready by the front door. I didn't think twice, loaded up the car and headed off in search of pike. 

When I arrived at the canal, the rain had stopped and the conditions looked good. Thankfully it seemed like I might get a short window before the weather closed in again. I began to make my way along the canal and soon caught my first pike of the session, only a small jack but welcome none the less. I walked a little further, casting as I went and soon caught another small pike followed shortly after by a third small jack pike. While I was glad to be catching a few fish, I was really hoping that I might catch a slightly better stamp of fish.

A little further along the canal I got hit by something that felt a bit ,bigger a better fish at last. It took off on a couple of runs, peeling line off the reel before a nice fish of 6lb or so came to the surface, then I noticed just how lightly it was hooked. I brought the fish in as carefully and as I could but just as I was reaching to chin the fish, it gave one last head shake and it all went slack as it threw the hook. Maybe if I had brought a landing net it wouldn't have got away but what can you do, I was gutted. Anyway I took the opportunity to give Sam a call to let him know how I was getting on and to see if he was going to head out. After a quick chat and having convincing him that the weather wasn't too bad and the fishing good, I got back to my own fishing. I flicked out my lure once more and instantly hooked up again. The fish that I had just lost had come back for more, I guess that it really wanted that lure and I soon landed a nice fish of just over 6lb. A couple of quick photos and I slipped the fish back, I would have been happy with that but better was yet to come.

By now I had caught a few more small jack pike and lost one or two better fish, I was thinking of heading back and decided I'd try a promising looking spot that I passed on my way once more before I headed home. I cast and let my lure slowly sink, I began to twitch the lure and straight away my line began to tightened and started to peel off the reel. This was definitely a better fish and I was really regretting not bringing that landing net a when I saw just how delicately hooked it was. I don't think that I ever played a fish as carefully as it ran me up and down the bank of the canal but after a few minutes the fish came just close enough for me to chin it. The relief as I lifted the fish clear of the water and as I did I saw Sam pull up in the car. After a bit of frantic waving and shouting, Sam came jogging down the bank just in time to take a couple of quick photos before I slipped the fish back. It weighed in at just under 10lb and definitely made the day for me.

I fished on with Sam for a while but with the weather closing in and becoming pretty miserable, I left Sam at it and headed home. He fished on for an hour or two and ended up catching a few pike in some pretty wet and miserable conditions before conceding defeat to the weather. Unfortunately I think he missed the best of the fishing and got the worst of the weather but I'm sure it'll be better next week.

My Set-up: 
Rod: Cormoran TR7' 6-28g
Reel: Shimano Rarenium CI4 2500Ra 
Line:  Sunline 4x4 Momentum braid (16lb) with wire trace 
Lure: Various soft and hard plastic lures