Down The Drain

Every now and then, Martin and I like to spend a day pleasure fishing ( Although all days fishing are a pleasure! ) where we almost treat it like a match. Obviously, the venue has to have a good head of fish, preferably roach, where we can get a lot of bites. This makes a difference to our usual fishing trips for larger fish, where sometimes one bite in a day can be a result. For this particular trip, we chose a Lincolnshire drain.

A plethora of baits and rods were unfurled at the start. It was a new venue to us so we wanted most bases covering. We started by trotting. Martin used a waggler where’s I used a top and bottom float. The cold wind made things tricky, but I soon started to catch some nice fish on my bread flake hook baits. The first fish was a rudd, followed by a roach, then a roach x rudd hybrid. There seemed to be a lot of fish in my peg, but poor Martin was suffering some bad luck. A cormorant surfaced in his peg just after starting, then as he tried to get things going again, a few pike started chasing fish around his swim!

I then started to struggle. The flow stopped, then started flowing the other way before stopping again. Then the water level started rising, by around 18 inches in total. To keep bites coming I was now fishing a small feeder but still using bread on the hook. it was fun watching the quiver tip rattle and pluck, before getting a bite to strike at.

Martin also switched to the feeder and caught his first fish, which looked like a cormorant had tried to grab it. We reckoned it was a decent silver bream of well over a pound.

I started to get a decent run of fish going. They were nearly all good roach, the best weighing 1lb 6oz, with the odd roach x rudd hybrid of well over a pound. It was lovely fishing but I had to really concentrate to hit the bites. Some nearly dragged the rod in, but were missed, but some tiny trembles produced roach over a pound!

Martin was still frustrated, but eventually the roach started to settle in his swim, along with the obligatory roach x rudd hybrid. Just as the sport was picking up, everything went dead. We couldn’t buy a bite.

We thought when the drain starts running off again that the sport would pick up, but it didn’t run off and the water level carried on rising. We called it a day and took our nets out for some photos. Martin had managed a reasonable net in the end, despite the bad luck, with some nice fish amongst them.

I was surprised when I lifted my net out, I’d got a few more fish than I realised. Most were roach a few ounces either side of a pound.

They had the most vivid colours, silver and red, with the shot of blue through their upper flanks. It had been a good day, but as we were tackling down the drain started flowing again, and the water level dropping. I had no doubt that it would now fish really well, but it was time to go home. I’m sure we’ll be back in the future. You can’t beat a good net of wild roach.




Predator Palputations

I haven’t really done very much pike fishing, especially in the last few years. In the freezing cold weather we’re having at the moment, I decided that old ‘Esox’ would be a viable target on my local rivers, drains and canals.

First up, I tried a couple of local rivers. A big fat blank first time out was followed by a chunky mid double on my next trip.

I then fished a local drain that holds good numbers of pike, including the odd really big fish. Sadly, my indicators and float didn’t move all day, but I saw other anglers land a few ‘jacks’ Still, it was a nice crisp day and the anticipation levels are always high.

The snow and rain that fell coloured the local drains and flowing water so I concentrated on a nearby canal. Again, this holds good numbers of pike, many into double figures, with the odd ‘lump’ for good measure.

I fished a few times on a couple of different stretches. I had several runs that I missed and several that I connected with. While these takes were happening, I realised that a pike run is arguably the best, most exciting moment in angling. It’s where the heart, or at least my heart, really starts pumping in anticipation. Will the fish drop the bait? Will I connect with the strike? Is it a PB, a ’20’+ or just a jack? All these thoughts seem to rush through my head, and I like to strike my bites really early! 5 seconds is the most I’ll wait to avoid any possibility of deep hooking.

My early fish were low doubles or high singles.

But after those first few fish, I only managed to make contact with small ‘jacks’ though some looked really pretty and like they could go on to be beasts in the future.

Time will tell whether I get round to fishing for pike again this season, or if I get that big girl or not. They spawn a lot earlier than most fish, and won’t be too far away from their annual mating regime. Whatever I do, I think I’ll be pike fishing a bit more often in the future.