Thursday, 27 February 2014

Mud and kebabs

This weeks session was supposed to be a barbel chasing trip to the Trent and it very nearly was at one point until fate played its fickle hand. I had an area in mind and although I knew with the floods only recently receding that the track to the river might be dodgy I pressed on regardless.

To start with, the track wasn't too bad, nice and firm but it didn't take long to get into trouble once I neared the river. Like a prat I pulled over at the side of the track with the idea being that I get out and check the lie of the land. Unfortunately the verge was extremely soft and I cursed my foolishness as I felt the car sink into it. I was stuck in the middle of nowhere on my own with a car buried up to its axles, nightmare.

To cut a long story short, I hunted high and low for suitable items to stick under the wheels and it took me around an hour and half a tank of petrol to get myself out, the car was in a right old state. Not surprisingly I didn't much feel like barbelling after that and the bright conditions were the nail in the coffin so I headed home.

As I drove I began to think what else could I fish for? It seemed a shame to waste the day and I had a mind to perhaps get the tip rod and bread out for some chub. I passed my local river on my way back and stopped for a quick look. It was coloured but there was around 6inches of visibility and it was pulling through at its normal pace, it looked pretty good. Something inside me said Pike!

An hour later, after a rapid tackle and bait swap, I was back on the bank and cast in. It didn't take long to get an indication either because I landed a small jack before I'd even cast my second rod in!

That fish seemed to set a precident because within a few minutes I found myself striking into another fish although that one came adrift due to the hook pulling. I always strike early when pike fishing as I'd rather lose the fish than deep hook it and besides, often a lost fish will hang around for another go sooner or later.
I lost another fish around 20mins later so I decided to change my rig and bait a little. I'd been using whole smelt and sardine and figured that maybe the size of the bait was interfering with the hooking capeability of my rig. I opted for a hair-rigged kebab style bait on one rod to see if it made a difference in my hookup rate.
The pike seemed to be really having it today and soon enough the sardine rod was away. This felt a much heavier fish than those before it and the huge swirl mid river confirmed it, certainly a nice double without a doubt. The joy was short lived though because suddenly I found myself reeling a very tattered deadbait, damn it ( or words to that effect!).
As I rebaited that rod, my other delkim warbled into life and once again I was connected to a fish. Again this felt somewhat heavier than a jack and this time I actually landed the fish. It was a short but fat fish well worthy of a weigh and I was pleased to record 13lb12oz.

Over the next hour I landed two more smaller fish, both on the kebab rig, and lost two before the action dried up. I'd only been there 4 hours and managed nine runs, a good mornings Piking by any standard, just a shame I pulled out of so many. There was a marked difference between the two different rigs I used. Five runs for one fish on the standard two hook deadbait rig and four runs for three fish on the hair-rigged fish chunks. One session isn't conclusive but ill certainly be looking into this in more depth in the future.

Not much season left now but I've booked a few days off in the last week to hopefully get amongst some decent Chub. Perch are always a temptation but I've had them to over 4lb already this winter and I'd never initially planned on fishing for them this year to be honest. If the rivers come up again it'll be a big end of season barbel in my sights but if not I'd like a big chub for sure.



  1. Ha! Seemed you started where I left off the day before! Well done on the double. I must have had over 50 fish from that section now and have yet to have one. Cheers, Ian.

  2. Lol, i rarely bait fish it tbh as it's usually pretty good with lures. It's only five mins from my front door so it's nice and handy at least, good place to get a bend in the rod anyway. Some nice perch along there too ;-).

  3. That double's in cracking nick :)