Following on from last years successful trip to Rutland water, the lads from the same Facebook group decided to organise a similar session on Pitsford water. The venue was to open it's doors early to predator anglers this year so we decided to book some boats there on opening day.
Having never been to the lake before I was surprised at how big it was. For some reason I had a picture in my mind of something much smaller but after setting out in the boat and motoring through the tunnel under the nearby road into the main body of water it became obvious we had a seriously long trip ahead of us to get to the dam end! The wind had really put a good chop on the water and we were motoring directly into it, waves crashed over the bow of the boat and we got soaked, the sun might've been out but it certainly wasn't overly warm.
Eventually we got to where we wanted to be near the bubblers and, after bailing out some water, we set about fishing. We had 35ft of water below us which seemed a good depth given the bright conditions. Not much happened for the first hour but I think that was more down to Phil and I getting used to handling and positioning the boat in the strong wind. Neither of us had boat fished in such conditions before so it was a steep learning curve for us but we got somewhere near in the end.
Phil struck first blood fishwise when his shad was smashed by something considerably larger than the perch we were hoping for. After an unbelievable battle we were surprised to see a small Pike of about 6lb break the surface, it pulled so hard we were convinced it was a large trout for most of the fight.
After that we had a couple of fruitless drifts along the dam wall before deciding to head to some shallower water. In the entrance to a large bay we found a lovely drop off which sloped from 23-25ft up to 8-11ft over a very short distance and it was here where we both found some fish. After a couple of missed hits I eventually connected with a small jack to open my account and Phil nailed another one too.
There seemed to be a few fish in this area and we both had another pike apiece aswell as missing/losing others then another boat moved in and it went dead. We decided to work our way along the windward bank from there back around the lake towards the road end. Over the next hour or so I managed another jack aswell as missing a couple more thumps before we found another area with a significant drop off where we concentrated our efforts.
More fish were landed albeit pike, the perch were noticeably conspicuous in their absence so I decided to go all out for old esox with the big lures. I was amazed that some pike were literally following the lure right to the boat in over 20ft of water and I even had a couple of hits right under the rod tip. I was fishing with Savage gear real eels and the small supply I had were getting chewed up pretty quick!
I don't want to steal phils thunder as I'm sure he will want to recount the story in detail in his own blog but he did catch an absolutely fantastic pike of 22.8 on very light tackle after a lengthy battle which involved me having to follow the fish around the lake in the boat big-game stylee!
Morning rolled into afternoon and after beaching in a picnic area for some lunch with our comrades the wind had dropped quite a lot and we headed back through the road tunnel into the area of lake in front of the boat dock. This side of the water appeared much shallower and we had an average depth of around 16-18ft and there seemed to be less weed also. Phil managed a jack and I had a follow from a very decent fish but it was slow eventually we found ourselves headed back to the area we caught well from earlier.
It didn't take long to get amongst a couple more pike but I had to switch to large spinnerbaits to provoke a response as the eels seemed to suddenly lose all effectiveness. Maybe it was because the fish had seen them being pulled over their heads in that area for most of the day.
As the evening drew in I became aware at just how much I'd caught the sun. Because it had been windy for much of the day I never really noticed it but now it had dropped I found I was absolutely glowing and I think a touch of sunstroke may have occurred because the next day I felt quite unwell as a result, another lesson learned!
That aside we were treated to a lovely sunset as we took the boat back to dock and another cracking day afloat came to an end. Pitsford is certainly a water I shall be returning to in the not too distant future without a doubt as there are some cracking fish to be caught there.