A Pike Session
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A Pike Session – By Pete Smith
Autumn brings thoughts of Pike, so Damian and I decided to book a boat at
Broken rod starts the day.
We set-up with simple float rigs for maximum bite indication. First on the 12lb line goes a small rubber float stop, then a bead, then a weighted Pike float similar to a large waggler, then another bead, then an egg sinker, then the wire trace. The rig below is shown before the depth was set, after plumbing the depth we set the float stop to about 3ft over depth. By using a weighted float and egg sinker you can set it up and use the lift method and get extra sensitive bit indication.
Most other people were fishing close to the boathouse – which is a known hot spot, but why follow the crowd? So we headed for the other end of the lake. The grounds are superb and to be fishing in such grand surroundings is a real privilege.
View from the boat.
We cast 2 rods each side of the boat and picked a side each to watch. It was only 10 mins before one of my floats bobbed away – guess what – on the Broken Rod!! A quick strike hooked the pike and a short fight with tail walk resulted in this 13lb 14oz pike. Taken on a 7” Smelt.
I must add a few notes about Pike care, it is well documented but here are my views. Always get “trained” on unhooking, by someone who is experienced. I completed a Pike Handling Course at Farnham Angling Society and this gave me some excellent training. If you are new to Piking then always go with someone who knows how to unhook pike. Always use Barbless hooks.
My essential unhooking kit is shown left. Including: 7” forceps for regular unhooking, 12” forceps for deep unhooking, and long bolt cutters for cutting up hooks if they are impossible to remove. Note: A leather glove is also a good idea, there are some fine chain mail ones which are on the market which are very good, John Wilson swears by them. We fished the same spot for a few hours but no more takes, so decided to move into the mouth of a spur on the lake. Damian decided to have a go spinning, but the water seemed too coloured with visibility down to about 18”.
Then after about an hour on of his floats bobbed and zipped away, the first run was very strong and it took line, but the result was a small pike of about 5lb.
We fished on for a couple of hours and then decided to move again. Damian decided to use a Lamprey section, seriously bloody and messy bait.
Within 20 mins he was in again, this time the fish was a lot bigger, and it surged towards us under the boat. I told him to lift and then saw the bend in his rod, but the fish stayed deep. After a few minutes we realized this was a decent fish, perhaps even a 20! It really was a powerful fish. Then it surfaced, I extended the net, we got it’s head in, and then the hooks pulled out and the trace flew over my shoulder. A sudden moment of panic set in until I lifted the net and realized the fish was in the net. An excellent 15lb 12oz pike.
Damian was over the moon, a new personal best, well done.
After 5 mins one of my floats disappeared and I was into another double. Guess what – it was on the broken rod again, and weighed 12lb 8oz, we didn’t get a photo of that one, just wanted to get it back in the water quickly. We finished the day in good Swallowfield Tradition – with a fry-up! Doesn’t bacon taste good when you’re fishing!