Hello again, here is my review for Fishing Tails of a mostly cold and bitter month that is January. As I’m sure you all know this is the time of the year when the weather really sorts the men out from the boys and even more so for the braver Sea anglers. Still whatever you call it, madness, obsession or passion which I prefer I wouldn’t have it any other way, for me it’s the call of the wild and the cold well that’s part of it and is something to be endured. There’s a saying that is used often in angling and is one that I like, “there’s more to fishing than catching fish” which is true to a point as after all fish is what we are after however as i like to say the goal of catching of a fish is just the cherry on what is already a beautiful cake and sometimes just being out there is enough.
“Edgell Bomber lure and January Snowdrops”
Still at least at the moment we haven’t had any snow which is always a bonus although that said I still eagerly await my first snow pike. With every new year I’m itching to get out on bank as soon as I possibly can to get my new year account up and running and I’m pleased with to report that this year was no exception with a lovely river twenty banked on my first outing and better still she was one of several that I was fortunate to meet during the month.
So in January I managed to get out for 9 sessions of which only one was a full day and I spent that fishing with others and being filmed so on the whole I’m very happy with the results considering that a typical session is around 3hrs. Also I only had one blank out of the nine and the last session of the month was certainly rather interesting but you’ll have to read on to find out more.
As I mentioned before I think in these colder months us freshwater anglers are seriously constrained by time and conditions, the shorter daylight hours and other responsibilities eat away at our time. As for conditions well winter river fishing can be notoriously difficult due to the sudden temperature drops and poor water clarity. So at this time of the year all the past experiences and knowledge are really relied upon and choosing location is probably one of the biggest factors that will determine whether each trip is a success or failure. Success or failure, so how does one measure that anyway? In my fishing I try to keep things as simple and for me any pike regardless of size is a warm welcoming sight and a success in my opinion and whilst I’m on the subject if you want to take a picture of then do. Fish are hard won at this or any time of the year and if you want to take pictures then crack on, enjoy your sport and be proud of your successes regardless of size. Blanking well that’s the failure although with each blank we still learn and gather knowledge to what will work next time we get out, I’m a strong believer in there’s no such a thing as a wasted trip. The great thing about rivers is that you can stay mobile and go to the fish rather than waiting for them to come to you and whether I’m fishing one rod with baits or one rod with lures this is nearly always my preferred river method.
Keeping it simple with a 30plus Number 2 pike bung, wire trace and single size 6 treble. www.specimen30plus.com Add a small dead bait and you’re ready to go, it really can be that simple and fantastic fun, although go with someone more experienced first for a few times and always use strong gear the Pike Anglers club of Great Britain is a good site for picking up all the information that you need. www.pikeanglersclub.co.uk
Luckily this January the rains held off at times and we’ve had some good periods of excellent water clarity that’s allowed me to get out with my lure rod. On one such a day I was fortunate to bank a lovely river pike on the aforementioned “Edgell Bomber lure”
As I’ve written in previous monthly reviews for Fishing Tails part of this traditional pike season I’ve been taking others out and trying to put them onto fish and give them an insight into pike fishing rivers and the craft needed to get results. This has been a real honour and a privilege for me and it’s been great fun seeing others catch fish and share some fishing adventures together. That’s why when I received as a request from Carl and Alex to take them river piking and jumped at the chance. If you don’t know who Carl and Alex are then just Google them but they are two young brothers who have fast become known all over the angling world because of their passion and enthusiasm for the sport and because of some fantastic videos and captures to. So I spent a day with them on the river and whilst the conditions were extremely difficult we persevered and even managed a few fish in the end. Hopefully they got enough footage for a short video but either way it was great to meet them and fish with them.
“Young Alex with one of a few pike that we had on a day’s filming on the river”
Lastly I managed to meet up with Fishing Tails’s very own Sean and Adrian on the Dorset Stour for a few hours in between the school runs. We met up at around 10am with a lure session in mind and to be honest I wasn’t too confident, although I did feel that we would get some fish as the river was in tip top condition and perfect for lure fishing.
“The Fishing Tails team, ready for action and we weren’t disappointed!”
We headed off and almost instantly at the first fishable spot Adrian hooked and landed a small Jack and I missed one, so after some instant action the omens were looking good.
“First blood to Team fishing Tails as Adrian takes the first fish”
Moving on down river we fished a few swims and discussed tactics and what makes a good pike holding spot etc. Then on one particular bend Adrian cast out his “sea plug” and had an instant take at a fair distance, grabbing the net I watched him as he played the fish in and was surprised that the pike was holding down deep. Normally with river pike they will break the surface pretty quickly unless they are big and as this one was content to stay deep I started to think he was in to a good fish. Adrian got it into the bank twice and it surged off with spirited runs before we finally saw it, not a pike but a stonking great river chub. Netting it quickly we got it on the bank and it went 8lb 8oz’s. That is an absolutely fantastic river chub and especially on a lure, great skills Adrian. There’s a bit more to the story but I’ll let him tell that.
“Adrian and I with his fantastic lure caught river chub, a PB to him and 2-0 to the Fishing Tails team”
Well as you can imagine we were all absolutely thrilled with this catch and personally after being responsible for the day’s session I was rather feeling rather proud and the pressure was now off. Without being egotistical or arrogant I hadn’t really been fishing hard or dare I say even really trying and as we worked our way down river we reached a nice swim. I was using a banker lure that being the Chrome Abu Garcia 35g Atom when I had a follow from a decent river pike, she followed again and this time I did a quick “figure of 8” in true musky fishing style under the rod tip and she nailed the lure, after a short and spirited fight Sean expertly netted her for me. I was absolutely thrilled when I saw my prize a lovely conditioned twenty pound plus river pike!
After some pictures we videoed her release and then made our way up river as I had run out of time and had to head back for the school run. It was great to finally get out with Sean and Adrian and I look forward to fishing with them again the future.
So that’s it from me, February is looking exciting as I have a couple of days on the piking mecca that is Chew Valley reservoir followed by a whole lure fishing weekend at anglers Paradise down in Devon as well as some river sessions planned as well. The lure weekend is open to all and if you fancy coming down and learning some lure fishing techniques, or if you just fancy a break away catching multiple species and having a laugh then check out www.anglers-paradise.co.uk
Until next month have fun, enjoy your fishing whatever the species and remember there’s more to fishing than catching fish!