So November has passed, Christmas is fast approaching and the days of the advent calendar are numbered. Reflecting on the month, well it’s been a very good one especially since my time on the bank has been extremely limited. That said I managed seven sessions during the month of November and on each occasion I avoided the dreaded blank which is my only my measure of success for a fishing trip. Out of the seven sessions only two were full days, when I say “full days” I mean having the opportunity to fish from dark till dark and both of these full day sessions I wasn’t actually seriously fishing myself but trying to put a friend on to a good river pike. I’m delighted to report that both of these good friends succeeded in banking a river twenty pound pike and that I also had a couple myself for the month, however I did catch a rather special fish for me, but to learn more about that then you’ll have to read on.
November can be a great month and I wish I had of had more time as conditions were mostly mild, this of course can mean rain and we did have a fair bit, however I’ve accumulated some great experience in fishing and locating pike in flooded rivers over the last couple of years. My first session of the month was exactly that, trying to find pike in a rapidly colouring river, however by targeting the side channels and feeder streams which really is a top tip for tricky winter conditions I was able to bank a few. In winter conditions I really prefer big bright coloured lures when lure fishing as confidence.
I had some good fish on lures during the month and the ones that have been doing the business for me are the “Edgell Bomber” which is a lure named after me and are available from www.jerkbaitmania.co.uk, there is a good competition on the Jerkbaitmania Facebook page in which you can win one with your own named signed on it and well worth checking out. Also War Dog spinner baits from www.lurelounge.co.uk and one of my river biggies fell to a fantastic “Nemo” Clownfish lure made by Mark Houghton who hand makes fantastic looking lures.
A Mark Houghton “Clownfish” lure fools a twenty pound pike.
Two of the highlights of the month were watching friends catch river whackers.
The first trip out was with Ben Humber who is no stranger to catching big pike and given the conditions at the start of the day we would have settled for just not blanking. We had lots of rain leading up to our session and arriving at the river our worst fears were realised as it was coloured and pushing through fast. We spent a while catching some baits and then targeted a side stream for the morning which produced a few small pike up to about 8lb’s and Ben also had a nice river perch of about 3lb. In the afternoon we headed off to the main river as sometimes in the more flooded conditions pike can be easier to find as there are less places for them to be. On this day the theory proved correct and within 5 seconds of Ben dropping a bait in to a river slack the float went instantly. I then watched a battle of epic proportions as this wild river pike gave a great account of herself before I finally netted her for Ben. Understandably Ben was chuffed and so was I, it’s great when it all comes together and sharing moments like that is just another reason why I love pike fishing.
Ben Humber with a cracking river twenty!
My second full day session of the month was with Alex Selly who came down from Bridgewater to try his hand at catching some river pike from a different river rather than the drains that he’s used to. Conditions were much more favourable this time and so much so that by 9.30am he had caught a river twenty and a lovely mid double figure pike. We continued throughout the day combing the river for more and managed one each on lures before he caught a river fish that is as rare as the proverbial rocking horse poo, a lovely double figure pug nosed pike. To say I was a little jealous would be understating the fact however due to the fact that we were roving up river when we arrived back at the swim on the way back to the car I put a bait in and would you believe I caught the same pug nosed pike again. For me that made my month as I have wanted to catch a pug for a long time now and this was a dream realised and I would have quite happily swapped my next twenty pound river pike for this fish.
Bridgewater based Alex Selly with an excellent river pike.
So to conclude my review as I hope you’ll agree that making memories with friends, being fortunate enough to catch and witness specimen pike being caught, being out there in England’s green and pleasant land and catching a rare river pug nosed pike rounds off a fantastic month of river piking.
Now bring on December!