Just recently I managed a days pike fishing on the River Trent and found the fish in a feeding frenzy!
I started the day off lure fishing, using a home-made lure which had so far been my most successful home-made pattern. This time out, it wasn’t to disappoint. On my third cast, I felt the familiar ‘bump’, signalling a take from a pike. Before long, I had played my first fish of the day to the bank. Seeing that the hooks were held in a safe position, I decided to hand-land the fish, which I quickly returned. I estimated the weight at around four pounds.
On the very next cast, I had turned the reel handle only a couple of times when the resistance went solid. Upon striking, the rod took on a healthy bend and the fish stayed deep, signalling that I’d hooked a good fish.
Because I use barbless trebles on my lures, I always keep a tight drag, which means that not many of the fish I hook on lures actually take any line during the fight. This fish, however, managed to power away with quite a few metres of braid. To be on the safe side, I decided to net this fish, which I quickly carried to my unhooking mat.
This fish was very hungry, because my home-made lure had been completely engulfed in one!
The pike was quickly unhooked and weighed. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the fish weighed 15lb 7oz, making it my second biggest fish on a lure and my first double-figure fish caught on a lure of my own creation.
I had several more follows on this lure and I eventually decided that a change may be the key to landing more fish. I put on a bigger lure, and in the space of an hour I landed two more fish between 3 and 5 pounds, and also lost a pike of around 8lb.
Eventually, I had ‘fished-out’ several swims with lures and I decided on a more static approach. I baited three areas with chopped fish and cast out one legered deadbait rig and a float-legered deadbait. Within minutes I had a screaming run on the float-leger rig, which yielded me a fish of around 7 pounds. As I was unhooking it, a run started on the other rod! To avoid deep-hooking the running fish, I placed the first fish in the margins, in the landing net, while I hand-landed the second fish, which was at least eleven pounds. Fish number two was unhooked and released first, before I removed the net from the water and finished unhooking the first fish. After such hectic action, I was out of breath and in quite a state of disbelief! I decided to fish with one rod for the time being.
I moved swim and cast the float-leger rig towards the 3rd baited area, before taking a seat behind the rod. To my shock, the float started moving almost instantly! I waited a few seconds, wound down and connected with yet another pike, which I landed and estimated at around 6 pounds. This session was now starting to compete with one I had last season, where I landed 11 pike on lures, from a single swim. The difference then was that the largest fish only weighed 10 pounds! I decided to fish hard and make the most of this potential red-letter day.
I caught another three pike on deadbaits, with the largest weighing 11lb 3oz. This took the days tally to a tremendous 10 fish, including 3 doubles. The fact that the largest fish fell to my own lure made the results all the more satisfying. I have several more lures nearing completion at the moment and I can’t wait to get out there and give them a swim!