Well the last few weeks of the pike season have gone by, and we've had a few more fish on the bank.
Like most of us our earlier sessions had been hampered by the serious amounts of rain dropping out of the sky, so it wasn't surprising that on arriving at the venue one week we find the main lake is full of coffee coloured water. And being river fed, it's churning through, especially at the sluice end.
We check out a few spots round the lake but none of them really grabs us, I think we're both feeling the coloured water will make it that much more difficult for the pike to find our baits.
Gary makes a suggestion, as he quite often does! There's a small separate pool by the side of the main lake, that is unaffected by the extra water, it's calm, and there's reasonable clarity through the water, so we decide to give it a try.
We've heard from different sources that it might hold a couple of upper 'teens' or possibly bigger, that have been spotted now and again.
It ends up as a nice day out, but all our efforts only result in a single fish, a jack that I pick up on a live bait near some overhanging branches. Oh well, but it's always a learning curve on a new water.
The following week things are much calmer, and we're back out on the big lake, heading up to the top end of the water near the sluice.
Gary chucks one bait along to some nearside snags, another just down from the mouth of the sluice, and his third rod is set up with a drifter float. With a favourable wind blowing from behind us, he can work a bait right out across the lake.
Not a lot happens during the morning, except the regular brewing of tea, but that's never unusual, as we love a cuppa, and we've also never had an early fish here… yet!
Gary's the one to yell first, something has taken a fancy to one of his baits. It's the sluice rod, and by the way it's bending it could be a reasonable fish.
It puts up a fair old scrap, but Gary soon steers it to the net and guessing the size we reckon it'll make a mid-double, so in the sling it goes, and makes 14lb 14ozs on the scales.
It's the only fish of the day, and it's the start of a barren few weeks for me.
Our next trip out and the snow is with us again, Gary manages to pull in an 8-9lb jack, and it's another blank for yours truly.
The following weeks trip allows Gary to try the drifter again. We've moved around the lake again, trying more swims.
The winds perfect, and Gary's suspended roach is soon working its way out into the lake. As I said my lucks out at the moment and none of my baits get a touch, but Gary's cry that he's in soon meets my ears.
The drifted bait has worked, teasing a pike into action, when our five other 'deads' aren't bothered… except by the numerous crays that inhabit the lake in vast numbers!
It's a plump 13lb'er, and keeps up Gary's good run of catches.
Another week goes by, and we're out on what could be our last pike session, it's mid March, the weather seems to be getting slightly milder and we're starting to think of the bream… but we're here for the toothy boys.
It turns out to be a good session, not just because the skies are blue and the suns out, but after successive blanks I finally hook one!
We're finding in these swims that bites are coming from the long range baits. With deep water in front of us, our baits are sitting on, or just over a bar that runs parallel to the bank a reasonable chuck out.
So that's where I get my bite, and it gives me a nice 13lb 1oz fish… it's good to finish with a bend in my rod!
And finished we are, as the pike gear is going to be packed away for another season. We've had a fair number of pike, no monsters, but with lots learnt and many areas left to try, I'm sure we'll be on it again in 6 months time.