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This years pike fishing for me started on New Years Day, when I got up at 3am to drive down to Essex so I could set up and fish a couple of hours in the dark.

 

At 8.30 ish the right hand rod baited with a popped up bluey head went off, and after a decent scrap this 12 was netted.

 

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12.00 and the left hand rod baited with a lamprey tail brought this

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This fish didn't scrap so well, looking like it had had an argument with something, with cuts and scars around the head, but weighed 13lb.

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As I had set up in the dark, both rods were ledgered dead-baits, one fished popped up, the other on the bottom, and both produced fish.

 

As you can see, the unhooking mat and sling is ready, with forceps to hand. I can unhook the pike, sling the trace and weight out the way (usually back into the water) so there is no risk to me or the fish, then slide the net out the way and straight into the sling to weigh the fish. Then it's already in the sling to carry back to the lake safely to be released.

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Tomorrow I reckon I can drive down slightly later, but still be there for an early one.

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Nicely done Nick , out of interest whereabouts in Essex do you do your piking ?

They're big and full of crays

 

Blanked today, the water was the colour of milky coffee. Only a couple of bleeps, I left it for a second of two, then decided to strike, but there was nothing there.

 

Certain it wasn't crays on the bait as the bait was popped up well of the bottom, may have been a liner or grebe swimming through the line.

 

Tried plenty of baits, drifted float fished and ledgered, but no luck.

 

Allus next time!

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  • 1 year later...

Its that time again.

Spent a day drowning deadbaits, for 1 dropped run.

 

Got a few more days planned, might be fun Sunday though. I've got a catering shift until late Saturday, was going to get home and go straight out with the pike gear.

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Wasn't thinking of Ardleigh to be honest.

 

Your carp gear is fine with wire traces, although I do nearly always fish one with a float, partly because I like watching a float, partly because it gives better indication.

 

Get your self some drop-off indicators.

 

The pics were on photobucket, on my account, then Photobucket changed terms and conditions and started charging for '3rd party hosting'. Basically every pic I had used on here is lost, even worse is Photobucket apps stopped working, so I have lost almost every pic I had backed up to them

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4 hours ago, salokcinnodrog said:

The pics were on photobucket, on my account, then Photobucket changed terms and conditions and started charging for '3rd party hosting'. Basically every pic I had used on here is lost, even worse is Photobucket apps stopped working, so I have lost almost every pic I had backed up to them

i have a two TB hard drive to store my photo's on. i used photobucket to host to forums and as and when i come across one that is no longer in a post i just drag and drop a replacement from the hard drive, simples and no fear of losing those precious moments because some app developer got greedy

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The drop-off indicators I use:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=fox+drop+off+indicators&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-gb&client=safari#imgrc=GXMuNFdRzpevgM:

 

I have long forceps and long nose pliers for unhooking pike.

I would recommend you go with somebody experienced to start with when pike fishing, they are a whole lot more sensitive to handling than carp, and until you know how to unhook them, its quite difficult.

 

Best way I have found is to land them, then rest them upside down on the mat. Put your hand inside the gills, and as you slide down they open their mouth, leaving you to get the hooks out with forceps or pliers. 

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1 hour ago, Dannygooner said:

Unfortunately I don't know any pike fisherman but I'm not a Wally. Doing my homework currently online and am going to have a look round the banks and chat to some pike anglers. 

it has always amused me that  such a voracious predator can be so delicate. it was driven home to me when i caught my PB 25lb of solid scary muscle, handled like a baby and went belly up as it was gently slid back, took a good 10-15 mins to get it to stay upright and start to kick. i havent been piking since and i know what i am doing.

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1 minute ago, Dannygooner said:

I will most certainly be careful. I'm very much one for nature so fish care is paramount 

tbh if i were just starting out and knowing what i know now i would start off somewhere were there was a high population of jack pike. the young ones seem to be a lot more forgiving than the old ladies and its a good way of getting that all important experience. :lol:

 

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On 4 November 2017 at 13:11, Dannygooner said:

Nice one. Thanks for the advice, again. Could I not just use my carp bite alarms and swingers atal? 

Problem with standard swingers is they are not as sensitive as a drop-off indicator. I use my Delkims as the front, but always watch the float, (on 1 rod) and respond to any bleeps on the other rod(s). The drop-off should fall off on any line movement, but very occasionally pike will scoff a bait on the spot.

 

No matter what you do, at some point you will get a deep hooked fish, and for an inexperienced angler, it is scary unhooking them, having your nose next to a pikes mouth, sometimes with your mouth pulling the line tight to bring the hooks forward (and stomach!), one hand under the gill  rakers, and the other working in the other gill to remove hooks with pliers or forceps.

 

A couple of years ago, I had a decent 20 break me off as the line rubbed over a metal cable in the margin. A week later my mate hooked and landed it, and I had to take out 2 sets of hooks, his from the mouth, my previous weeks trace from further down in the mouth. It was his first 20, and after holding it upright in the margins for 10-15 minutes swam off safely.

It is probably actually harder to unhook smaller fish (2-4lb) than a bigger one if deep hooked, there is simply no room to work, you can only fit a couple of fingers under the gill to open the mouth. 

If I don't have to actually put the fish on land, unhook it in the water I will. I have had numbers of fish hooked on the top upper hook (I usually use a single), and rather than net them, gill them, then 'flick' the hook free with forceps. If you net them, the risk of a flying treble catching in the mesh, and a wriggling fish catching everything up, making a mess of the fish and the net.

 

Don't know if the pic helps, but that was a mid double that you can see i'm straddling on the mat, having just unhooked, slung the pliers and hooks out the way, and getting my fingers carefully out the way.

image.jpeg

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I usually use only one set of trebles, pushing the trace through the deadbait with the hooks in the head area and strike early, you lose some but rarely get them gorged, with a livebait, i just liphook with the one barbed hook on the trebles, not perfect but works for me, cats, one big hook through the root of the tail.

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  • 3 months later...
32 minutes ago, Dannygooner said:

 

Bet u was caked in mud looking at that pic lol

Other than playing the fish I was able to avoid the worst of it😉, walking next to the footpath which was all ivy leaves. There is a proper wooden walkway under the river cliff

 

The Wensum is up a good couple of feet, that current is really boiling, although to the right is always a slack on the outside of a bend. That area has produced carp and barbel to double figures (not to me sadly), chub to 5, roach to 2 as well as pike. I have also caught some big dace trotting maggots on a stick float.

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51 minutes ago, Dannygooner said:

I read something by John Wilson about the health of the wensum just before he left for Thailand. He seemed pretty down hearted on it. Said the big roach had all but dissapeared 

It comes and goes. I think Early 70's was a good roach time, then they died off, early to late 80's then they disappeared until the 90's then gone again. The big roach area, fish over 3lb was upstream of Swanton Morley Great Witchingham.

A couple of years ago a mate had a couple around a pound again at Drayton.

The barbel in the area, was only 3 or 4 doubles, with one being caught all along the 3 mile stretch to a number of anglers between 11 and 13lbs. The majority of a few fish were between 7 and 8lb.

 

I used to catch numbers of pike in that area, now there are less, with a few big ones, but less jacks. I was catching dace again last year that have reappeared. The fish I was catching looked healthy, so I think there are still some good pike around. Last time I fished that swim, again it was one pike, but the mackeral deadbait it took was the same size as the pike...

The chub are still around but keeping away from the shallows downstream they used to show on before otters were in the valley in numbers.

 

There are otters, I think the fish are still there, but not being so obvious, moving into faster deeper water. 

 

 

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I got to the river for 8am, first cast with a dead roach on the float paternostered rod, and this chunky double took the bait within minutes, before I'd even rolled my first ciggie.

Thinking i'd landed on them I stayed put casting around with smelt, roach and dead trout, but no more joy.

Rest of the morning it got colder and colder until with the northerly wind it got quite uncomfortable. Having had a fish I packed up at 12.15.

Chunky 10lb pike, todays view and Sky watching the world

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1 small pike from today that took a lamprey nearly as big as he was. Thought I was on them again to start another early take, but when this came to the bank I figured the mummas were somewhere else so kept moving swims until I had to get back

Fishing in the snow and a couple of todays swims, it was bright to start!

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On 23/02/2018 at 08:03, yonny said:

Lovely part of the country Phil, my parents had a place in Cromer so we used to spend a lot of time there. We'd visit Sherringham, Salthouse and Wells too, happy times for me and my twin brother.

Went to Cromer mate ..... nearly got blown off the pier :lol:

Will definitely head back over that way again at some point . 

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