|My best "boat caught" pike - 23lbs 6oz |
from Lynch Hill, Oxfordshire.
Taken on a trout livebait - vaned from the boat using a
Grice & Young "Big Piker" centre pin
I can't claim to be anywhere close to Andy's calibre, as a pike angler, but I found it very interesting to hear his theories on abortive takes, bait choice (size and species) and hooking arrangements for his particular speciality which is trolled dead baits - bounced along, close to the bottom in 30+ feet of water. Another interesting snippet was his preferred choice of "Bait-runner type" reels over multipliers - the choice of many of the best boat anglers I knew in the 1980/90's (Bait-runners were not an option at that time!)
I have spent quite a bit of time mulling over the content of the advice proffered by Andy and find myself at odds with some aspects and in total agreement with many others. I am not a boat angler, I just don't like them; yes I have caught a few decent pike whilst afloat, but these are the exceptions. I have, over the years, fished Rutland, Llandegfed and Lynch Hill with varying success - I never felt confident on any of these waters and my results were poor as a consequence.
|A Wilstone pike of 23lbs 5oz - the result of a 3inch lift on a|
pike monkey indicator. Bait was a bouyant Herring
Andy touched upon the finnicky bites that he experiences whilst trolling on Bough Beech, I have to concur with this train of thought - we experienced similar behaviour on Tring during the 1980's. Pike were quite adept at mouthing a bait without any indication on our alarms - the first thing we knew was when we reeled in to find teeth marks on our baits.
One of the lessons we took from this period was to reduce our hook size. I would generally fish with size 6 trebles; so these were reduced to size 8's and, on occassion, I would go as small as size 14's! Andy Windmill (who was the Luton PAC regional co-ordinator during the 1980's) had developed a single hook rig along with Alan Beat purely as a response to these rejected pick-ups by fussy pike. What I found hard to accept about Andy Brown's talk was his incistence to continue using size 4 (and bigger) trebles - you could anchor a cruise liner with one of these!
|A sardine on an Andy Windmill/Alan Beat "instant strike" rig accounted for this fish|
|One of my very first pike to sardine - 18lbs 10oz from Grebe Lake, Emberton Park, Northamptonshire|
|A pike of 19lbs 11oz on a very small bleak live bait - R. Thames, November 16th 1982|
|The best, so far, from Wilstone Res - on a Crucian Carp live bait - after dark!|