Who am I?

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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Sunday, 8 November 2015

Pike fishing - more thoughts

When Gadget, Benno, and I, went to Essex for an Eddie Turner talk at a PAC do (Braintree as I remember?) we were treated to an extraordinary evening of, pike related, entertainment. Eddie and I go back a long way and spent a while chewing the fat about "the good old days" One memory that sticks, from that night, is Eddie's endorsement of "Fishing for Big Pike" (Published by A & C Black 1976. ISBN - 0713616482) by Barry Rickards and Ray Webb as the best pike fishing advice ever written. I've given my copy to Benno, but there is no way that I could find fault with Eddie's opinion - it has all the information that any pike angler could ever wish for. Pike, very unlike carp, are an easy species to understand. Primitive -  and prone to instinctive feeding response - they will never be described as tackle shy? If you are willing to follow their lead, Barry and Ray provide all the basics required for locating and catching this wonderful species.

The best book ever written on pike fishing in the UK?

So my advice, if you seek to put a decent pike on the bank, is firstly join the Pike Angler's Club of Great Britain and then, get a copy of Fishing for Big Pike. (£4.50 + postage on e-bay) Sure, there have been a few modern tweaks which have assisted anglers in this contest, but the bottom line is that Barry and Ray would still be very successful anglers in 2015 using their methods.

Grebe Lake at Emberton Park, Northamptonshire. (1992?)
This book is the first one that, in my experience, placed such importance on location, on feature finding and why the pike would be in the vicinity. Bait and rigs are, also, well covered, but already recognised that they mean very little if not presented in the right place. In the time that I've been involved in pike angling, there have been some massive changes in the type of venue available to the modern pike angler - trout fisheries have distorted the picture beyond anything I could have imagined. Rickards and Webb were anglers who sought their quarry from wilderness venues - wild pike and not the obese caricatures that inhabit the modern trout fisheries of southern/ south-western England. I can make no assumptions, on their behalf, that they wouldn't have offered useful advice about these modern fisheries - but their experiences were before this development. I'm confident that any advice would have been simple and basic - pike are not a MENSA conundrum!
I'm enjoying my dalliance with these old images - there is a lot of stuff, from my crazy past, recorded in these photos which  remains, as yet, unexplored. Steve has commented about "that book" -  I can confirm that it's progressing, but in a direction I'd not envisaged. Completed by Christmas? It's a target that I'm aiming for.

London Colney - The British Aerospace pit - not a water on the "big fish" map.
I have always been drawn by the adventure of new discoveries. Size is great - but not the only consideration.
If I remove the pursuit of Tench and Wels Catfish; from the equation - I've always been a seeker of discovery, as opposed to a follower of established routine. There are so many scenarios where I'm way off the mark - I've got to be doing it my way, or not at all? By looking backwards, I am able to gather my thoughts on subjects many and various, and then move on.

Pike fishing simplicity - Loch Awe (April 2015)
Bait boat technology ensuring my rigs are fished efficiently - 120m+


Pike monkey/needle - a front runner alarm and a wooden centre-pin (circa 1920)
If it works on an East Kent drain - why shouldn't it work in Scotland?

Pike are an easy species to understand, although they do have their nuances from venue to venue. I have been extremely fortunate to have pursued these fish in myriad different arenas - I would like to think of it as "experience?" that keeps the bites coming.

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