Ric ("Little Richie") Francis and I were members of the Tring Syndicate during that exciting period of specimen hunting, ref; Tench fishing - 1981-93 - and have traveled a, spookily, similar path ever since! The last time we met was in 1993, Studland Heath, whilst "twitching" a Hoopoe. Thankfully, the advent of social media has resulted in us getting back into contact, via the mutual connection to Gavin Haig's "Not Quite Scilly" blog. (Richie, Gavin and I regularly post comments on other blogs we read)
Gavin and his son, Rob, have recently embarked on a pike fishing campaign along the Exeter ship canal click here .I have never, knowingly met with Gavin, although we did fish Tiddenfoot Pit, near Leighton Buzzard, for the catfish around the same period in the early 1990's. Again, there has been a very similar pattern of events in our two lives; angling - birding - angling plus all the other, far more important, stuff involved in getting old! It is Ric (always gonna be Richie to Sye and me) that is key here; both Gavin and myself are in awe of his angling prowess - he's bloody good (or rather he was exceptional when I fished alongside him during the Tring Syndicate days) - his attention to detail a lesson for anyone aspiring to regularly catch specimen fish. I always felt that the bish, bash, bosh, of pike angling was far too industrial to be worthy of his attentions - he's a rig person. Bait and hooks, that delicate balance of presentation and efficiency being a trademark during the Tring years. His catches of huge Roach from Startops End Res are the stuff of angling legend and it didn't stop there. Tench and Bream also succumbed to the silky skills of this "half - pint" thinking angler. Even then, way back in the 1980's, Richie had a gift for looking beyond the box - always willing to explore new avenues, regardless of peer group pressure - very brave for someone so young (in 1981!)
Anyhow, that's enough "bigging up" and on with the point of this post. I received this comment and it has set in motion a whole new thought process!
Dyl, Could be a connection between the size of bait the pike are usually caught on, or how often in nature they ever come across such a prize such as a large -intact-dead fish? Unusual food item = unusual outing to the bank. I imagine that, in nature, any poorly fish will be whacked by the pike when still alive. Since we don't 'do that tactic' I'd go down the particle route, since if a very large fish died, it would end up in tiny bits as it rotted away. Didn't Mumford (Ray) take some biggies swing-tipping tiny baits over fish meal ground bait.I once had a 12lb when eel fishing. I was using Bleak sections and the bite was ever so slow. The issue of bite offs isn't far away? All the best, RicF.
What's going on? How could I have missed something so obvious? The really hurtful bit is that I've already experienced success using the "particle approach" during my winter eel campaign. One night session in February was to see me "plagued by pike" including a double! All these fish falling to tiny fish sections fished amongst similar freebies. How did I overlook such a blatant demonstration? Just thick I guess! Or was I simply engrossed with my eel project? Yes, that's a lot easier to accept than being a dullard!
There is no getting away from the fact that Richie has given me another option to explore. The East Kent drains have not yet provided me with that elusive twenty. Could it be due to my stereo-typical methods? Only by attempting something different will I gain any further insight into the pike behavior in these intimate venues and hope to unlock the code to further progression in my quest for my target fish. Nothing ventured - nothing gained!