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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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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Stars realigning?

I'm back out on the marsh, for another after dark pike session. It's wonderfully still, mild, and overcast; the car display registered 13C as I drove across to the fishery. Just three hours, four bites, two to the right hand rod - both missed (eels?), one to the middle rod producing a pike of 7 lbs-ish and a screamer on the left hander resulted in an eel, of 2 lbs 9 oz, gracing the net.

My Fuji Finepix at it's best! I have absolutely no idea how anyone can get decent self takes of these bloody fish!
It's the middle of November, yet I am now confident that I can catch eels, by design, should I set out to do so. I make no claims to be an experienced eel angler, but I have spent the past six winters fishing for pike in the East Kent fisheries and have absolutely no reason to think that eels are any different from other species. They feed when the opportunity presents itself - my pike baits being attacked by these slimy nuisances, with monotonous regularity during the entire pike season.
I'm not thinking of another eel challenge, just yet! I will, however, take my night feeding pike project to another venue. It's a fascinating turn around in what I thought to be right and proper - pike in the dark and eels during the winter - who says we know anything about angling?

5 comments:

  1. Keep them coming .not a bad average aswell .

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    1. Not too much sport on pike tackle - they were much more fun when I used my light gear and deliberately set out to catch them. I can't have it both ways. I either continue with my night fishing for pike or go eel fishing, which would result in me learning nothing new. I have already proved that eels can be caught all throughout the winter, I now wish to look at another aspect of pike feeding behavior. If eels get caught, I'll live with it, although a pike would be my choice every time whilst on this project. - Dylan

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  2. Hi Dyl – watching this space with much interest regarding your night fishing for pike investigations.

    I’ve always suspected the main reasons a pikes preference for nocturnal feeding is due to either one or a combination of things. Firstly; angling pressure (though uncommon, and certainly not a factor in your own pioneering). Secondly; pre-baiting. (Introducing baits at last light, either purposely or inadvertently at the end of a session, can trigger nocturnal feeding). Thirdly; and I’d suggest the main reason, is the behaviour of available pray. In particular, during times of low/clear water conditions, fodder-fish tend to tuck themselves tightly away, out of sight from prying eyes. Only under the cover of darkness will they emerge to feed. Unsurprisingly, the pike respond to this activity and feed accordingly. I can think of two prime examples of this in my own experience. Both involved a huge number of fry emerging into open water from feeder streams and densely vegetated pools as daylight faded into dark. The pike would congregate at these bottleneck locations and chow down on a fish supper.

    A very interesting subject indeed - looking forward to reading your conclusions.

    Andy

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    1. Andy,
      Sorry for the delay in my response, but I needed some time to collect my thoughts and ensure my reply is what I think, at present.
      Your comment is very thought provoking and the subject of pre-baiting something which I'd over looked, although had inadvertently been involved with. I have to admit that my first after dark pike experience, of this current campaign, is directly a consequence of a trip after eels. This did, and always had done during my previous winter eel project, involve a sustained program of bait introduction during the course of the campaign. I am starting to think that the presence of eels is actually a factor in some of this feeding behavior? If the pike doesn't take it, when they find it, the eels will have removed the opportunity?
      I am well aware of other pike anglers who have enjoyed spectacular success during the night. Eddie Turner had a brace of "thirties" from The Tesco Pit, Lakeside and, of course, Pete Climo & pals, were to discover the potential of Llandegfedd by poaching at night.
      Hoping all is well with you and the gang - Dyl

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  3. "Inadvertently pre-baiting" by other Pike anglers was certainly a feeding trigger on a popular stretch of the river Stour several years ago. Throughout the day, anglers would drip-feed the margins with discarded heads, preferring to use tail section as hook baits. Come the end of their session, any old baits and leftovers were discarded in the near margins. You can guess when the prime feeding time on this stretch was?.... Yep!.... Once they had all fecked-off home! - Modus operandi; arrive at last light and fish margins... the going bait?... yep!... heads!... (cheers lads)

    NB: Eddie certainly deserved those chalk pit fish – what a shit hole that was!

    Tight lines mate

    Andy

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