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!
Dyl, thank you. I'm flattered.ReplyDelete
My mode of angling has tended towards a method of capture which I would describe as 'tipping the balance'. This is where I would imagine a fish feeding in it's most natural day to day manner, and then devise a method as close to it as possible, just tipping the balance enough my way in order to get a bite. It's a long term tactic and doesn't involve the 'filling in' of swims.
Good luck with the project.
In the meantime, my wife has the problem of getting my head through the door frame of our living room.
Richie, you're welcome - I don't, however, think you would have been had I published my original effort. Far less flattering, but that was after a few Polish lagers and I thought better of it in the cold light of the next morning. My lasting memories of our time on Tring is of your meticulous attention to detail, even down to measuring the hook links when roach fishing on Startops. That same period when "Desperate from Coventry" jumped down to examine your rig whilst you were sorting out another 2 lbs plus roach. I wonder if the two hook rule still applies on the complex? I know that it was a fairly obscure by-law that allowed us to fish with two during the 1980's, but it was in the days before The Environment Agency. Thames Water then issued the regional rod licences and maybe had some influence over the ruling. Have you been back recently? On my last visit to Wilstone I couldn't believe how small it seemed - I thought it was an ocean when I first fished it in 1974!Delete
Don't worry Dyl, my memories of me 'being me' back then were singularly unflattering. I recently went on a bike ride with Gav and declared that the best way I could have been described was 'hard work'. Way way too intense.ReplyDelete
Mind you, when I was a bit younger, I was deemed an 'effing' pain in the arse. So I'd improved a fraction when I started at Tring.
The 'no names' rig inspection was really me getting my comeuppance for being blatantly secretive and competitive in the public domain. I cringe now when I remember hiding the weed covered rig in a landing net simply to stop anyone seeing it. As a result, the rig was removed and cleaned.
Not sure what I was about 'personality wise' back then. But there was much need of improvement and adjustment.
Still a work in progress.
I haven't been back for many years. I'm going to have look soon though, with a view to getting the rods (and rigs) into play again.
No idea about the Roach situation, but a Perch may be in order.
I'm really hoping the different approach to the Pike fishing pays off.
I have visions of masses of jack pike and eels being drawn to a ground-baited area, with lunker Pike following to predate upon those. The tiny bait may tempt the biggy regardless of it having just nailed a larger meal, mainly because they are lazy and also since the area is covered in similar particles.
I'm getting ahead of myself here Dyl. You are the Pike expert, I'm simply speculating.