Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to 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!


Sunday 27 November 2016

There might be something in this?

I am just back home after another session out on the marsh - four bites, three pike to the bank, including two low doubles, both of which I have caught previously. Generally I am not too pleased with recaptures but, under these circumstances, I am more than happy. Why?
If you've been following the Richie Francis "ideas on pike fishing" theme and the resultant exchanges in my comments box, you will have seen the train of thought that has led me down a rather intriguing path. I make no secret of the fact that I'm a static dead-bait angler - end of! I am also very much of the opinion that large baits = large pike and have happily employed this logic to my pike angling since my return to the hobby in 2011. Chris, the Youtube "Ginger Fisherman" had got some fascinating underwater footage of a large pike examining, and rejecting, a static dead-bait and this is where the saga starts. I'd never have thought that a pike was capable of such behavior, almost carp-like learning, and as such have found myself questioning almost everything I do as a pike angler.
It is not a bad thing, to challenge the status quo, but it does stick in the crop when somebody else is able to point out something which is blatantly obvious and you've simply not noticed it!

She weighed in at 11 lbs 6 oz today. The Mk IV is fitted with an ABU Cardinal 44X, an
idea I got from watching Hugh Mile's "Lost in Time" documentary about Chris Yates. He also
uses a similar combo, but catches much larger fish than I do!
So where am I at today? The session this morning has gone much better than I could have hoped; three rods, two of which were baited with my standard sized, flavoured & dyed offerings and the third with a much smaller bait (a yellow roach - 3 inches max!) Both the doubles fell to the small baits, the bites being text book takes and the hook holds perfectly in the scissors. Obviously it's far too soon to be making any claims about success, but it certainly seems to be a step in the right direction and worthy of further exploration.


  1. "but it does stick in the crop when somebody else is able to point out something which is blatantly obvious and you've simply not noticed it!"

    Dyl, I deserve to be flogged for my audacity. But to your credit, it was only the driving force of you and your blog which has led to this particular avenue of experimentation.
    A great start. Well done!

    1. Rich, I don't think we are reinventing the wheel here. It's simply a sequence of events which has led us to challenge the "norm" if such a situation exists? Being a stubborn old git doesn't lend itself very easily to change, yet that is exactly where this exercise is guiding me. I'm very grateful for your input and hope that we can continue to exchange ideas as the project develops, although I am not too hopeful of a twenty from this particular system. The Royal Military Canal, however, certainly has the potential to deliver a fish well in excess of that figure and that might be my next venture. Take care and stay safe - Dyl

  2. I tend to use small baits these days on the river, in part I always have a morbid but never realised fear of running out of bait if they are really having it and also because I am a mean sod. Love a sardine unless moving the baits a lot and usually fish them halved where they break (still frozen) so one bit is often a lot smaller than the other. Small river so use floats not drop-offs and nearly always get them in the scissors.

    I thinkk a pike looks at a static dead for ages and if you twitch them so many times you get a take.

    I thnk about but never get round to using tiny lamprey sections for chub, mostly because i amn worried about pike bite offs. they are partial to small lumps of meat too.

    Does make me wonder how they pick up such small baits with that long snout, pike bites on meat on a quiver tip are very characteristic twitchy/plucky bites. Perch must just open that big gob and inhale. Do pike nudge a small bait then grab it as it rises? Certainly on my small sardine sections often hard to tell if it is a pike or a cray making the float twitch..

    1. There's an awful lot of unknowns here. I am in no way sure that I have a problem with my bait presentation in the first place, it was just that superb insight into an aspect of pike behavior that I'd never previously been aware of, which has caused my soul searching. Quite how long a pike dithers over picking up a static dead-bait wasn't something which crossed my mind until very recently. Dead-baiting is never going to be a hectic affair - even when they're having it! So I think that my results, fishing dyed and flavoured offerings, haven't been too poor, yet now wonder if they could be better should I revise my stubborn insistence on the use of large baits?
      Floats, running water (a factor which must be considered) and crayfish do not feature in my pike angling these days. My venues are intimate and the flow negligible, so I am happy to place my complete faith in audible front runners and monkeys on, angled, needles for my bite indication - plus I am so busy looking at other stuff that a float would just prove an annoying distraction. As for crayfish - here in East Kent they are not yet a problem as far as I'm aware? Eels, on the other hand, are a constant pain in the arse! Quite capable of producing a screaming take on half a mackerel or demolishing a whole sardine without a single bleep. Front runners and monkeys are far more sensitive than drop-offs in my experience under these conditions. I'm going to continue to offer these smaller alternative baits over the course of this winter season. Maybe, I will have a better understanding of the concept and any advantages it offers then? As always, thanks for taking time to comment, much appreciated - tight lines - Dyl

  3. Well done Dyl this made me think a bit the last time i was up wilstone i had a few fish on tiny smelts fished off the bottom on a sunken float livebait style,one of the fish coughed up a pikelet about four inches long and a bit digested popped it in a bag in the freezer back next morning out it went on the bottom and was off with an 18 in the net after a few minuets.
    sometimes think its a bit like the last bit of pork pie in the fridge you might not want it but if its not to big you munch it any way
    All the best tight lines,by the way my old Wrathall back biters are still going strong.

    1. Great to here from you - Benno was only asking if I'd heard from you lately just the other day! I'm between a rock and a hard place with this one at present. I'm catching plenty of pike on the local drains, but can't help but wonder if my stereo-typical bait size and presentations haven't caused some of the inhabitants to have "wised up"? Richie is an angler of whom I have great respect and it has been his input that has caused me to examine the methodology that I currently employ and look for alternative solutions for the age old problem of getting a pike to pick up a dead-bait. I really don't care whether or not I'm am able to draw any conclusions from the exercise, it's just nice to push at the boundaries of my own knowledge and experience. If others are also able to add to this mix by offering ideas and opinions, then it has to be a positive for all involved.
      I assume that those back-biters are some of Simon's originals? I'll let him know you're still using them - it will make him happy, that's for sure! Hoping all is well with you and yours? - tight lines - Dyl