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!


Friday 9 December 2016

A pre - Christmas recce

Benno and I are off pike fishing in the morning. Really? How unusual is that? Well, were headed back to a venue where we enjoyed some spectacular results in 2013. We're not too bothered about success tomorrow, although we'd obviously like to avoid a blank if at all possible. What we're hoping is to find some fish and make plans for the coming holiday break, when we should have plenty of time to embark on a serious campaign.

Benno and I going pike fishing - it's been going on for over thirty years!
Although we've enjoyed some fabulous sessions, taking pike to just over 20 lbs, I don't feel that we've really got to grips with the place and there is so much more to discover. I will keep to my "big bait = big pike" theory, at this venue, because I have absolute faith in my baits. They are as attractive as I know how to present them; confidence is 90% of my approach, the roll of the dice providing the remainder. We will be there well before light and fish a fairly typical dawn to mid-morning session, in line with our previous experiences. However, I am not so convinced that fishing an afternoon session, into dark, might not offer us a better chance of getting to grips with some of these pike. Gavin Haig's recent exploits have provided much food for thought along these lines. Catching pike during the hours of darkness cannot always be accidental?

You'd think he'd be happier with such a nice Scottish pike. My job is now done and
it's now Ben's responsibility to introduce Bryn to the joys of angling. 
I also have a couple of tweaked-up presentations which I would like to try out, the Christmas period should allow me ample opportunity to give them a fair trial, fished alongside my regular offerings. The results will be interesting, of that I'm sure, given that I catch a few? My use of dyes and flavours goes right back to the mid-80's and time spent with Eddie Turner, Vic Gibson and Bill Hancock (The original ET team) on the banks at Tring. They were always tinkering with some aspect, or other, of bait presentation or rig performance and this had a lasting effect on the way I looked at my pike angling. "Do something different!" was the general vibe and the lessons of the past have yielded some wondrous results in the intervening years. I have done just that, yet feel that as time progresses it should have gotten more difficult to find an edge? Sadly this is not so and I have another post, in mind, based upon this worrying situation.


  1. Dyl, when it comes to piking one thing I don't have is a wealth of experience to draw upon. So when it comes to 'feeding times' for example, although I have read that the first few hours of the day can be best I cannot point to umpteen occasions when this has been true for me. If I had, it might influence me to give [possibly] undue importance to getting on the bank for dawn. Rob's experience with pike is likewise limited, but in the past he has deliberately fished for them at night several times, and caught. What I am trying to say is that neither of us is tied to a certain way of doing things because of years and years of 'that's what has always worked'. One thing we are trying to do on our chosen venue is keep far away from other anglers. So far the only ones we have seen were a handful of carpers back in October when we had a recce. I suspect that night-fishing will keep us under the radar a bit, so I was more than happy to try it. An additional bit of encouragement came from reading that a certain highly successful angler on the venue (with, I think, over 40 years experience of fishing it for pike) frequently caught at night, even in freezing conditions. All that, plus now having caught a big one after dark (and just one was all we needed to give us the necessary reassurance that we were on the right track) add up to a healthy injection of confidence. And as you say, confidence is 90% of the battle.

    By the way, my fish was caught around 5:30pm.

    1. Gav, under no circumstances would I consider myself anything other than a "journeyman" pike angler. I've been unbelievably privileged to have captured some very large fish since that fateful day, way back in the 1970's. However, nothing about angling is carved in stone, thus all is open to challenge and revised thinking. Over the years I have captured a number of pike during the hours of darkness, all of them as a result of laziness (my PB from Wilstone - I couldn't be bothered to reel in a crucian livebait) or accidental capture whilst targeting other species - zander and eels in particular. Your recent success has led me to question a few things about my own approach - Benno and I spent a while, this morning, talking through the scenarios of why light into darkness sessions might be the way forward at our next venue.
      I wrote about Eddie Turner & co - "Do something different" - well deliberately pike fishing in the hours of darkness is certainly something which needs further investigation by my way of thinking.
      Cheers for the comment(s) and tight lines - Dyl