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!


Tuesday 7 November 2017

Gathering evidence

I've been back for another, dusk into dark, session pike fishing out on the marsh. This particular drain system has a recent history of late afternoon/early evening pike feeding activity as I can back-up with my diary notes from that winter eel project of 2015/16. I recall a "plagued by pike" phrase getting posted during the February summary; not something I ever thought I'd say in anything but jest! But there I was, complaining about pike feeding activity under the cover of darkness. Night feeding pike are not a recent phenomenon, the species has been night feeding ever since anglers started to fish during the hours of darkness - that's a bloody long time ago - centuries!

Witching Hour approaches - dusk out on the marsh
I've had a search around the UK internet links and discovered several threads where anglers have shared their thoughts and experiences about pike angling in the dark - all very interesting and adding further information to assist my own theories. It is behavior not restricted to the UK - there are comments from the USA/Canada as well as mainland Europe. I have, therefore, to conclude that pike taking baits during the hours of darkness are behaving in a very normal manner and it is us anglers who have overlooked the blatantly obvious. Night fishing is an approach worthy of exploration as there is much to be learnt about this neglected area of pike angling. Over the years I have taken many pike during the night, yet dismissed them as "accidental" captures and not given these events any great thought, until recently.

My second double of the campaign - 10 lbs 2 oz
I have quite a few avenues of thought which I hope to explore over the coming winter period. I already have a few ideas, but want to get more experience with these nocturnal pike and attempt to establish patterns and/or preferences as well as trying different bait presentations. All of my recent fish (seven in two outings) have fallen to my basic static dead bait presentation, fished flat on the bottom. Paternosters and pop-ups will receive a fair trial as will my continued tweaking of flavour and colour combinations. The true test, however, will be if I can get success away from these marshland drains. Then, and only then, will I feel that there is anything worthy to be shared with fellow pike anglers.

A frustrating time with my Fuji bridge camera kit - great as it is for the general scenery shots and self-take stuff. I have to admit that I wish I'd been carrying the Canon and "big lens" when I spent time watching a fox hunting an adjacent field. It flushed a roosting Short-eared Owl which put on a great show but, capturing, flight shots isn't within the capability of the user/camera combination when everything is automatic with a very slow focus response.

How I wish I'd been carrying my long lens
I have one more, shameful, admission - I saw my first Stonechat (a pair) of 2017 whilst I was out there; a woeful performance by any standards.


  1. Not woeful Dyl, somehow praiseworthy! The real sign of an old campaigner who is so laid back he's horizontal...

    1. Steve, I am somewhat shocked by this comment. Back in the day, when such thing were important, Stonechat should have been on the list before noon on 1st January! I'm not laid back - I'm bloody idle - yet I've still recorded 250+ species during the passage of 2017. I'm so comfortable with my life, at present, that an admission of such magnitude is something I'll get over - very quickly!!
      Hoping all is well with you and the family - Dyl