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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition, that was until Covid-19 intervened!. 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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Saturday, 22 January 2022

Bite time?

There are just fifty-one days remaining until the close of the "traditional" coarse fishing season and with it, the end of my 2021/22 Pike challenge. All being well, I expect to get in another twenty-one sessions before the curtain falls on this particular campaign and my sights alter focus in search of other species. Resting against a bookcase, in my study, are three rods which I have only used once since our last trip up to Loch Awe in 2019. They are a Tri-Cast 13' 2.25 lbs t/c, a Bruce & Walker 13' 2.75 lbs t/c and a Bruce & Walker 12' 2.25 lbs t/c. All carbon fibre, manufactured in the mid 1980's, they remain very serviceable bits of angling hardware and a pleasure to use in the right situations. 

As I had said in a previous post, my angling focus has moved some three-quarters of a mile along the RMC and has certainly proved to be a positive decision. However, between these two points, there is a section of the canal that contains some rather substantial snags which certainly have the potential to hold Pike. As fantastic as my Duncan Kay 1lb 10oz t/c rods are, using them in this type of situation isn't particularly wise. If fish welfare is important, then I need to use gear which will cope under these specific conditions. Whilst I readily admit that these alternative rods are nowhere as much fun to play fish on, what they lack in finesse, they more than compensate with the brute force required for keeping hard fighting Pike away from the underwater obstructions, once hooked. I've made the decision to spend the next three sessions, so to the month's end, targeting these snags just to see if I've overlooked an opportunity? 

There is one other avenue of exploration which I feel needs some attention in the run up to the finish of my project. Up until now, all of my sessions have been conducted from pre-dawn to mid-day (maximum) and a very successful approach it has proven to be. However, because of a chance conversation with a guy, whom I regularly see out on the bank, the possibility of a late afternoon, into darkness, feeding spell has come into my thinking. Obviously there is only one way to check out the hypothesis and I've already made plans for a session, next week. One session isn't ever going to be enough to make serious judgement upon the possibilities, but it will be a start. I well recall the "problem" caused by night feeding Pike during my winter Eel campaign of 2015/16, so the concept isn't something new. 

Not what you want whilst deliberately targeting Eels!

I've not fished into dark for a while and recognise that, at this time of year, it will pose some specific issues should I have to deal with a decent Pike when the light has gone. Head torch(es) and spare batteries will be essential items, as will a supply of extra layers. As for trophy shots? I'm already thinking along the lines of getting the camera gear set up in the daylight and then covering it with a padded bag to stop condensation from forming on the lens. Whatever the outcome, it will be good to push the boundaries of my experience with the inhabitants of the canal. Always learning; because the day I think I know it all will be the day when I pack it up!

8 comments:

  1. A great read. I fished into dark for the first time in a very long time at the weekend. The swim really came alive, the chub were feeding like they do in the summer. constant pulls on my ledgered luncheon meat. Am definitely going to stay into dark next session too!

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    1. Cheers for the comment Adam. I have to admit that Pike fishing, for me, has always been a morning thing, even going right back to the 1980's. If it were not for that chance conversation with the rambler, I don't think I'd be doing any different until the end of my campaign. However, ignoring this type of snippet, no matter how vague, is stupid if I'm to make the most of the situation presented to me. What's the worst thing that can happen? I blank and there's no improvement in my results - hey-ho! Nothing ventured - nothing gained. Take care & tight lines - Dylan

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    2. I was Chub fishing in the dark. Don't think I would Pike fish into dark.

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  2. good luck Dylan. in the summer months while eel fishing I had 3 big doubles to 19.2 I the middle of the night on roach heads and single size 6s. didn't catch any eels. were I think you might just have a problem with them. .

    nick

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    1. Hi Nick,
      I've, accidently, caught many Pike during the hours of darkness to 26 lbs 7 oz, but that's all I can say. They weren't caught by design. To deliberately catch Pike in the late afternoon/dusk/night situation will be something new to me. As for Pike fishing in the summer months? Totally alien concept - there are so many other species worthy of pursuit when the sun is shining. As always, cheers for taking time to comment - tight lines - Dylan

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  3. hi Dylan. do you know if anyone has been targeting the eels over the winter months. ? over nighters .

    cheers nick

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    1. Hi Nick,
      The section of the canal that I've targeted sees very few anglers and, because I only visit during the week, I meet no-one else when I'm out on the bank. There were a couple of guys Carp fishing between Gigger's Green and Aldergate in Oct/Nov, doing overnighters, but I've not seen, or heard about, them since. Winter Eel fishing is such a niche pursuit that if anyone is doing it, they will be keeping well off the radar?
      Sorry I'm not able to offer anything positive - Dylan

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  4. no probs . thank you. really Hope your catch all your targets for the winter.

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