My River Stour Pike project can now properly get started. November is here and I'm really looking forward to the challenge. I've set myself the simple(?) target of catching a "twenty" from this Kent river and have planned to give it my all right up to the end of January 2023, when I will then return to the RMC with a score to settle.
Under no illusion that The Stour will ever provide the returns I managed last season. The basic approach will revolve around my presentation and ability to position baited rigs in spots where I feel my quarry might be present. Watercraft, for want of a better definition, based upon my experiences gleaned from Pike fishing which has spanned over half a century! The bottom line is my firm belief that "big" Pike are lazy, opportunist, feeders and my dead bait approach is particularly suited to the fish I seek. If numbers of fish was my goal then I'd certainly be more likely to utilise the modern lure technology and also live bait presentation.
I certainly don't expect the fishing to, ever, be described as hectic, one bite per week will be perfectly acceptable if I feel that what I'm doing is headed in the right direction. Thus far, I've now had five sessions on The Stour with just three Pike to show for my efforts. From this small sample I am already looking to move my focus away from the section currently being targeted. As I did last season, on the RMC, it is my desire to get three mid-week sessions every week. This is to allow me maximum flexibility without having to worry, too much, about what other anglers are doing. By avoiding the weekend warriors I think that my chances of success are much greater.
So much to consider as the project evolves yet, hopefully, my previous Pike fishing exploits will assist my decision making in a positive manner? Big baits and strong tackle will be key to this challenge. There is certainly no place for split canes or the Duncan Kay's getting involved. My set-up is a Bruce & Walker HMC 12', 2.25 lbs t/c and a Tri-cast "Ultra Light" 13', 2.25 lbs t/c rod, two Wychwood "Big Pit 70" reels loaded with 50 lbs b.s. "Berkley Whiplash" braided line and 30 lbs "Marlin Steel" wire traces with Drennan and/or Partridge VB double hooks - sizes 2, 4 & 6's. Because of the flowing water bite indication is via "Back Biter" alarms opposed to the Siren R3's and monkeys on needles. These particular items are manufactured by my brother, Simon, specifically for this type of situation.
|No two dawns are ever the same!|
Big skies - the blame lies firmly with Steve Gale.
Currently the weather is all over the show and it will probably be Friday before I get back down to the river. Whatever the outcome, the Stour has got me in it's spell and I'm absolutely committed to the challenge I've set myself. The cameras will accompany me on this journey, as they always have, and am hopeful that photos will illustrate aspects of the adventure where my pitiful literary skills fail.
|This cheeky monkey tried to sneak out in the pre-dawn half light!|
I've seen you before my friend.