Who am I?

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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 8 December 2023

Time for the Sirens?

 I've made mention about my reliance on the use of electronic bite alarms in my Pike fishing. The recent sessions down on the RMC have caused me to have a rethink about the various alarms I have been using. To be honest, the "back-biters" which my brother, Sye, makes are superb, yet only suited for use in rather specialised situations. The front runner style alarms offer a far more versatile option of bite registration,  in my opinion. Recently, my alarms have been an "original" Steve Neville, a Sundridge digital Optonic and a couple of Ultimate "Redmire" models. Every one of them has performed okay, but I have three Nash Siren R3's sat indoors; why? They are the most sensitive bite alarms I've ever used, and have the added bonus of a remote receiver unit which ensures I don't miss a single bleep, even when I'm distracted by the local wildlife! This morning I took another drive down to the canal to give the Sirens an outing. What a good decision it turned out to be.

Three baits in the water before 06.50 hrs, I had twice "leapfrogged" the kit before, at 09. 20 hrs, I registered my first bite. It came to a Dyson rigged dead bait, some two feet off the bottom, and resulted in a rather battle scarred fish of 14 lbs 3 oz visiting the bank. Well pleased, I repositioned the bait and scribbled a few notes in my diary along the lines of needing to use this presentation more often. 

I seem to have experienced some lens condensation problems whilst 
obtaining the selfies of this fish?

At around 10.20 hrs, I'd received a few indications on my left hand set-up, which I feel sure were due to Eel activity? I was just watching the monkey climber, as there were odd bleeps on the alarm, when the remote sounded a take on my right hand rod. Quickly on the case, I went through the ritual of winding down and setting the hooks.  This time it was "game on" as the fish powered away down the canal. It was a very enjoyable tussle which resulted in an absolutely magnificent Pike, of 18 lbs 2 oz, being drawn over the net chord. This fish was in immaculate condition and certainly has the potential to top that "twenty" mark closer to spawning. 

An absolutely pristine Pike from the RMC - 18 lbs 2 oz

I hung it out for an extra thirty minutes, being rewarded with the third bite of the session. A "scamp" of six, or seven, pounds quickly dealt with before it was time to get packed away. It was a stunning morning down besides the canal, the sun shining brightly with a very gentle breeze. All the regular folk were encountered and conversations ensued. It really has a community vibe about being down there. The birding was as to be expected, for the most part, but I did record two Great White Egrets and my first Water Rail of the winter down on the canal.


  1. Getting some great early season successes Dylan! Got to be confident of finding a few "big girls" before they start thinking about other things!

    1. Thanks James, it has certainly been a very enjoyable start to the 2023/24 Pike season. I think hopeful, rather than confident, is my current mindset, as I am struggling to find any concentrations of food fish at present. However, believing in the law of averages, surely it will be my turn to cross paths with one of the "A" team at some point. The more effort I put in should increase the likelihood of me connecting with such a fish?
      All the best with your own angling adventures, tight lines - Dylan

  2. Just wondered Dyl. If Pike lived somewhere in a place where water temperatures never dropped below 10 degrees C, where there was a mass of food for them and no one targeting them either. What would the odds be on a decent fish lurking?

    1. Hi Ric, a very interesting question but, sadly, not one I could offer a valid answer to. Water temps never falling below 10C would not be condusive to successful spawning, in my experience. The Pike in the RMC start to congregate in suitable areas during Feb/March and I have seen spawning activity with cat ice in the margins. No angling pressure and masses of food are obviously a recipe for a chunk to exist?
      Take care - Dyl

  3. Lovely! Terrific catch, mate- I couldn't think of too many better ways to spend a morning in the English countryside. I still haven't been out since October. First covid, then rain. Could have got out today or yesterday but too busy with other bits. My float set up is still ready and waiting, but I've also got a newish fly set up ready to go. I break up for the Christmas holidays on Friday, so I'll be out and about- Will let you know how I'm getting on- Speak soon, Gazza

    1. Cheers Gazza,
      Good to hear things are starting to improve - Dyl

  4. Replies
    1. My venues of choice are very much influenced by the weather. As such, whilst this ridiculous rain continues to fall, Pike fishing is a complete non-starter for me. I'm not without alternative options however, as the local club has some small ponds/irrigation reservoirs which can provide alternative entertainment whilst I await a return to normal out on the flatlands. Thanks for the comment - Dylan