Thursday, August 16, 2012

How old is a 20lbs pike from the Fens

How old do you reckon this fish is..? I forgot to ask it, so I don't know. Brian, the guy who does the Pike Blog, has tried his hand at a weight-for-age scale. But as Brian admits, there isn't that much info out there when it comes for age vs weight.

I sent the old boy some links and info that might provide a starting point in terms of people to ask, ranging from the guy that runs the gill-netting on Windermere, to Uncle Nev.

Weights of individual fish vary at different times of year, for obvious reasons. Growth rates also vary from water to water. Another no-brainer.

But Brian's scale got me thinking all the same, mainly because I've got no idea how long it takes a pike to reach 40-inches - the Mona's scale bench mark for a twenty - let alone the much-hallowed specimen weight.

In the back of my mind, I'm half surprised I don't know this after 15 years of fishing for pike in the Fens. I suspect I still wouldn't know the answer if I'd caught twice as many twenties.

I wonder whether knowing it would change the way I fish or the waters I choose to target if I did. If you'd asked me a few seasons back, when I was on a roll, I'd probably have come up with some glib response like keep at it on the right waters long enough and you'll catch a few.

But looking at the waters in the Fens which currently appear to be peaking in terms of big pike but seem to hold a dearth of smaller ones, knowing how long it might take another generation of big pike to come through might save  a lot of wasted trips.

It might, in other words, make the difference between keep going long enough and you'll catch a few, to this water's going to have several in next winter, because it was a good doubles water two years - or however long it takes - ago.

Interesting stuff.

+++I also should have remembered this scale from Fred Buller.

++++And this piece on the PAC website shows how few pike actually make it through to adulthood.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the info you sent through - I've sent you an email.

    My simple plan to plot as much data as possible onto a graph and draw a simple average line through it seems, well, a bit too simple now.

    A lot more factors to consider, but it's interesting stuff - so I'll have a blast.

    Thanks again