Wednesday, September 19, 2012

And who says pike are stupid..?

Half a dozen follows from pike of different sizes in the mile or so of river I fished today, without one of them paying a visit to the bank. Even my ignorance of the finer points of lure fishing can't account for this whitewash.

They were interested enough to follow the lure. Interested enough in one or two cases to follow it a snout's length behind. I tried different lures. I tried different retrieves. I'm 99.9 per cent certain no-one's fished this bit of river for ages, so the fish can't have been spooked.

Maybe in the clear water, they had time to give the different lumps of wood I threw their way a good look. Maybe they just weren't in a feeding mood. But anyone who thinks pike are daft is barking up the wrong tree on the strength of today.

I learned a few things all the same. The main one being how many different things you can make a Shad Rap do, besides just chuck it out and reel it back in again. When the sun broke through the clouds building over the Fens, I could clearly see what the lures were doing. A downwards tap on the rod makes a Shad Rap keel and flash. A sharp upward flick sends it down with a waggle of its tail.

While neither were to the pikes' liking when it came to having a pop at one, I'll remember that one for when I next go lure fishing. Another thing I learned today was it only takes the slightest bit of weed to mask the diving vane or foul the hooks to completely muffle the lure's action.

After a large boat went by, it left a trail of bits of bur reed and cabbage, which the lure caught every other chuck. At this point, after the best part of three hours, I decided it was time for a re-think. Glancing off a bridge on another river on the way home was another object lesson.

There was a shoal of roach - hundreds, maybe thousands-strong flitting in and out between the sunlight and the shade. And there, beneath them in the clear water, were a pair of pike around the 8bs mark almost side-by-side.

The roach went about their business ignoring the killers in their midst. The pike just sat there, ignoring their fodder, with just the flicker of a fin or the occasional ripple of their gills.

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