I hope the freezing cold weather has not stopped you from getting on the banks this weekend. Again the Exeter canal has a lid on it, as do all the still-waters. If any action was to be found I would have to look for some running water.
I did not have to look far as I only live a stones throw from the beautiful river Exe.
You may have seen from recent posts the river has produced some good fish for me and the gang this winter. And to be honest, I imagine I would have been fishing for pike there even if the ice was not affecting other venues! I do have plans to target some other places in the near future, but for now... Exe marks the spot.
Saturdays outing was a bit shit really; the fish seemed unwilling to feed, or they where not present in the area. Whichever it was, I caught bugger all.
On a positive note my mood was lifted thanks to Everton beating Chelsea 2-nil with good goals from Peanut and Stracula. Oh yeah and what a complete arsehole Louie Suarez is. A reflection on his club really - pure filth!. Anyway, back to the fishing...
I pre-baited a spot with a few mackerel heads and old sardines in the hopes of some Pike being there in the morning when I returned.
The next morning was again very cold, I met up with Moxy who was already on the bank he had already bagged himself a fish just under the 20lb mark ten minutes after setting up (which was encouraging). I set up down stream of him opting to start with half a mackerel headon a simple running ledger arrangement. We sat watching the water for around an hour or so before Moxy's rod was away again. He hit the run early but made no contact with the lucky pike.
My bait had received no attention at all so I decided to change the mackerel over to a rotten old sardine that I had found hanging in a bramble bush. I know people say the fresher the bait the better but I have had some big pike on baits that are literally on the turn. I injected the carcass with some predator plus to add even more scent and lobbed it out. Again I waited an hour or so then decided to move my bait into another area.
I picked up the rod and started to retrieve my bait. I just caught a glimpse of the sardine wafting around behind the lead when, out of no-where, a large pike began to slowly follow it right into the edge of the bank. At this point my heart stopped beating as I had a mamba of a pike lurking inches away from my feet. I lifted my rod tip up slowly to try and put some life into the bait without scaring her off. She couldn't resist the twitch and smashed the bait with a quick flare of her gills right in front of my eyes! She set the hooks herself and instantly started to take lots of line as she buggered off downstream in the direction of Exmouth. Lots of pressure turned the fish and most of the scrap took place under the rod tip on a tight clutch.
After she realised the easy option would be to give up, Mox made a proper job of chinning the fish out for me, so thanks mate.
At 21lb 4oz I was so chuffed I could of kissed her. Seeing the fish take the bait was a breathtaking moment that I won't ever forget. After returning the fish I decided to call it a day and go and spend some time with my very fishing-tolerant girlfriend. Moxy on the other hand, had other plans to take his cousin for a spot of pike fishing and try and guide him to a pike or two whilst showing him some vital unhooking and general pike care skills.
From the pictures he sent me it looks like they had a great afternoon on the Culm!
Til next time,