Anyway, filling a twelve week gap with one post is impossible, so here is just a small bite...
Rob and I have begun another winter pike campaign on the Exeter Canal. We've caught a handful thus far, including this one from October...
|14lb 8oz of muscular sardine-eater. I wonder what happened to its tail?|
Rob has caught the biggest at 16lb, but unfortunately I wasn't there and so the photo is just a poor record shot on the unhooking mat. Rob has been fishing right through the night mostly, and I've usually been able to join him until late in the evening at least. We have been absolutely plagued by eels! Occasionally they've managed to hook themselves, but mostly they just give you twitchy bites and shredded deadbaits. I did weigh one of the bigger ones, but at 1lb 15oz it was hardly a specimen. Rob deliberately caught an eel of 3lb 6oz on worms back in the summer, so I've no hope of winning the pint for largest eel at this rate. Anyway, I have no idea how to avoid the eels while the water is still warm enough to induce them to feed, except to fish more in the daytime. Unfortunately though, free daytime hours are at a premium!
Night-fishing for pike is probably underexploited. For Rob and me it's simply a practical way to maximise fishing time, so it's interesting to see what we might catch after any other pikers on the water have gone home for tea. That said, so far the only other pikers we've seen have been the occasional lure fisherman. When winter arrives properly I expect we'll see a few more.
Sea deadbaits have worked well for us, and we've tried lots: sardine, mackerel, herring, bluey, sprat, smelt, etc. To be honest I have confidence in any of them really. And in angling, confidence is key. Before I sat down to write this post I loaded the bait freezer with a freshly-delivered stack of deadbaits. Just in time too - the eels had nearly wiped us out!
I have one or two other angling projects planned for the coming months. Plus there is running. Yes, thats right. Running. And cycling of course. Birding? Well, there has been some birding, but not very much. And no, no Hawfinches. None at all.