I'd been looking forward to today's Pike session all week.I sorted my tackle out on Thursday and tied a few new traces.Scaled down the amount of tackle I was going to take as I had a fair old walk ahead of me.
I arrived on the river just as it was getting light.A very damp morning with an awful lot of mist over the surrounding meadows.
And this view was about as good as it got to be honest.I was destroyed by Crayfish over and over.Now it seems that these little sods have had an absolute field day in the last two seasons and have spread on mass.Two seasons back you could have half a dozen Pike with the odd low double thrown in each session.And if the angling gods were kind the odd mid double.
Last winter was a chore for many anglers who fish for Pike,on their rivers.Owing to the amount of snow melt and cold rain that kept the rivers cold and coloured for so long ?So you put that down to experience.
This seasons Pike fishing thus far has been for me very trying.I'd not fished this particular river for a few weeks.But I reckon it is about a foot and a half down on normal Autumn/Winter levels.The normal depth is a consistent five feet or so with the obvious deep holes.So in essence I was fishing in around of three feet of water.
I trotted Sprats down about a foot above the bottom that has worked in the past.But the Crayfish still managed to intercept these.A bottom bait was a complete no go as the mackerel baits were stripped down very quickly.A paternoster was a no good also with the river being so low at present the Crayfish got hold of these too.
I was fine trotting a bait down shallow,but the Pike if they were feeding were not in the upper layers.As I covered over a mile of water but did not see any fry scatter once.I did see some nice Roach roll and a couple of small Carp on the top in the late Autumn sun.
The recruitment levels with the silver fish population are at present very good.So plenty of food for the Pike.So what do you do ? I'm not a fan of lure fishing as to me it's all about watching the float go.Like Barbel anglers who are so beloved with the "Three Foot Twitch"
Will some nice cold weather put the Crayfish down ? I do hope so to be honest,as I love this stretch of river as it has been good to me over the years.It's stunning to look at and be on.And you may only see one angler a season,so far this year I've seen just the one who was trotting.
But it does beg the question when is it time to say goodbye ?I'm now going to open a bottle of Red and think about what next Saturday will bring.I'm not ready to throw the towel in just yet.