Monday 20th I managed to sneak in a session from 9:15 to 12:05, this time back at peg 10. Strangely, yet again, no bites on the pole but action on the pike rod. The first run came at just gone 10am which I felt momentarily before the sardine came flying back at me, recasting it was a little over 10 minutes before the float slid away again and this time I hit into the fish, a feisty 7-03.
An hour later the float slid under again and a strike was met with a solid resistance, the fish keeping low and slow only waking up as it neared netting distance when it went off on a couple of powerful runs. Drawing it towards the net I could see the single hook clearly just nicked into the scissor of the pike’s mouth and was relieved when I finally got it into the net 13-03. You can see my “pike” float in the picture.
I am convinced that the slim pellet waggler I use for piking helps as it gives minimal resistance to a taking fish.
Christmas and family then intervene and it was not until the 29th that I ventured out again. In the interim period I had received two Chinese whips I had ordered from Aliexpress- one 3.6m the other 4.5m, both carbon and the same make as my 6m and 7m whips. The combined total for the two including VAT and delivery was £22.08 vastly cheaper than ones in this country. On the subject of whips, I get really frustrated when people talk about elasticating their whips as in my eyes a whip has a flick tip and once elastic is brought into the equation it becomes a pole (albeit a short one). The excuse given is that it is an insurance against hooking bigger fish but providing there are no snags you should be able to land a 5-6lb fish on a whip if you know what you are doing and if they are fishing a venue with lots of carp present then the whip is not the tool for the job! (Rant over) Back to the fishing- I decided to give the 3m a try out and after making up a rig at home (must do a guide to how I make Chinese whip rigs!) I ventured to the Pondtail peg 1. Now the weather had not been the best and indeed was wavering between heavy drizzle and proper rain for the 2 hours of my visit (9:45- 11:45) and this was reflected in the water – hot chocolate would be the usual description given the clay rich soil that was in the area but it reminded me more of the cups of tea my grandmother used to make with CO-Op 99 tea leaves, tannic orange! Not only was the water heavily coloured but was flowing like a medium paced river! Added to this I had to negotiate a full blooded 4 wheel slide when pulling up to park, managing to stop crashing into the fence with 4 inches to spare!
I wanted to give it a go so plumbing up I had about 5-6 feet of water so introduced 4 walnuts of groundbait in a diamond pattern and began on double maggot, a white and red. Loose feeding a pinch of hemp and half a dozen grains of wheat every other cast it was 10 minutes before I had my first bite, a roach that dropped of as I swung it in, indeed I dropped the first 4 fish hooked, so the size 20 was taken off and I quickly whipped on a size 16 Preston N10 which has been my go-to hook for the whip as it has a long shank to make unhooking easier. After this I never lost another fish and managed to sneak out 14 roach in the remaining time for a 1-09 total with double faded bronze maggot proving best (faded because they were 3weeks old!).
That was it for 2021, an eventful year in so many ways, here’s looking forward to 2022 (I may sneak out for a couple of hours to start the New Year in the right way!). Happy New Year and tight lines.