Saturday, 21 January 2012

River Piking

I have been an angler now for over thirty years, and in all that time I have never attempted to catch river pike. I decided to put that right and spend a day on a day ticket stretch of my local River Nene.

My plan was simple, to fish a single rod and spend twenty minutes in each likely looking swim. Hugh Tempest Sheringham wrote "A float is pleasing in appearance, and even more pleasing in it's disappearance".  Like Sheringham I like to use a float wherever possible, so I fished my deadbait well over depth with the sliding float lying flat on the surface.

During the course of the morning, the appearance of my float was indeed most pleasing and three times I became even more pleased as it slid downstream submerging as it went. None of the pike were leviathans, the largest being perhaps eight pounds.

Like many rivers nowadays I had the stretch to myself and the wildlife. This part of Northamptonshire is a stronghold of the Red Kite.  I watched one of these magnificent birds soaring up and down the valley in the strong winds. It wasn't hunting but seemed to be just out enjoying the windy conditions.

Unfortunately my day was cut short mid afternoon when my landing net broke, the metal thread connecting it to the landing net pole had sheared. As the banks were not suited to chinning a fish out I called it a day.

Although I have spent many days in the past piking on stillwaters, and been lucky enough to catch a sprinkling of twenties, frankly I find it all a bit boring! For me, winter fishing is all about rivers and after 30 years I think I have finally found a way to enjoy catching pike. Next winter I will target a twenty pound pike from the Nene.