Sunday, 1 September 2013

Forgotten Water Meadows. Adventures of a River Piker.

Sunrise on the river.
Arriving at the river at 5.30am this morning i was fortunate enough to be greeted to a majestic sky of amazing colours. The sun was just rising in the East and a thick blanket of early morning mist hung suspended above the forgotten water meadows.
Years ago these water meadows were a working agricultural system that produced an "early bite" for livestock in the early spring months. These days the water meadows are long forgotten and neglected and that word "neglected" is one that should always make the dedicated Pike Angler sit up and listen. I'd set myself a window of just two hours for this mornings session, partly due to possible high water temperatures
and a possible sunny day but also because of a 14hr shift at work in the evening. That said i was surprised how cold it was, the autumn change is most certainly on its way. So armed with lures i relished the opportunity to get chucking as this was the first time i'd been out on my own in over two weeks.

Of course target fish was the Pike (are there any others). People often ask me "why pike?" or "don't you fish for anything else?". I always reply very simply because "I love them". Which I do, there's something about locating wild river predators that just does it for me. It's the savageness of the take, the combined power and aggression in the fight and the fish which may appear to be an ugly brute at first but which over time becomes a beautiful apex predator. Hunting a hunter in beautiful surroundings certainly inspires and motivates me and I certainly haven't had enough of it, maybe I never will.

The river looked fantastic in the early morning light, there was a slight tinge of colour and I proceeded to it with haste and anticipation as today it was all about lures.
Ahh lures, I love them...
Getting out with lures is great, not only because of the hunting and searching that you do but because the goal itself is a deception, the perpetration of a lie. To convince the predator to bite and become the prey is the sole aim and you keep moving and covering the ground till you find one that's switched on and on the feed.

Lunkermainia S-Killer

I started off with a Lunkermania Red Headed Perch S-Killer which are fantastic lures and ones I've been putting through their paces since being sponsored by the company.
However after a few casts around a deep corner which screamed predators nothing.
Moving down river I arrived at a deeper corner which had a reasonable area of slack water and a nice marginal line.
Switching to a Jerkbaitmania "Edgell Bomber" in spitfire green as these dive a little deeper I cast up river and angled the lure to get it to come back down the marginal line. About half way down a bow wave appeared from the margin and made straight for the lure "BANG" fish on!
After a tailwalk or two I slipped the net under a nice plump river pike which had obviously been feeding well. I was chuffed with that, one banked and I still had over an hour to go. Releasing the pike after a photo, quickly and safely which I always do I proceeded down river, now hoping for a bigger one.

"Edgell Bomber Lure" - The next best thing after having a lure named after you is catching on it.

Deciding to keep the "bomber" lure on as it obviously worked I then didn't get a sniff for about 30 mins, then on the next cast i had a take on it however I hesitated as I wasn't completely convinced that it was a take and it may have been weed and that split second cost me as I felt a jarring judder down the line and saw the boil of water as a large river pike sped away leaving me shaking and kicking myself as the old enemy complacency had crept in.
Concentration is vital in lure fishing, it's part of the reason I consistently go fishing, if you want to be good at something you need to do it regularly.
I continued to fish the area for the remainder of the time as she looked a decent fish but alas to no avail, even several changes of lures couldn't entice her back. A case of once bitten twice shy, which happens to often when they've felt the cold hard plastic.
Still I walked back to the car a contented man, one banked which is better than a blank and a missed opportunity, I will however without a shadow of a doubt be back!!!

- Nathan Edgell

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