Monday 30 November 2015

Warwickshire Avon – Pike Tyson, Pt.1

A few weeks ago whilst targeting Perch I was beaten up by a fish in such a big way, it reminded me of an 18 year old Iron Mike Tyson and his rise to boxing stardom. It made me look stupid, the hood was pulled over my head, I was given a few kidney blows then for good measure,a undercut to finish me off. A big Pike (I assume) snatched a livebait on the retrieve and it put pressure and a bend in to the fairly stiff rod I’d never experienced before, the violent and powerful kicking only lasted a few seconds before the inevitable happened and left me thinking...

W H A T        T H E         F * * K        W A S         T H A T

It was fish skulduggery....

I couldn't do anything about it,the power,the velocity and the fact the clutch was taken by surprise that shocked me, I’ve no doubt this was a BIG fish and despite catching Pike and Zander on this set-up previously without an issue I needed a rethink if I was to ever experience its power again.

With the weather favorable it was well worth a return visit, I’d caught the odd Jack from this stretch in the past, even the same easily identifiable one twice, weeks apart, but as far as I’m aware it’s never had big Pike form. Apart from those that like them for the pot I don’t think I’d ever seen a Piker. It appears the apex predator doesn’t wander that far once they feel comfortable with an area hence so multiple captures are very much possible and pastures new are eventually required unless you want to start naming the fish and start preparing the paperwork ready for adoption.

That could be the only problem, I might need to get through the Jacks to find the Giant.I needed those magic beans….


Now I've never seriously targeted Pike in anger however having caught quite a few now and being comfortable handling and unhooking them, I can see what all the fuss is about. So for this session and as the water clarity allowed it I decided to revisit the scene of this battle but this time I came prepared with a beefier set-up that hopefully would give me a much better chance of landing it if I ever hooked it again. The 10ft Pro Logic 1.5lb TC MP specialist rod which happily landed Zander and Pike up to 9lb in the past and still had much more to give was ditched and replaced with a 2.5lb TC carp rod.

On the business end a strong multi-strand trace leader with a large Raptor single hook with a small de-barbed stinger treble to help retain the deadbait. A Fox high visibility dart float complemented the set-up. If it wasn't home I had to go searching, now there is some oxygenated water here in one particular swim from an upstream weir run off and often it looks like someone has tipped in a pint of Matey Matey, the dart is therefore ideal for the job as the dart type flight sticks above the foamy suds and still remains visible.

With the roach dead bait tantalisingly suspended under the fairly hefty float the plan was to cast out the rig, leave and retrieve, leave and retrieve, leave and re…....then cast over and over again to try and provoke a reaction from this monster to try and relive its savagery.

Sort of a wobble and bobble...

I'd likened it to a buxom wench on the pole parading her Elmer Fudds and bouncing Buddhas, it would certainly get my attention.

For a bit of an alternative to the bait I also fitted a large Savage Gear Alien Eel lure to my sturdy lure rod. I'd used it a few times many moons ago at Wasperton without any success but maybe this was the ideal opportunity, big Pike, like big lures and this is one big lure, that's for sure.

It was one of those mornings when I knew it would be difficult. There was certain enough clarity in the water for Pike, that wasn’t a problem but the swim where I hooked it previously it was up so much so the slack area was no longer a slack, well apart from a yard square….

I did manage to position the float a few times, and with the rod elevated it held station, the problem was the wobbling was out of the question. After an hour or so without any interest and half an hour of throwing the lure here and there I moved swims.

I tried a few more swims, even tried some long trotting, but zilch, not even a Jack.

After being fed up by being battered by the wind at this point so I cut the session sort, the walk back to the car I decided to give it half an hour in another area of slack water, the float was positioned then it disappeared…

I stuck, felt this fish and was instantly disappointed, what was this…certainly no Pike.

I was a bleeding pesky Perch.

Half an hour without any more fish, it was time to get back to get the roast lamb on, I should have bought the Chub gear. 

With more rain on the way, Pike Tyson will have to wait.

To be continued….


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