Saturday 2 January 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Electroreception and Eleutheromania

Now the lateral line is a system of sense organs found in fish, and not in land vertebrates. It detects movement and vibration in the surrounding water. Modified epithelial cells, known as hair cells, respond to changes around the fish. These turn the changes into electrical impulses which go to their central nervous system.

Lateral lines are used in schooling, predation, and orientation. For example, fish use their lateral line system to follow the vortices produced by fleeing prey. They are faint lines running lengthwise down each side, from the gill covers to the base of the tail.

In some species, the receptive organs of the lateral line have been modified to function as electroreceptors, which are organs used to detect electrical impulses. Low frequency pulse sounds, vibrations and small electrical impulses are known to attract sharks so a Pike I wonder ?

The lateral line doesn’t just run along the body of a fish though, it is also found on the head and tail, depending on the species. 

In many fish, neuromasts are also found outside of the lateral canals, on the head and even the tail – these are known as “free neuromasts”. 

Pike, for example, have visible ‘holes’ or pores on their head and chin these are the same sense organs which are located along the lateral line. 

In shark and ray species, as well as most catfish, these sensory cells are located all over the body, as well as the head. In these cases the whole body of the fish acts like a giant tongue.

Now Pike are not an apex predator for nothing, they have sensors on top of sensors on top of sensors, and you know that because of the positive way they react to noise and vibrations from lure for example.

Now Predators are able to track and follow moving prey by picking up associated water movements the 'hydrodynamic trail', even several minutes after the prey has left the area! Anyway there is only one way to find out.

It was out with the SHARK ATTRACTOR !!!

I noticed them on Ebay you see, and despite the appearance of something kept at the bottom of a woman's handbag (maybe it is ?) , this little 10 speed pocket rocket device packs all that is needed for some electroreception assisted fishing.  A good thing is that there was up to 5 hours continuous use so just enough for ones short session down at the Warwickshire Avon, but there were instructions how to replace the battery too when it had expired. 

I chose this section as I'd caught some nice pike here before but not only that there are some Roach in and around this area too so whilst the float was doing it's thing in eyeshot I hopefully would get a New Year bite or two. 

It's a nice section with plenty of cover so as the weather was going to be very cold indeed not much above freezing so at least I'd be moving about rather than being anchored on the spot.

I put the sharpie to work to disguise it a little more and added it to the line so it was free running, I didn't want to add any more resistance to the set-up already. It seemed to work great in theory, so method in ones madness ?, better chuck the float out and find out !!!!

I arrived at dawn and there was already plenty of fish topping and it continued well after the sun rose above the trees. I love it here especially one of the swims, hardly any road noise and very chilled and therapeutic. 

I balled in two groundbait balls and sorted ones tackle out before getting the pike rod out with the device attached. You can cycle through the 10 different vibration pulses after removing the end cap and pressing the little button. It packs a decent amount of ommppphhhhh too, like a phone vibrating on acid. 

I dropped it in the margin first and you can actually seen the visible surface ripples such the intensity.

It was the feeder rod that got the most attention during the session where I alternated between maggot and half a worm on the size 14 hook.

The roach started small at first but then the stamp got bigger with the biggest maybe 8 ounces or so.

For an hour and a half it was a bite a chuck and the top didn't stay still.

The shark rod on the other hand was motionless the float moved around the swim a couple of times to maybe land on a fish.

The smelt tweaked and lifted off the bottom from time to time to try and induced a bite.

By this time the bites has dried up on the maggot rod and for half an hour there was nothing doing at all.

Then out of the blue the pike float jumps in to life and a fish has taken the bait.

I left it develop a little because it seemed to be messing with the bait rather than taking it confidently but all of a sudden after a couple of bobs and the float submerging under the surface, all went dead.

Hmmmmmmm, not good.

Still after inspecting the bait I persevered with the feeder rod and after rebaiting with a worm and a red maggot, and tightly packing the feeder to try and keep the scent concentrated the top violently jumped in to life and a fish was on.

I knew exactly what it was from the first couple of kicks, it was one of those lovely looking bream (yes really) that frequent here. It was soon landed however and after resting in the net I grabbed a quick photo. 

They all seem a similar stamp so I didn't weight it, maybe 5lb at a push, but a decent fight on light tackle. I packed everything away bar the pike rod and landing net and with half an hour to go after moving the float a little closer in, a fish has taken the smelt and this time quite confidently.

Could this be my first Warwickshire avon shark ? errrr well not quite, it was a small jack Goddamn It !!! a minnow or small fry already succumbing to the jaws of death. 

So a fish banked at least so maybe I'm on to something, well probably not, but then if you read my blog you know I'm up for a bit of tinkering.

Watch this space !!!!

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