Athough I can go pike fishing it takes two trains and about an hour to get to the closest pike (and the same on the way home) - I think it's fine driving to venues - but I'm not sure about using public transport. So although this blog is getting rather repetative I'm happy to walk down to the small river for my fishing fix - for the time being.
Another long walk (fishing fitness program?) and three more barbel added to the new challenge - 33 more needed to hit 1,000! But I do have other small river options; dace, roach and gudgeon on the radar - a trip or two with the stick 'n' pin. And still plenty of time for some post-covid pike - really hope that vaccine works!!
And Go Fishing. We can still go fishing in Lockdown 2.0 - until restrictions are tightened anyway. So a walk to the river chasing down my new barbel target - and 5 barbel plus a bonus chub found the net. Might not have local pike but I'm lucky to have the barbel!
It's dropping below freezing at night now, winter is on it's way - and a new lockdown starts tonight (that will curtail my pike fishing). I opted to avoid the train and go bother the barbel - walking to the river.
Talking of trains; if this lockdown ends in December will they still allow the traditional Christmas migration? Might be difficult (and unpopular) to stop but it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen!
Anyway, about 5 hours on the river - and after all that rain it was high and dirty - perfect. Four chub to about 4lb and and seven barbel to about 5¾lb landed - river total now 953 - another 47 barbel to go...
After a day of heavy rain I hit the river seaching for chub with dirty water confidence. But the water was surprisingly low and clear, I did land a couple of chub to 4lb - but not the monsters I was chasing.
The chub were spooking off the bait, so I turned my attention to barbel - landing 7 of them on shallow gravel runs. The biggest was the long, thin 8lb 1oz fish (above) - I'm sure it'll be a double in March.
Barbel total this season is 146, and overall river total is 946 - can I hit the magic 1,000 this season? Need to average 11 barbel per month over the tougher winter season - but I'm going to give it a whirl!
It looks like another lockdown is coming. I quite liked the first one; for a start it took place in the closed season, the weather was glorious - days were spent lounging about in the sunshine, the bbq fired up and Beer O'Clock getting slightly earlier each day.
The next lockdown will be dark and wet, Christmas plans ruined - and worst of all it's Pike Time - I don't get out piking enough as it is! So I've braved the non-essential train journey twice to do a bit of lure chucking on the pike ponds - hoping to get a few more on the bank.
The first was a 2 hour session - a blank - not even a perch follow - same ponds that produced 65 fish on the opening day! I did watch a micro-pike beach itself trying to escape from a larger pike. Micro-pike rescued, I had a plan for the next trip...
The Savage Gear 3D Pike - if they're hunting micro-pike this will fool them! It didn't! Another 4 hours thrashing the water to a foam with this and a variety of other lures - again, not even a follow - it was a bite a chuck a couple of weeks ago - where do these fish go?
I'd spotted a couple of little barbel in shallow water and was trying to tempt them up to the surface with some free samples of floating crust - when out of nowhere a big barbel appeared and stared moping them up. I've really fancied catching a double off the surface.
First trot through she sucked in the crust - I struck and ripped the bread and hook out of her mouth - really thought I'd messed up my chance. But there's no suspense on this blog - I put the photo at the top! Second trot down she nailed it again - and I connected.
Cracking fight as she made her way from the shallows to deeper water - a 10lb 9oz barbel off the surface - biggest of the season so far and my 20th double from the river - absolutely delighted! Second of a 10 barbel haul - all for 65p (the price of a Tesco's loaf of bread).
I call it a gudgeon hunt but it's a wander about with the stick 'n' pin, maggots or bread for bait - so normally it's a mixed bag of fish and a great way to spend an afternoon. But it did include 8 gudgeon...
I had a strict last cast time - it was 18:00 - then I really did have to leave. And having thrashed the ponds to a foam, covered lots of water and changed lure regularly - I'd only banked a small perch - looked like my second trip out searching for pike was going to be a blank.
In the dying minutes I spotted a shoal of small roach on the surface - 17:57 - quickly snapped on a sushi lure - 17:59 - finally had the take I was after - 4 hours of hard work but I got my prize last cast. I quickly popped her on the scales - a 6lb 12oz pike to better next time...