Predator Blog Part Eleven

Sat 02 March 13


Just back from another UK mega pike trip, the camper-van is sure getting me around nowadays, my first destination was the Tel Tales book signing near Reading. A who’s who of the specimen world would be there to sign Mick Cutlers tribute book toTerry Glebioska, I use to bump into Terry and Jimmy Housden quite often here in Ireland on the banks years ago. Terry suddenly suffered a fatal heart attack last year and shocked the angling world. Money was raised from the book sales to go to the heart foundation. A great tribute day was had by all at the Worlds End pub.

Next was some fishing on the east coast on the Norfolk broad’s. The first day was mainly a bait catching one for me and the following day I was to meet up with river pike record holder (45.08) John Goble.

John had got permission to fish a lightly fished boat yard, a few small fish were caught early on then I had some luck when my float slid away and I was into my first decent fish of 21.02. However the fishing became much slower after that one. It wasn’t until the end of the week when we switched venues that we had some sport again. We took to the boat and after several moves found lots of obliging pike, in fact it turned into a great days sport with lots of doubles caught all on free roving live baits. The two best fish going 20.14 which fell to my rod and an 18 for john, over 250Ib of pike were caught in an hectic afternoon of fun.

Next was a drive west to Bristol to sample the now famous Chew Valley lake of dreams, it was my first time there so I got there a day early to have a good look around and to speak to the pike anglers that were fishing.

My first day was a bank day and after having a good look around the day before I decided on fishing the Woodford bank just going into the small bay to the right. Tactics were to bait boat out two dead baits and see if my luck was in? In short it wasn’t, but the lucky angler in the next swim a Bob Jones it was to be his day! Landing a spectacular 36.12!

I had my friend over from Italy who makes angling films so we caught the whole capture on film. Congratulations are in order for Bob who’s been fishing Chew for years waiting for a big un to strike. A great long awaited award.

The next day was a boat day, Bristol water had found me an electric motor and battery to use and the plan of attack ‘my edge’ so to speak lol was to slow troll. After a few hours with nothing showing and no positive signs I had to make a decision to change tactics to hopefully get a take my edge never worked out! I anchored in 20 odd feet of water and cast out two dead baits and waited. To my surprise something had picked up my herring tail and the float was running across the surface at a steady pace. I woke up the film crew who were in a comma at this stage lol, and they started filming the float and hopefully one of Chews monster pike? Unfortunately it turned out to be a 10Ib’er lol.

That was that the next two days consisted of one more bank day and another boat day, both were total blanks. Chew has 120 odd baits being fished every day there, it really is a numbers game a few lucky anglers catch whilst most blank or catch smaller fish when it’s not really on. Think I worked it out to be about 4.5% chance of a big girl falling for your bait when the fishing is slow. However this figure rises considerably when the feeding scale is high. I would love to be on the place when it’s really ON. That said it’s great to hear of good fish being caught everyday there, I believe a 30 or two came out every day that I was there, this can lift spirits but also you start to question what am I doing wrong lol. Nothing is the answer. It’s a question of right time right place, a simple re cast can catch you a monster there it’s as simple as that. Need the luck factor there.

Might be back there in February with the film crew to close two episodes of dead baiting hope my luck is in then on the lake of dreams?

Next on my list was a meet up with Lionel Mills, an accomplished pike angler on the tidal rivers, Lionel took me to one of his favourite haunts and put me in the going pre-baited swims, good man Lionel lol.
It wasn’t long before the Delkims were screaming, I pulled out of the first one which felt heavy! Then landed two nice mid doubles and a stunning 20.04, these pike were so different looking to my usual longer leaner Irish pike. These fish were short fat pike, impressive looking power houses lol.

Next for me was a pike slideshow and talk down in Exeter in Devon, I was to meet up with Fox’s Julian Chidgley for some fishing first on the river Ex, a couple of small fish were caught only but was great to fish new exciting venues around the country learning all the time. I love catching from new to me new venues especially 20Ib + pike. I’ve caught 20Ib+ pike from 55 different venues now and love adding to this tally and my experience.

Next for me was three more PAC talks, these help me finance these fishing trips and promote the Jack Pyke gear who kindly donate raffle prizes on the night to raise money.
Talks were in Southampton, Coventry, and Stockport after which I had to make a decision either to go back to Ireland for a fish or travel back down to the Broad’s for a fish. I decided to take a gamble and go to the broad’s for another week with John Goble, it’s just possible I could find some luck with my timing and catch something nice?
Off shore Rig worker Dave Proto also joined us as he was onshore for his 2 weeks off, the first day was just small fish, the second was a blank but I lost a decent fish after moving the dead bait and seeing a big swirl! Which I thought at first the pike had taken my float, then found out it had actually taken the moved bait!
Next was more small fish, a couple of low doubles for John and a 17 for Dave and then even more small pike to me catching over 30 jacks on live baits was entertaining but not what I came for really lol. As always timing is the key to success when your after big pike. The last day which was a half day produced my biggest pike of the week at 16.04.

Back in Ireland now, and I’m looking forward for some pike fishing here and hope to get amongst some bigger girls soon. I’ll write up an end of year blog next and will also be talking about the new years pike fishing too.

Al Rawlings


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