Having a Swale of a time

Mon 16 March 15


After a winter of sporadic fishing and not getting my eye in anywhere I was invited along to the River Swale by Giles Alcock, local lure fishing fanatic and owner of Alcocks Tackle.

I was assured that we would be able to find fish it was just a matter of them wanting to play ball and also my ability to work the lure properly!!! I couldn’t resist the opportunity and we head out over the weekend to try our luck.

We set out with minimal kit as the terrain was pretty varied with slumped banks, sandy deposits and rocky areas. It was my first time actually seeing the Swale let alone fishing it. I was impressed with the wildness of the river and how remote it felt. What was also good was the lack of other angler’s presence.

I was giving the new Sonik AVX spinning reel another blast coupled with the SK4STR 8ft. Fishing with 20lb braid to a strong wire trace and an Owner Finesse 5g Jig Head. I went armed with a variety of lures with the intension to find out what the pikes favoured pattern was going to be!

We must have covered over 3 miles, trying in many likely looking spots and areas Giles had previously managed to locate willing fish. Sadly these areas were producing nothing. We discussed the weather conditions and how the water was much clearer than the last time Giles had fished the section of river and made up all manner of excuses, but of course not blaming our fishing ability at all!!!

We eventually reached a wider section of the river on a bend which created a few back eddies and a deeper slower pool. It looked mint and we stopped here for a few casts. I was sure we were on a spot that had fish and asked Giles if he had any lures that were a bit larger and had a more movement to them. He handed me one of his FAT BOYs in red which I swiftly threaded on to the jig head. I joke you not, first cast and an instant hit, about ammeter from the bank and the fish of about 5lb spat the hook. I had a few more casts in the area and got a couple more hits but nothing connected.

With the weather turning for the worse and my inability to stand on my own two feet (I was like bambi on ice, finding all the loose bank and slippery mud!!!) we turned about and head back to the cars trying some of the spots that we had tried earlier but this time feeling a little more confident in lure choice and the fact we had seen some action.

The first spot we dropped into saw Giles snare a small jack taken on a Mini Grub. It was fantastic to see a fish on the bank as gale force wind were howling around us throwing sleet in our faces.

Not that I am competitive in anyway but I shortly trumped Giles jack with a low double taken from the far bank. The fight was incredible and I was made, up. My first Swale pike and a corker too.

We continued back towards the cars with spirits raised despite the weather attempting to drown them. We dropped into a few other likely spots which were far more productive than the morning. I dropped two fish sadly and Giles went on to bag a couple more small fish to about 5lb. All round a fantastic session and great to be getting a bend in the rod.
I am already planning some more trips which will include targeting pike of surface lures in and around Yorkshire.

For more information about the lures used simply click on the link below

All the best



Visit the Website: www.alcockstackle.co.uk