The old estate lake I fish is undoubtedly stunning and so off the radar that the angling world has practically forgotten it exists. Maybe the reason it has been forgotten is because it doesn't contain massive carp or double figure tench and is therefore of no interest to people in these target driven times. In fact it is mainly populated by little roach and skimmer bream, none of which grow to any particular size. For me though were the interest lies is with the pike. I mean this pool has far more small pike than it rightfully should, and as a result it is lure fishing heaven on the right day.
As long as there is some visibility then you can normally fill your boots with over aggressive jack pike. Dead baits can be deadly, but quite often you find one area is thick with young essox, and if you're not in that place then it can be slow, so roaming round with lures is generally very effective here. The only problem with fishing lures is the depth of the water and the amount of lillies lining the bottom. Normally it can be a struggle to settle on a lure that is capable of being fished under the water that doesn't snag up on every protruding risome.
On this visit it took a few changes, but in the end I settled on a 13.5cm savage gear 3D bleak in a bright fire tiger pattern to be seen in the slightly coloured water and opted to fish it on a 2/0 three gram jig head with a treble stinger attached. Fishing this lure on such a light jig head enabled it to sink slowly enough for me to flip the bale arm over on the reel and then begin retrieving it slowly with the rod held up to keep it mid depth in less than three feet of water. Retrieving it like this lets the big paddle tail vibrate rhythmically whilst the lure rocks side to side, flashing the lighter coloured belly attractively.
Once we concluded a lot of the pike were held up in the behind the island amongst the now dormant lily pad beds, all hell broke loose and the jacks began attacking all over the place.
None of them were particularly big, but watching these small predators come shooting out of the depths slashing at and exploding out of the water snapping at the lures was brilliant. Sometimes even two fish came after the lure at once and then things got really insane. All down the channel behind the island seemed to be racked out with pike, but it wasn't till we fished into a bit of open water that we got a real shock. First of all I hooked a preposterously greedy perch which hit what to it was a huge lure.
Then further down the bank Rob hooked what we both thought was yet another small pike, but turned out to be a much bigger perch of about 2.7lb
After that stunner it was straight back to business with the jack pike. In the open water they were a lot thinner on the ground and it became more case of combing a good size area just to get one fish here or there. By the old bridge I snagged a very energetic fish which performed as if it were a summer fish, jumping out of the water and tail walking.
Sunset came all too soon though and as the light went, the sport dried up, though I can't say for one moment that anything about this session was disappointing. Rob bagged seven or more pike and that fantastic perch and I ended up with thirteen pike and greedy perch. We had heaps of attacks that never converted and a fair few came off, so all in all we probably had up to fifty different hits through the day that we know of. This lake really is a lure angler's heaven and coming here is good proper fun every time. Best of all is the great sport in such beautiful surroundings.