Friday, 22 June 2018

Catch up part 1 - Lure sessions of yaw.

Well I am back after a brief blogging hiatus and holy cow, have I got some catching up to do here. In short I have not been hiding under some out of place rock in the corner of a field in upstate New York, nor have I been tied to a chair blindfolded in an abandoned factory in Nuneaton. Instead my life has exploded as much did my garden when the UK finally dragged its shivering land mass through spring, and that is in part why I find myself not just writing a catch-up blog but in fact a series of catch up blogs to cover this blacked out period.

Really, I feel as if my feet have barely touched the floor since the start of May. Away from fishing it seems half the organizations in the world wanted oversized promotional printed balloons, and half of them wanted them in half the time it takes to print them. Add to that my enormous garden which exploded like a claymore full of brambles which I have taken by the thorns and am currently still fighting, section by section, to make safe for the now super inquisitive BB; a brief and rare sunny holiday has been enjoyed in Wales with the family and if all that wasn't enough I have gone fishing crazy with the arrival of the warmth, fishing so many sessions since I last wrote that the only way to recall what I have done is by the pictures I've left on blank pages of this blog! So here we go back in time in the style of H G Wells time machine...back past green tench...past trips to far away fisheries...past the Morlocks and Eloi....back back in time to...Radford bottom Lock!

Yes, apparently the furthest back I can remember from these pictures was a fishing trip onto the Canal with my good friend and fellow blogger Mick from Piscatorial Quagswagging where we went in search of his old nemesis the Zander, and from what I recall it was a pretty good session for me. The chilly grip of winter still clung to spring as the two of us met up deep in the Warwickshire countryside. Mick was already fishing when I arrived with two gaudy floats positioned very professionally along the hull of a moored boat. Not long after saying hello one of the previously mentioned floats did a little dally before tootling off down the canal. Ever the experienced zed basher, Mick waited and waited before striking hard into nothing. The bite though was enough for me to cast my dead line along the hull of the boat, before being a right cheeky begger and poaching out his water by casting a light drop shot rig in between the lines of the dead bait rods. It only took a few casts to catch a tiny schoolie zed from right the trench next to the boat.

After moving through a few other swims we arrived at an area where I can remember thinking, 'I don't like the look of this'. As always my hunch was wrong and my float was soon heading off very quickly down the canal. Convinced a zander was the culprit, I was shocked when after a brief tussle a long spawned out perch rolled into my net. For all the dead baits I've cast into to canals I think I have only ever caught three perch on them. A month or so earlier this perch would have been quite a beast but at this point it was a very long way off regaining any condition.

Through the morning we tried all the known spots, one that looked perfect for zander and a ton we tried just to cover water. With three dead bait rods and one lure rod we covered just about every inch of water we could, with not much success at all really. It wasn't until we backtracked to the moored boat that we finally got some reward by way of a proper bus job; not one, but three fish all came along in the same few minutes of madness. My dead rod was the first to spring into life followed by Mick's. For some reason I chucked mine back out straight away with my fish in the net and whilst Mick waited for his active but unmoving float to go, I landed a second zed instantly to make myself a nice brace of schoolies.

Mick left not long after this, with cooking duties to attend to, but with a little more time to hand I stuck around to have a play around the lock with the dropshot rod. I love drop shotting and with some new Realistic shad spilt tails to try out it seemed the perfect time to try the out. There seemed to be small zander hanging out all round the features of the lock. Literally I did not seem to be able to go wrong! I took them off the stony incline into the lock mouth, from tight to the wall, from of the snag pile collected at the end of the overflow run and in the eddy it formed. Either these lures were the bomb or I was very lucky on this occasion. I think I added six more small zedlets to my tally before I left and it left me pondering the question...

Maybe I should take up competition lure fishing?
Whilst on the subject of lure fishing I have to regale one of my most exciting recent lure fishing experiences I've had, which happened not long after my canal zander adventure. A little while ago I bought at a very reasonable price some of these savage gear 3D suicide ducks.

Literally the 26g versions of these lures I bought retail at the insane price of £15 per lure. I have to be honest and truthful and say that I am far too stingy to ever throw a fifteen quid lure in a lake, but at half price I was hooked into buying a pair and after watching the online promo videos I was dying to fling these out. I had originally gone up to Napton to tench fish but after spending hours watching a motionless float and rolling tench in the middle of the lake, I packed away the float gear and pulled out a lure rod and ducks to see if I could tempt a pike to strike in the shallows at the south end of the lake.

After covering all the shallow water with the duck lure and being convinced I was fishing well, I was about to give up under the assumption that the pike were unwilling to come up and take something off the top. The water I was casting in was getting deeper and I never thought for a moment that a pike would be hanging round mid-water in such deep water. That was until on one retrieve when I was sure I spotted the water swell up like a fish had just struck but missed. Half thinking I'd spooked carp lying under the surface, I cast again hoping it was, in fact, a pike. A lo and behold it was! I cast well beyond where I thought it happened and just as the lure came into the target zone a wake appeared six feet behind the lure. I slowed my retrieve just slightly and boom, the fish accelerated into and right through the duck sending water everywhere and disappearing in a boil. It wasn't the biggest pike I have ever caught but damn it was the most exciting and one that has lit a fire to do some more surface lure fishing as soon as I get a chance  

Oh, and I went back and bought another pair of those lures next time I passed that shop to make sure I have these super exiting ducklings in my lure armoury for many years to come.


  1. Can’t beat catching pike on surface lures - need to go and chuck the Jitter Bugs about myself...

  2. Nothing like seeing multiple runs from Zander when they go on the feed, must have been a right old shoal under that boat.