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Saturday 5th January 2013. Off the mark

Posted by AddictedToScopex , 06 January 2013 · 400 views

Well today saw me packing the car up at 7am with a very small amount of gear. This can usually only mean one thing. Pike time.
I chucked my net, rod and bag into the car and had a coffee before setting off. It seemed a nice mild day outside. Odd for this time of the year but I'm not going to complain.
I made my way to the venue of choice, a canal that has produced well for me in the past. The plan for the day was to alternate between wobbling deadbaits and lure fishing. I have just recently acquired an Abu Hi-Lo which features an adjustable vane so I was itching to give it a go. The plan was to use lures up to the first lock and then switch to a wobbled dead.
I rigged up and began wandering down the tow path fanning casts out as I went. The lure was fantastic and having the choice to set the depth I wanted to use it at was a revelation. I didnt need to switch lures to comfortably fish different depths. I will certainly be buying a few more in different patterns. I had got the fire tiger pattern as I was fairly confident that the water would be murky. I wasnt wrong.
There wasn't much sign of anything doing all the way to the lock. I got to the lock and sat on the gate lever while I changed setups to the self made wobbling rigs I had made up the night before. Bait of choice was going to be sprats but as I tried to hook one up I found they had been in and out of the freezer a bit too much and were nackered. Time to refresh the deadbait stocks I think. I opted instead for some small perch deadbaits. They were still frozen but would soon thaw in the water. These werent as fresh as I had hoped either but not too bad. Must get more of those too. The rig is shown below:
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I proceeded to take my first attempt at wobbling a deadbait. I enjoyed the method but after 20 minutes I had nothing to show for the effort so decided to move to the next lock. I went directly there as I had been made aware recently that the canals trust had replaced some wood on the gates of the two locks and so the section in between had been drained so it would not be at its bestfor a while. I arrived at the lock and cast the perch in. Instant reply. I had a sharp tug on the line followed by a series of small pulses. The first fish of 2013 was on the line. I netted it and admired it. One of the smallest pike I have ever caught. A blessing all the same though.
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The rig worked perfectly snaring the pike with the stinger treble that was on the flank of the perk. I used small trebles as I expected that some smaller pike or even perch would be about. Catching on a new method felt great but catching on my own rig was even better. I was very pleased.
I moved on and attached the abu hi-lo again. I got talking to a chap about the canal and he recommended another stretch further up so I walked on further til I reached it. I continued to fan casts and then had 2 hard pulls one after the other but no hook up. Had to be a pike but sadly I will never know. Unfortunately that was to be the last action I would get despite changing lures and methods often. I didnt mind one bit though. It was a lovely day to be out and I enjoyed walking the tow paths. I actually walked around ten miles as I decided to scout on ahead for new areas to try. Nothing stood out and when I got onto the main canal that this one branches from it was busy with other people which is something I try my best to avoid. I go fishing for peace and quiet and not to have people walking by all the time with dogs barking at me. It drives me mad when people cant control their animals but that is a moan for another time. I walked back to the car eventually and had sore feet by the time I got back. A real long slog this time. Was a great day to be out though and thoroughly enjoyed. The walking made up for the fact that a back injury is keeping me from the gym at the moment.

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