So I have been trying without success for quite some time to nab myself a river pike using dead baits. I have had a fair few goes and besides a small lure caught jack I have not had any success. All that changed yesterday. I arrived at the river at about 9am and decided to set up my dead bait rod and fish a maggot feeder at the same time. I expected the maggot feeder would keep me occupied if there was nothing else doing pike wise which I fully expected to be the case.
I set up the pike rod first on a running ledger rig and decided on a small trout as the bait to try first. I forgot to pierce the bait or add any extra oil which I only realised later. I cast in about a 3rd of the way across and set about setting my maggot feeder up. Once set up I cast the maggot feeder in about 2/3 of the way across. I sat watching a motionless rod tip for about half an hour while recasting to keep the bait going in. I was very surprised not to pick up a single knock on it.
I had set my pike rod up on an alarm and was keeping a watchful eye on that too. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw movement. I turn to look at the rod and it was pulling on and off to the left. It was very windy where I was so for a second I thought it could just be the wind. Then I realised it was a definite pull. I stood behind the rod to double check and then as it continued to nod I decided to pick it up and lift into it. At first I didnt feel anything. Then I just felt a dead weight so thought maybe a branch had come down the river and snagged me up. Then the branch went on a surging run which lasted a few seconds and it went to dead weight again. I continued to reel in still wondering what was going on but thinking it was either a very big fish or a big lump of wood. As it neared the bank I saw a shiny flank and got extremely excited.
I could see it was a pike but it didnt look that huge. I attempted to slide the net under it just as it decided to tailwalk away and surge off again before going to dead weight again.
I slid the net under it and I was so happy to have finally caught something. As I lifted the net up I was gobsmacked at the weight of fish. As I lifted the net clear of the water I couldn't believe my eyes. It was massive. It had the biggest belly I had ever seen on a pike. My pb before this was an 11lb fish from the canal.
Another lad came running over to see the fish and I got it unhooked and attempted to lift it for a photo which was very painful due to my elbow and hence the not so great pic. I weighed it and it went 18lbs!!!! I was absolutely buzzing with excitement. I had never seen a pike so big in my life. It was clearly female and full of spawn.
I gave it a good rest in the margins before she swam off into the depths to sulk.
What a morning. As it happens I had nothing at all on the maggot feeder and in the afternoon I opted to go and use my maggots on a still water. Don't think I will top that pike for a while but I will certainly be trying!!!!
(apologies for the blurred background)