Last weekend the weather seemed pretty much bang on for another attempt at deadbaiting for pike – a couple of adjacent days of cold, hard weather but a bit of intermittent sunshine so we decided to hit a favourite East Yorkshire venue. It’s always an early start on these Winter missions and I rolled out of bed in the middle of the night to allow myself time to have a good breakfast. Upon arrival we were rewarded for our efforts with a fiery sunrise which set us up nicely for the day
It’s a long walk from the car park to our favourite peg (peg! I need to do some game fishing quick sharp) so despite the cold we were sweating like pigs by the time we got to the water’s edge. Next came the massive faff associated with this type of fishing, setting up the chair, rod rests, alarms, rig, bait, oils, bait injectors, you name it! Finally the baits were hoyed out on float-ledger rigs and we could sit back in our chairs, swaddled in insulating layers, to set about the serious business of drinking tea and staring at floats.
It’s a funny old business staring at floats. The first 10 minutes is really exciting, knowing it’s going to go any second now. Then after 10 minutes of it not going, you pour another cup of tea. Next time-killer is to hit the packed lunch, followed by checking Facebook on your phone, then chocolate time. Eventually, after maybe an hour of nothing you resort to pure fantasy. Did that just move? Yup, I’m sure it did. It certainly wasn’t the wind/undercurrent. No way. So you stare at it. Then you switch tactics to looking slightly off to one side which you once read would allow you more chance of detecting movement. Eventually you re-enter the tea/food/phone cycle again. We were both getting a bit bored but I had a feeling that when the sun hit the water where our floats were it would kick off.
Indeed it did. As the sun did it’s thing, the cycle was finally broken as Stu’s float started moving. He struck hard and momentarily felt resistance then the pike was off. “BASTARD!”/ At least the cycle had been broken and we both received a welcome boost of adrenaline which kept us going for another 30 minutes when Stu’s float and alarm went again. This time the pike stayed on and fought hard. It was netted but didn’t hang around too long for pictures unfortunately.
Meanwhile I was not getting a sniff. The 2 main differences between us were location and presentation so I changed the latter by removing my pop-up ball and fishing hard on the bottom. 5 minutes later my pencil float had bobbed up and laid flat on the surface, I struck in and was into a good fish. Alas my luck did not hold, just as Stu went to net the fish it pinged off. Never mind, I’d had the thrill.
More action followed with a double hook-up, this does not often happen to us! “How are we gonna deal with this?” asked Stu, acknowledging our ‘only-one-net’ situation but the problem resolved itself as this pike also un-administered from my treble. This time we got some good pictures.
One final pike followed for Stu (pictured below) and whilst netting it the handle on my net snapped around the screw thread. Then my zip broke on my 20 year old Gore-Tex jacket. Oh I see, that’s how it is today?
Stu walked away from this day with renewed vigour for sitting in chairs hoying dead fish into lakes whilst mine was ..slightly dented but still intact. The pure, twisted fuckery of fishing revealed itself the following weekend when Stu’s report on another day’s deadbaiting at the same venue was “From hero to zero, just blanked at the lake!”