I went all out, boat, motor and guide!!! For 7 hours it was me v's the Pike, my obvious target was setting a new pb, my hidden target was to finally get a twenty!!!
Two hours drive at first light was no problem, I arrived at Esthwaite Water a little before 9am. I met my guide Dave, we talked through tactics, bait and plans. The water looked amazing, "flat as a mill pool" would have more ripples on it than the water this morning. It was flat, FLAT, FLAT FLAT calm and looked "pikey" reed beds, bays and 280 acres of the wet stuff!!
Talking to Jim the owner, a 19lb 'er had come out to a bank angler and another boat had already had a pike first cast!!! No pressure.
We set out across the water, to say I was loving it , is just not emphasis enough. It was great!! We arrived at the first spot. An underwater mount that slopped from 10ft down to 25 plus. We were fishing the slope at about 15ft deep. The rods were baited and positioned around the boat, we were ready!
Unfortunately the pike had other ideas, they had clearly either eaten earlier or were still tucked up and not coming out! Not for mackerel, bluey, roach or bass!
Good conversation was had but time was not our friend. We reached lunchtime and the baits had not been nibbled at all. We had to change something. Dave decided we would move, we watched another boat slowly go past us on electric motors and head to where we were going! Thwarted. We had to move to plan c, but had failed to execute plan b.
Dave decided we would head into a bay just around the bottom of the water. Again the rods were set and we waited. Right in front of me the large yellow pike float was laying flat on the water, blink, gone!! " Dave, we are in" I calmly announced. The rod was handed to me and I set the hooks, I was told to keep the rod tip up, I was not used to boat fishing so the added dimension of straight below depth was confusing and the slight slack allowed the pike to roll on the line. The line was only just wrapped on the fish so it came sideways. Dave quickly netted it so the crimped line would not break. Safe in the net, I saw her. Wow, she was magnificent. Within 2 mins, Dave had set the camera, removed the hooks, taken the pics and she was back in. 20lbs Dave said!! I was so happy, we did not need a number on her, her getting back in was important and Dave has seen so many, his eyes and arms are like scales.
A new pb. Time for more.
Dave cut away the crimped line and expertly re-tackled the rod. No idea how long later, but this time, I saw the float rise and slowly move. Again I wound down and set the hooks. I managed this one much easier, once at the boat, same again. Dave offering me 14 ish for that. Smaller, so I was still smiling from the twenty.
Finish time was 1630, it was ten past so we had time. Again the same rod as the second fish went, the line being taken. I did my business and when she surfaced, she looked amazing. Long and yet deep. Shaking, I brought her to the net. Part of this trip was to see how Dave handled the fish. Again, same procedure. Calm. Net away. Mat. Camera. Hooks. Hold. Picture. Angles. Light. Return. All in under two mins. This time she swam around the boat, I watched as she flashed her tail and was gone. A beautiful pike. 22lb Dave quoted. I was over the moon. Pb's broken twice.
To say the two hour drive home was good is an understatement, although my jaw hurts now. Seems grinning is not my pose! Now as I write, I look at the calendar and think how I can go again before March 31st!!
I must be getting good at this pike fishing, although I told you the venue, did I not mention the bait they were all caught on ...............????😉😉