Saturday, 11 September 2021

Backwards twist with Pike

Date fished 11/9/2021

7am until 3.30pm

For reasons we all understand, I know where I was 20 years ago today. I was in Botswana, no fishing that trip but having watched River Monsters and similar, I would of loved to have fished for some African monsters, maybe one day. Now, I think of it I have not fished much abroad. Once in France when I was away with a mate in our early teens, unfortunately 70 pence bottles of wine and girls took over that fishing experience. Secondly off Marbella with Davey and my nan, we were Marlin fishing, sadly a big fat blank, and that's my lot. Note to self - need more fishing experience abroad!

Nothing as exotic today, although Ellis and I went to fish a part of the Tees we have not fished much, if ever together. I think I have only fished it a few times and Ellis the same. We came to look at it once but were not fishing so just looked from the bridge. It was an ATDAC water at Over Dinsdale. Armed with just trotting gear, we set off to the river. As is often on these rivers, the vegetation was huge and although we could see the river, having a swim (to fish from) was something entirely different. 

I was already set up and fishing whilst Ellis was getting ready. I had a Dace, Roach, Chub and Gudgeon in about six casts.  

Those eagle eyed of you will notice that these are different fish. I did indeed catch two different Gudgeon. Ellis got one too. It made us laugh as a recent post on Big Elbow Facebook page was asking about Tees Gudgeon only this week! 

We fished on as we needed a Perch to "complete the set". We wondered how many species we could catch in the Tees? 
Ellis soon adding the Perch. 

We had waded to the middle of the river, this was the shallower part and we fished along the edges. Usually, like most anglers we headed to the far bank. Today though, most of the fish were on our nearside bank, and barely a rod length out. Ellis quickly changed to some ledgered meat to see if a Chub (or Barbel) was hiding on the far bank. I switched to worm and caught four good sized Perch in as many casts. 

Ellis soon came back and we were both stood mid river enjoying a fish a chuck session. I added another species, a Grayling being caught. Honest it's there!! 

Being stood in the water, it dived safely back into the river. We decided to move, yes we were catching but we wanted to see some more or this stretch too. 

We fished where we could, plenty of the river was fishable if you got through the vegetation. We walked a good 100 metres and the swim numbers only went down by one! This really was a spread out section.

We caught in most of the swims, but moved on regularly to cover more ground. We targeted the faster sections as we assumed the fish would be in the oxygen rich water. Ellis found a fast run and caught a few Chub. The rain came down but it didn't dampen our mood. I wondered off upstream to try against a fallen tree. 

"I have a Barbel!!" Came the cry from Ellis. 

I could see him, his rod nearly bent double and line coming off his spool. I was only 30 metres upstream but I set off to see. Not looking properly, I slipped on a rock and fell in the river. I put my arm out and it went in up to my shoulder. Water coming in over my waders as I jumped up!! Quick as a flash I carried on to see what Ellis had caught. A few laughs as he saw how wet I was, was quickly changed to seriousness as he played this fish. I got the net ready and we finally saw his float. The rod still bent double, he played it towards us. Suddenly the rod sprang back, the weight was released and his prize was in the net! 

Clearly a good sized Pike had grabbed this Chub. We didn't make it eight species and we were both left stunned, and me very wet!!

After all this commotion, we moved again. I squelched as we went. 

We fished another fast glide, I managed a Perch and then a Chub on worm before being snagged. A few hooklinks later and we were catching in the fastest of white water. 

20 minutes walking and we had gone from swim 71 to 67. We found a swim and started to feed. At first glance there was no fish, but as the feed went in, suddenly it came alive. I was soon into some good Perch, this being the pick of them. 

It was soon going to be time for me to leave so we agreed 20 more minutes and we would pack up. After 30 minutes it was time to go. We had caught lots of fish and managed six species. 

A steady trudge back to the car and I could take off the waders. I rung out my socks and emptied the river water out of my boots. Still soaking there was nothing left to do, so it was trousers off and driving home in my pants. Sorry, no picture of that, ripped like Tom Daley I am not!! 


  1. You picked a nice day for falling in 😀. Good selection of fish from what looks like a really nice bit of river. Surprising how long a pike will hang on to a fish when it's not got trebles in it.

    1. Yeah nice day to be on (and in) the river!
      Didn't look like a pikey swim either. Guess we never know really.

  2. Lovely gudgeon and perch, shame that pike let go at the end - held on nearly long enough!

    1. Think we were still thinking Barbel. Nice to catch a few different species