Sunday, 16 February 2014

Bishops Bowl Piking

A Stunning Location
Venue choice has been severely limited this Winter with the horrendous weather we have endured seeming to last for weeks. The rivers remain flooded so Martin and I decided to try somewhere new, Bishops bowl lakes in Warwickshire.
Bishops bowl fishery is a collection of lakes created from a former limestone quarry that has been allowed to naturally flood. It is home to all manner of species, Tench, Bream, Carp and today's target Pike. Whilst I have caught plenty of Pike in the past I have never really targeted them in still water before so a new challenge lay ahead.

Martin Surveys the Scene
It was an unusually bright sunny start to the day but we were still forced to endure gale force winds. Our swim choice boiled down to finding a sheltered area rather than using an watercraft. We knew that the far side of the lake would probably give us more chance of fish but I did not fancy facing head on into a hurricane. Tactics for me were simple, dead baits legered in the margins.

My favourite
My favourite bait bar none for Pike is Roach and I prefer the smaller ones. They are so simple to fish coupled with a single hook attached to the compulsory wire trace. A low resistance rig ring attached to the lead via a 'rotten bottom' finishes the set up. A smaller bait seems to be attacked with more speed and ferocity so an early strike is a must to avoid deep hooking and by not using trebles unhooking the fish is easy. I also like plenty of smell in the water to attract old Esox and with the smaller Roach packs there are plenty of baits so a few can be chopped up and loose fed in the vicinity of the hookbait.
On the second rod I used various sea baits including Mackerel and Herring just in case the Pike fancied something a bit different.

Fed up of this!
The first couple of hours passed without incident and then the rain arrived, as forecast.
Perhaps the low light switched on the fish as I had a screaming run on the Roach rod just as I was beginning to think I might blank. I set the hook, which connected and after a pretty uneventful fight I landed my first ever still water Pike, a long but lean fish weighing just below double figures at 9lb 12oz.

9lb 12oz
The rain finally ceased and gave way to yet more brilliant sunshine and with that the fishing seemed to switch off. I had to leave early afternoon due to family commitments but vowed to return for more.

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