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The spinner grub combination got off to a flier as it was ever likely to. This reservoir is full of jacks and true to form they came out to play. I don’t know how many takes I missed during the day or how many follows we had that never turned into takes but I would guess that our lures were visibly checked out by at least thirty pike today. Plenty more will have come close to the baits beyond our field of view as my box of tail-less grubs will testify. Truth is they just weren’t quite committed enough, but we did ok.It was this spinner/black & lime grub combination that did the real damage but large crankbaits caught me one or two more. It wasn’t long before Rob had put the shiny stuff back in the bucket and my one spare, experimental spinner was getting a workout.
Anyway the forecast was good and we were keen to get out there. Rob works for David Hall publications and had lots of big, shiny lures to try out. Poor gardeners have to make do and mend, so I had a few rubber shads on light jigheads, some huge zonker flies and some home-made spinners to put through their paces, so the stage was set for an interesting comparison of big, heavy jerkbaits and lighter, more conventional (for me at least) stuff. All of these measured at least 7” so it was probably a comparison of bulk and presence rather than physical size.
I don’t do a lot of pike fishing to be honest. I find perch, chub and zander to be far more interesting quarry - but - I would never turn one down and today I was glad that I took Rob smith up on his offer of a day afloat.
I like to use lighter lures and the size restriction on our public water reservoirs usually dissuades me from spending much money with them. I know they worry about their precious spotty simpletons, but I have never found big lures to be all that more resistant to their attentions than small ones.
It wasn’t just jacks either. Rob had a really nice 10-4 early on and it looked like I might be playing catch-up on the size front as usual, but then my lure was stopped in shallow water by something reluctant to move. It didn’t feel all that special, maybe a 5 lb fish in a nest of weed, but as soon as it turned close to the boat, it all became a lot less casual. It always seems to be the jacks that scrap hardest as you can see above, and this big fish was in the net within about 15 seconds with no dramas at all.
So make of that what you will. Big lures = more big fish? I would still say so - perhaps today was the exception that proved the rule, but both decent fish took the spinner/grub at just a whisker over 7”, while the jerkbaits caught - well - fish like this. Obviously I didn’t laugh.
The big girl had an excuse for her lack-lustre performance, she was carrying a fair amount of spawn, which I don’t count as a good sign at this time of the year and indeed she shed some on the mat. Sharkey suggested to me later on that maybe that will be in her favour if she was spawnbound, but really she should have got the spawning done and dusted ages ago. (Read this)
Just to be on the safe side and (of course because she might have had an older sister) we gave the area at least another hour and never saw her or any other fish in that spot again.