From the water’s edge

September 2015 - Some questions answered

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Pete in his wisdom, had chosen what I was certain would be the most effective way to fish today. We were going to visit a spot that had produced a couple of six pound zander, some two pound perch and pike to eighteen last year. He's not stupid, most of those took on the far side of a wide piece of water and he had left his pole in the car in order to fish it properly with rod and line.

I am more contrary but also decided to make changes. I left my small lures unused and had assembled a box loaded with baits of between two and three and a half inches. At last I had decided to throw caution to the wind and to start using the pole to fish the kind of lures that I had once used all the time on the rod. I have always wanted to use the pole to fish crayfish, shad and bigger grubs with more care and accuracy, and this was the best opportunity I have had yet.

In fact I got off to a flyer. First put in with a new 2.75" Fox mini fry shad, the tip wrapped round and a pound plus Z was doing its rather inadequate stuff. No doubt about that take and one of my reservations about the pole was pushed a little further back. The lure was mounted on a size 1 hook and there was never any question that the combination of pole and number 6 elastic had pulled it well home. The larger the hook the more worried I have been that it just would not penetrate properly on the strike. I needn't have worried so much, although it is possible that it pulled home during the fight such as it was or that it had found a thin area of the jaw to snag. Anyway I hit the first three, two zander and a pike and lost none.



Pete was keeping pace, fish for fish, and by now had caught the biggest, a very nice pound and a half perch. I really don't feel he should count it as it was clearly deranged having fallen for one of his 'flies'. In fact they turned out to be his most effective lure this morning.

Inevitably things slowed up as the sun rose, hotter and higher and the boats became ever more frequent. Pete did miss a few takes over the far side, by this time I had missed nothing of note although one or two flickers suggested that small fish were around. It looked like the fishing was coming to an end, but I put a 3" hammer shad on and lobbed it out as far as I could allowing it to swing back down to the bottom. It never arrived, the tip pulled round and the elastic was out and growing. It wasn't massive, but at around two and a half to three pounds, it was my biggest zander on the pole yet. Once more, it was hooked, soundly, on a size one hook.

Twice more I had hits on the 3” hammer, but both times, I was distracted by passers by and missed my cue to lift. Losing those two spoiled the hit rate somewhat but all the same I was happy that the method could work perfectly well with larger lures and hooks.

That was pretty much it really, conditions became harder, my cold was giving me gyp and I had a pile of jobs waiting at home in the office, so we packed with half a dozen each the tally. At least I had answered the question of hook size / pole compatibility or at least pushed the boundary a bit. Sweeping the lure around in bursts worked as well. A two or three foot sweep with the tip low, followed by a pause to let the lure glide back to the bottom worked as well. A new retrieve tested.



You may remember that last year, I had a very, very big pike take a two pound perch that I had hooked. It let go but not before I had seen enough of it to think in terms of twenty five pounds plus. Today I was chatting to a guy who un prompted was telling me that he had been moored in that very same spot back then and a teenage girl on the next boat had caught a massive pike that weighed in at thirty two pounds. I wonder, were we once attached to each other?

artificial lite



journal 2015.


journal 2015.