Tackle, Tactics and Experience

It Pays To Advertise...

The following story is based on a diary entry from August 12th 1991

A short session after work, I will fish until it gets dark at about 9 pm. The sky is grey and there is hardly any breeze, there's a faint hint of thunder about and if the wind picks up I expect it will rain. I'm on the Severn on the navigable part of the river, below Stourport. This stretch of water I have fished regularly since my early teens, and I love it even if it is not the best fishing in the world.

Tonight I am surprised to find the river up, only a few inches, but badly coloured with water visibility down to about 6". I suppose there must have been some rain upriver because we have had none. These are not promising conditions but the extra water has lifted the surface over the top of the extensive weed in several places.

I choose a bright yellow Bagley Topgun, a buoyant 6" minnow with a very loud high frequency rattle. In the conditions I presume that this will be easy for the pike to see and hear. An hour of fruitless casting into a large weedy bay produces no action so I move to another, much tighter, swim, with a higher bank, there are always pike here but the weed is usually difficult, the extra water helps to provide a few  more paths for the plug. I still manage to get the rear treble caught on a stray strand on my second cast.

Instead of immediately pulling it clear I gently shake it so as to sound the rattle without dislodging it, I think it can't hurt to advertise a little. After about thirty seconds of this I snatch the plug off and lift it straight into my hand, because if I have attracted a pike I do not want it to see the plug trailing weed. I clean the weed from the hooks and recast. As the lure passes the same weed strand the water explodes as a good pike takes the plug with an almighty splash.

I give no line in a brief but exciting close quarters fight and water splashes wildly as I drag the thrashing pike into the net, still thrashing I lift  her clear of the water and carry her up the bank onto the soft grass of the meadow. She is hooked on the front treble mid-way along her jaw, the hook has a good hold but comes free cleanly and I lift the reward for my efforts from the net into the weigh-sling, 11lb 7oz, a well marked fish, fat and fit with really long teeth.

I love it when a plan works!