Friday 15 February 2019
Well, it's been a long time coming and to be honest I didn't think it was going to happen before the end of the river season... But today I caught my 1st ever Pike on a lure!
Jim (of Jim's Lure Challenge fame) and I have been hitting the Bristol River Avon at Keynsham and Saltford pretty hard over the last couple of months trying to get pike on lures. While Jim has been doing very well, netting a pike on pretty much every session, I've really struggled with only one follow and a lost hook up to show for my efforts (although I had snagged a couple on deadbaits along the way!).
The weather has been really bad recently with a couple of days of snow followed by some heavy rain and although there'd been a run of clear days we knew that the river near Bristol was either going to be flooded or a chocolatey soup. I dropped in at Keynsham for a while but the lock was such a mess so I headed up river. The flow was super fast and with bright, bright sunlight burning off the mist over the fields I knew I was wasting my time...
The next spot was over at Saltford but I could see from the car park that there were two chaps under the bridge and with the water still hacking through it wasn't really worth casting out in the shallows. Jim arrived at around 11ish though and mentioned that he'd spied a stretch of canal over in Bath whilst he'd been working on a job. It was really a 'cut' with a lock gate at the end but he had a feeling it would be worth a shot as the water would at least be calmer.
So we headed to the 'Western Cut' and spent 30 minutes or so casting around the canal and lock but there wasn't a sniff of interest. However our luck really changed when we headed down the steep steps onto the mooring walkway below the lock gates...
And within 5 minutes Jim had a fish on the bank!
I quickly joined him on the walkway and over the next hour or so we managed 6 bites - amazing! Somehow we'd managed to locate some fish and they were very, very hungry. Unluckily for me, only 1 of the 4 bites I had resulted in a fish on the bank but Jim got 3 hungry jacks in the net before we decided to call it a day.
On paper, the day should've been terrible: high coloured water, bright sunlight, really warm for the time of year... It should've been a blank. But luckily for us we managed to find a slack area just off the main flow of the river where a group of pike had decided to hold up until the river level dropped.
So that's it, challenge complete! I've well and truly got the lure bug now and I've a feeling we'll be heading back to Weston Lock for another go in the not to distant future...