I like short, sharp trips rather than long drawn out sessions in chilly conditions. My general rule is that when the coffee and soup run out, it's time to go home. That said, I'm known as a bit of a soup freak and my large food flask holds just over 3 tins of the stuff! It keeps me going for a while...
After clearing a small layer of ice from the car (which was registering 1 degree C), I made my way down to the Avon. Today was a morning session of just over 3 hours and for these swift sessions I like to turn up fully loaded to maximise my fishing time.
I have a couple of small telescopic rods that do the job admirably for short range river work. One was rigged up very simply with a couple of swan shot above the trace - this would be for the more mobile approach of wobbling/twitching deadbaits through the swim. The other one had a few more components but was simple enough - a sliding float, a trace, a small lead to anchor the deadbait, with some beads and a stop knot to make it all work smoothly.
Another part of my Pike set up this year is the TFG seat box. I bought it while it was on offer last year and it's one of those frame type boxes with a canvas covering, which also comes with internal adjustable legs. It's perfect for the amount of gear I need to carry, is plenty light enough and comfortable too.
On to the fishing itself and I kicked off with a deadbait approach - Lamprey to be exact. I have a lot of faith in this bait due to the way it oozes blood into the swim. The first action came after about 30 minutes and was caught on my video camera:
Sadly, the Pike (assuming it was a Pike!) slipped away. It was one of those annoying bites which saw the float twitching for what felt like an age at time. I was waiting for the float to dip away slightly, but it just wouldn't move off the spot. I knew I had a fair sized bait on, but was conscious of not wanting to deep hook it. It's a tricky call sometimes. Maybe smaller baits are the way to go.
I persevered in that same swim and switched to the other rod, but the moving bait didn't get any takes or follows. With under 2 hours to go I moved to the next peg and went back on the deadbait. I avoided the blank courtesy of a single small fish that also had a liking for Lamprey - a smaller section of bait as it happened.
The eagle eyed amongst you will notice the bloody hand. I'm out of practice with my handling skills and this lively little chap caught me out!
I gave it a further go back on my original peg but nothing materialised. The blank was avoided though and I'll look forward to locking horns with the Avon Pike again soon.