It certainly has been a strange start to the traditional Piking season this October and it’s carried on into November too. Apparently October was the driest since the 1930’s and November appears to be heading that way as well, so consequently low water levels and clear water conditions have made it difficult for catching river pike on lures.
On Friday I met up with a friend Alex Haddow for a lure session on a local river before he headed back to his home in Austria. Arriving at the river we were greeted by a freezing cold start with temps a little over freezing and we both welcomed the beautiful sunrise to warm us up a little. Alex is no stranger to catching pike on lures and has only recently represented our country with the England lure squad in Ireland but the cold and bright conditions certainly made it challenging for the both of us. After a few hours all we had seen was a couple of follows and a savage missed take by myself from what appeared to be a good fish but it was a case of once bitten twice shy.
I was able to use some of the time to show Alex some of the lure’s in the Fladen range which I think he was impressed with and I know I certainly am. My lure of choice for the day was the Maxximus Predator Conrad Softy in blue and white because fished weightless it is perfect for shallow conditions and at 105g and 24cm it certainly gets seen. I love fishing big lures like this as you can fish them really slowly therefore keeping the lure in the pikes strike zone for the maximum amount of time with a simple sink and draw technique which is similar to wobbling a deadbait. My choice proved to be a good one as further down the river I cast the “softy” into a slack on the opposite bank when the lure was hit hard. Fish on and she felt like a good one and was. This wild river fish gave a great account of herself with spirited runs. With plenty of weed for this pike to aim at and the full flow of the river to bring her across it’s great to have faith in your gear and I did. The stinger in the lure of course helped but so did the 67lb Maxximus braid on the new Fladen F-13 Maxximus spinning reel that I’ve been testing recently and I was able to confidently control this fish in the river and soon into the awaiting net.
As I hope you can imagine I was extremely pleased to get this fish on such a hard day and when I fish with others it’s always a team effort and Alex managed a pike a little later too. As long as that line is in the water you always have a chance.
Fladen Fishing UK