November then, well the dry period of October carried through to the start of November and I recall wondering when our winter would actually start. Clear almost crystal waters, bright sunny skies and prolonged weed growth again made lure fishing challenging. However where there’s a will there’s a way and one lure from Fladen certainly came into its own this month and shot up my go to lure list that being the Maxximus Conrad “softie” in 105g and 55g.
In shallower waters with weed not far from the surface having a lure that you can fish slowly but still avoid the weed really is a great asset for a lure angler and I’m extremely pleased with this lure in both sizes I won’t say to much more about it here as I’ll be reviewing it thoroughly soon but it’s definitely one for the box.
One of the many highlights of fishing at any time of the year is fishing with others and in November I actually got out fishing with eight other people. This was a lot for me as I love fishing on my own as I tend to be more focused or perhaps obsessed would be a more accurate description. That said of course it is real pleasure to fish with others and whilst it may take away my time from the more serious side or specimen hunting that I love to do it really is great to watch others enjoy fishing and even better when they catch.
During November I was honoured to get out fishing with Fladen’s very own managing director Rachael for her first go at lure fishing for pike. Meeting at dawn on actually the coldest day of the year as the weather had changed and we experienced a cold snap I wasn’t too hopeful with the conditions on the day. In fact that’s putting it mildly it was bloody freezing! Still we headed off to a gorgeous river stretch that is a day ticket water and of course were armed to the teeth with Fladen lures. We had a couple of missed takes on the aforementioned Conrad softie and then I managed to bank one, of course this was great as we were able to see a pike and go through unhooking and handling techniques. When fishing with others it’s always about them if they go with me and I always feel some pressure to help them catch although in this case I didn’t have to wait long. Selecting a Fladen silver 20g Attracta spinner Rachael was soon into a fish and the pressure was off me. Reflecting on the event as I write this now it really was a magic moment to watch the MD of Fladen catch not only her first pike but on a Fladen lure to.
We finished by lunchtime so it was only a short session but Rachael managed her second pike as well and I added another couple as well so on the whole it was a great session especially considering the conditions and whilst they weren’t monsters it was a really enjoyable and memorable morning.
Keeping it fishing with others then later in the week I met up with Alex Haddow who messaged me on Face Book and asked to go fishing with me. Alex is an experienced lure angler who recently represented our country in Ireland at a lure competition. Again the conditions were difficult and I missed a couple of takes before eventually managing a nice one that measured 103cm again on a Conrad Maxximus “softie” 105g in blue and white flavour.
As we moved into the middle of the month it was a pleasure to get out with my old piking mentor “Dodgy Dagenham Dave” and we had a couple of short sessions where we both caught fish. Then finally some rain came and at long last as the rivers have been extremely low especially at this time of the year. Rain is important when targeting river pike as the increased flow rate of water in our rivers forces pike to seek refuge in the marginal lines and slacks and whilst the levels increase it actually makes them easier to locate, that’s my theory anyway! Anyway putting it into practice on a dawn start seemed to work as I had a take on a lure from a slack immediately and hooked up with a powerful river pike that gave a great account of herself and was soon subdued into my awaiting net.
Towards the end of the month I loaded up the car ready for a road trip as I was asked to do a talk/slideshow presentation in Glasgow for the Pike Anglers Alliance of Scotland. It’s always a real honour to be asked to go and talk about pike fishing and I love it plus you get to meet lots of like-minded anglers who share the same passion for what I like to call “the beautiful game”.
My friend Chris and I set off at midnight on a Wednesday and eventually returned home at 6am on Monday morning after completing 1255 miles in that time. We fished rivers, canals and Scottish lochs and experienced some fantastic hospitality from to many to mention here but they know who they are.
The fishing was actually pretty poor but that is often the case when I go away but it’s never about catching fish on these road trips but more about meeting others and just having a good time. Also I’d just like to say a huge thank you to Fladen for their generosity in donating prizes for the clubs raffle which were well and gratefully received.
Upon my return I was itching to get out on the river again as I must have been inspired and wasted no time banking this lovely river double again on a “softie”.
So that pretty much wraps up November for me which upon reflection was a month of mainly fishing with others interspersed with the odd solo session. Once again I never had any full day sessions except for the trip away to Scotland but on the whole I think I have to be more than happy with my results for the month especially when I haven’t really begun to fish with baits yet and all the fish were lure caught.
Now of course we are into December and Xmas is fast approaching plus I have a house move coming up so time will be even more scarce but I’m sure I will continue to get the odd session in and also look out for an article by me in next week’s Anglers Mail about fishing and photography.