For those of you who don’t know me my name is Nathan Edgell and I love Pike and predator fishing. Over the last few months I’ve been on board with Fladen Fishing UK as a consultant and for me that really is an honour and a privilege. So as we move through the traditional winter predator season I’ll be writing a review on a monthly basis recalling some highs, lows, thoughts, tips and observations on my experiences of predator fishing.
I’ve been “Piking” as we call it for approximately a decade now and I’m very passionate about it, my wife calls it obsessed and I know better than to argue with her so maybe obsessed would be a more accurate description. For me actually catching a fish is just the cherry on what already is a beautiful cake and there is so much more to Predator fishing than just catching fish.
It’s the preparation and the planning, it’s getting up at stupid o’clock and travelling miles, it’s doing it in all weathers to the point of exhaustion sometimes, it’s meeting likeminded people and sharing in adventures and fishy tales, it’s interacting with nature in beautiful places and some not so beautiful, it’s a challenge and for me personally it’s a way of life that’s in my blood and I wouldn’t swap it for the world.
Of course the real star of the show is the Pike itself and that’s my favourite species ever and for many reasons which I won’t go into now suffice to say that they are the best species ever (yes I am biased) and eat most other species of freshwater fish.
It is the largest natural predator found in freshwater in the UK. Pike can grow to a maximum recorded length of 6ft and the heaviest fish recorded 35kg (77lbs).
The Northern Pike are native to the UK and their range extends to N. America and W. Europe. The record UK pike was caught at Llandegfedd Reservoir in Wales in 1992 and weighed 46lb 13oz. Most pike over 10lbs are considered to be females and pike up to 7lbs are referred to as Jack Pike, or Jacks.
Pike are slim, elongated and torpedo shaped, with pointed heads and hundreds of teeth. Their flanks are a mix of greens, browns and yellows depending on their age, sex and environment. They have a green, grey, olive coloured back with a mottled striped appearance and are always covered with yellow/white spots on the flanks. Their mouths are filled with hundreds of teeth, many of which face backwards to prevent prey escaping and their tails, fins and body are designed for short, powerful and extremely fast bursts of speed.
So September then well it’s normally a very good month for me although this year it wasn’t. The bigger specimen pike eluded me all month although I did manage quite a few sessions and on each one I avoided the dreaded blank. Truth is to be consistent at catching large river pike then you need to be extremely dedicated as it’s not as easy as social media can make it seem. Early in the month I was distracted by doing some lure fishing for Wrasse which I absolutely love by the way as they are an awesome species and the best I could manage was a 3lb 12oz fish which gave a great account of itself and really adhered me to them and I relish the opportunity of a concerted campaign after them in the future.
During the month due to Fladen’s generosity I’ve been extremely fortunate to have been able to try out many exciting new products and that has genuinely been great fun. Fishing can be like a jigsaw sometimes and one of the beauties of it is that it’s never the same day twice. Therefore putting all the pieces together and finding out what works and where it works takes time but also the real trick is in knowing why it works. Lots of products have worked successfully and I won’t list them all here but a top tip is check out the Maxximus Attracta 15g spinners as they are awesome and will produce fish all winter.
Another fishing highlight of the month was attending the Tackle and Gun trade show with the Fladen team at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. I was a bit nervous as I’d never been to one before but I absolutely loved it. I talked fishing all day to anyone who would listen and probably a few who didn’t. It was a fantastic experience and when it was over I met up with a friend and caught a Zander from one of the local canals.
That wasn’t the only Zander I caught in the month of September as the next one came at the Gunki Iron Tournament which is a 24hr lure fishing competition in Rotterdam, Holland. It was a huge honour to be invited over to fish in it by another sponsor of mine Deeper Smart Sonar and whilst the fishing was extremely challenging I didn’t blank and the whole experience was absolutely awesome and I loved every minute.
Travelling abroad with all your fishing equipment to fish in a 24hr lure fishing marathon against some of the best anglers in Europe felt like quite a daunting experience. However my team and I managed a reasonably respectable position of 54th out of 160 teams which we were more than happy with especially as the fishing was extremely hard. At the end of the competition we had walked 33 kilometre’s whilst lure fishing and as I’m sure you can imagine we were completely exhausted. The whole trip though was an incredible experience and I was really pleased with the Fladen Warbird Travel Rods as it was the first time I’d ever used them and I was worried about 4 piece rods and decreased sensitivity but they were absolutely fine and would be an asset to any angler.
Finally before the month end I managed to get back out on our UK rivers for a short six hour session and whilst it was one of those wet English mild autumnal mornings the Pike and Perch were certainly on the feed and I managed a few doubles, a couple of Jacks and some nice Perch all on the spinners and Tail Or’s. There was a still a lot of weed about and we need that first frost to really spur the fish into feeding hard but it’s all changing on the rivers and October is upon us.
So that’s the roundup of my fishing experiences of September and upon reflection it’s been a very exciting and productive month. Now with the night’s drawing in October is the month to get serious about predator fishing and it’s probably my favourite month of the year. If you’re thinking of giving it a go then please remember whenever you are fishing where there are pike then make sure you always use a wire trace and care for your catch.
Now bring on October!