Chris McCully

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And thereby hung a tail....

Sunday, 6 November 2016 at 14:59

Tails...or not This was a most odd little pike session. Nothing much happened for the first hour and a half. There was just the grinning wind, the malevolent gusts, brittle sunshine (the countryside was briefly in flames) giving way to cold and horizontal rain. A pike nipped at the shad half-heartedly: the shad duly lost its tail and the pike didn't come again. I tried the usual tricks: change of angle, change of lure, change of speed. Nothing worked. Half an hour later another pike did exactly the same as its relative: a useless tail-nip. Wait a bit... Change of lure, angle, speed.... That didn't work, either. It was such a contrast to what happened just seven days ago, when the pike were full-throated in their shad-appreciation. Yet of course over the past few days, winter has arrived, and in these temperatures the pike are perhaps less inclined to chase and seize: too much effort; too much energy wasted. By ten to one there was only one thing left to do. A fairly splendid pie was calling me to take....


Sunday, 6 November 2016 at 14:56

Lunch ...lunch. Yet strangely, as soon as I'd discussed what was a fairly splendid pie, the pike began to take. In the subsequent hour, when anyone sensible would have been sleeping off the effects of the cholesterol, I moved four and released two. They weren't big fish - 5-6lb.  apiece - but the activity made a change from the faffing and tail-biting of the morning.


Saturday, 5 November 2016 at 16:14

Brown It's the present-day equivalent of a sin, to wish time away, but I'm no great fan of November. There are fishing days during this month when the year simply seems.... battered, bruised, blown. Once the last of the leaves are gone the light turns brown and it's early dark. The month seems tired. I seem tired. And so it was today. There were compensations - a sudden glimpse of a kingfisher, for instance - but a radical drop in pressure and a strengthening northerly wind didn't help pike fishing chances much. In the event, the pike weren't nearly as active as they proved to be last weekend, when air and water temperatures were considerably higher. I managed to release just three, with the best (please see below) at 89cm. A bonny fish, surely - and yet, yes, it was a weary sort of day. A brown day.

A double

Saturday, 5 November 2016 at 16:10

Double figures I think this was certainly a double-figure pike: 89cm on the tape. It took some sort of fire-tiger-pattern softbait. A dour tussle ensued, out there in the wind and the brown light. It swam off very strongly after being unhooked and that was good to see.

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