Date: 28th May 2017
Venue: Pitsford Reservoir, Northamptonshire, UK
As I sit here writing this report, I am reflecting on the antics of today, and only now is the the shear magnitude of what happened earlier sinking in!
My day started as my alarm went off at 6am, I got up, had a rummage for some lunch which consisted of a banana, some crisps and some other bits. I was then ready to meet up with Mike Haywood at 6.45am.
We got to Pitsford nice and early, and luckily was able to drive straight to the reservoir to get set up. We where both rigged and ready, and headed up to the shop to pay as it opened at 8am.
We probably hit the water at 8.15am and headed to the causeway. within minutes Mike managed to nail his first Pike of the day, a Jack of 4/5lbs which lifted spirits and set us up for the day.
Once on the other side of the causeway, Mike continued to catch more fish in the shape of another Pike and two Trout.
I finally managed to break my blank with an over excited Trout which put up a good account of itself.
We gradually worked our way up to the sailing club where Mike continued to catch Trout and Pike on the way. By this point I had no idea how many he’d had!
Eventually I managed to nail a Pike on a No.3 Copper Mepps Spinner, This had taken a lot of effort indeed!
At this point, I decided to stop for some food, and to re-evaluate what was going wrong with today. I had the right lures (in my opinion), I had the right hat on (also in my opinion), so what was I doing wrong?!
Now I’m not superstitious but, as I sat there eating my banana, It suddenly dawned on me what the problem was! A fellow kayak fisherman, once said to me about never taking a banana on a boat as its bad luck! So I finished the banana and binned the skin and hoped my luck would change.
We decided to head back towards the causeway as we both wanted to get a Perch before heading off. On the way towards the Narrows, Mike had a few more bites, quickly followed by another Pike!!
After photographing yet another of his fish, he decided to take pity on me and lend me a similar lure to what he was using. This is when things got interesting….
We continued to work the margins on the way, stopping and casting to “fishy” looking areas. We both stopped our PDL’s at the edge of a weed bed and cast at the same spot.
On the retrieve, I had two strikes, followed by the rod nearly leaving my hand!
“FISH ON!!!” The power of what was on the end of my line was immense, definitely the hardest fight I’ve ever had from a fresh water fish!
I was using my ever faithful Abu Garcia Vertitas rod, 20lb braid and a Abu Garcia Black Max bait caster. To say this gear was being tested to its limits is an understatement!
After what felt like an eternity of a screaming reel and a creaking rod, I finally got the fish of the bottom and caught a glimpse of the Orange lure attached to what can be describe as a Croc! After the fish saw the Kayak, the Pike made a bolt for the underside of the kayak. Luckily, with the PDL, I was able to quickly lift the drive out with one had whilst continuing to battle the beast!
After maybe 20 minutes the fish came along side the kayak. I could see the lure had moved and was not the best hook hold, so had one chance of getting the fish in the net. In my head I was thinking “Is that actually going to fit in the net?”, or words to that effect.
Luckily , I manage to manoeuvre the head of the Pike over the net, drop the tip of the rod to release the pressure, and the fish bolted straight in!
I managed to remove the lure from the fish whilst still in the water, and in the mean time, Mike had moved to the bank and had set up the unhooking mats in preparation of weighting, photographing and releasing the Pike as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible. This is key for the safety of any fish at this time of the year.
Once on the bank, we weighed the fish using my new set of Rueben Heaton scales which I had won the previous weekend. The digital scales read 34.6lbs!! What a monster! We finished taking a few photos and set about the process of recovering the fish in the net.
It is vitally important not to rush this process. You need to ensure that the fish is able to strongly swim away. After a short while of standing in the lake up to my waist with the fish of a life time, she gave a huge kick of the tail and disappeared in to the depths to fight another day! WOW! EPIC!!
After the release of the fish, we weighed the sling and calculated the Pike to be my new Personal Best of 32.14lbs, smashing my previous PB by over 10lbs!
We then continued our way back to the causeway in search of Perch. I managed to bag a perch of 1.8lbs using a crank bait whilst Mike continued to bag up on Pike and Trout.
We decided to call it a day at 6pm and headed back to the cars.
Before we left, we had both said that today will take some beating!
I’m really looking forward to the next few competitions and definitely think Mike Haywood is a Kayak Fisherman to watch out for!
Thanks for reading ,my report and look forward to the next fishing instalment!