Pike Soup Thames Roach Session

Silverfisher

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So today I had taken another day off work with the intention of fishing the thames on the sandford old channel for roach as I did a few times through the summer. But my grandad was with me again and he said he didn’t feel up to the walk and stiles today (still recovering from his birthday Tuesday I reckon!) so wanted to go back to the swim opposite the meadows that we fished on Saturday which I was happy enough to do as the couple sessions we’ve had in it so far produced comfortable double figures bags. On arrival the river has dropped a few inches and cleared a bit since Saturday but not much so given the weather was pretty similar being mild and calm with a mix of sun and cloud I expected a pretty similar result. Turned out it was quite a bit harder possibly due to the drop in river but more likely the fact it was pike soup so I ended up with a much smaller catch then the average for this season.

Started fishing about 8.40 and finished up at 3.40 with a short spell on stick and maggot but mostly waggler and hemp and ended up with only about three dozen roach, half a dozen dace, half a dozen bleak and single skimmer. That’s about two dozen shy of the average number of roach I’ve had this season with about half as many as the usual amount of other fish but tbh I’m not surprised as I’ve never had so many pike attacks relative to the number of fish caught so no wonder they were a bit cagey! Must have been into double figures in terms of attacks which in itself is not that unusual but when I’ve had that number in the past I’ve caught between say 75-100 fish not about 50 like today. At times it was every other fish getting hit. That slight increase in clarity since Saturday must have helped them as they were hitting and getting hooked up every attack (subsequently repeatedly trashing the swim) rather than the mix of near misses and hook ups like usual. If I’d landed even half the fish taken or bumped whilst I whizzed them in to avoid being taken I’d have caught enough for another double figure bag but as it was I’d probably had about 8lb. Bit disappointing after getting mostly comfortable double figure bags across a few stretches this season but I was just no match for the pike today!

The stick set up didn’t account for much but the waggler set up was the usual 13ft drennan acolyte ultra float rod paired with a 2500 shimano sahara RD reel loaded with 3lb maxima to a 1.5g drennan loaded crystal insert to a size 18 to 2lb drennan hook to nylon. This was mostly set up about 5ft to fish two lines one roughly dead depth the other a few inches off bottom. Hook bait was hemp for all the roach and red maggot for the other fish with loose feed of mostly hemp and a few red maggots. Not sure what the groundbait was today as we’ve ran a bit low so grandad mixed a bit of concoction of a couple whilst I was otherwise engaged.

Grandad fished the feeder and had a real horror show with anything over a couple ounces getting piked leaving him with probably not much more than a pound of tiny dace, gudgeon, bleak and perch. He did temporarily seek revenge on the pike with a spoon and had one of about 6lb third cast but a few casts later he’s had enough of the effort. I probably should have taken over myself at that point but didn’t really think of it at the time.

So all in all after managing mostly comfortably double figure bags throughout this season today was a frustrating session as there was definitely another such bag for the taking conditions wise were it not for the pike. We really should have fished the old channel as it’s much more consistent flow and colour makes it a more consistent spot anyway nevermind it being less pikey but it was still a nice enough session in other ways. Next session will be Saturday when I might attempt the old channel although it’s a bit hit and miss getting one of the couple decent pegs on it at weekends so might take the safer bet of medley especially as I’ve fished it far less often than usual this season.

Not many pics today as at the peak of the piking I didn’t think I’d have a session worth reporting so just one of the swim and a couple roach today.

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Hughbailey

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Have had similar in the Wey - started taking a made up lure rod with a soft plastic jig - anything wiggly seemed to do the trick. Caught and moved them downstream- roach soon came back. Not my favourite fish to catch and unhook but With a single hook not too bad.
 

Silverfisher

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Have had similar in the Wey - started taking a made up lure rod with a soft plastic jig - anything wiggly seemed to do the trick. Caught and moved them downstream- roach soon came back. Not my favourite fish to catch and unhook but With a single hook not too bad.
Yeah we have a similar set up with a spoon, just takes us too long to resort to it sometimes! It’s not too bad usually tend to only have a handful of attacks each but today was easily double that.
 
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Yuccaman

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If you could send the pike my way, that would be lush :)
 

Silverfisher

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If you could send the pike my way, that would be lush :)
I believe the roach anglers on the trent have similar pike problems, jump in their swims once they pack up and throw some spoons around! Virtually never fails here it’s crawling with them at times 😅
 

IanG1

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I believe the roach anglers on the trent have similar pike problems, jump in their swims once they pack up and throw some spoons around! Virtually never fails here it’s crawling with them at times 😅
Yes I can take you to plenty of pegs on my local Pride of Derby Trent stretches thats full of crocs...................they are really active at the moment and obviously our tactics to draw and hold silvers in the peg whips them into a frenzy.
 

Silverfisher

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Yes I can take you to plenty of pegs on my local Pride of Derby Trent stretches thats full of crocs...................they are really active at the moment and obviously our tactics to draw and hold silvers in the peg whips them into a frenzy.
Yeah frenzy is the right word! Thought I was getting away with it back in July and august as was only getting a few attacks a day but in September and now October they’ve been mad! I’m not catching any more silvers than I did earlier in the summer so I assume it’s just the pike feeding up for winter that’s had them going so mad last 6 weeks rather than there being more food available. Seem to recall it being a similar pattern last year as well.
 
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