Stokesley AC - Pike Cup

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Simon R

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Date: 13th October 2002
Venue: Tontine Lake, North Yorks

This was another match which had to be cancelled last year due to foot & mouth and I also missed it in 2000, so this would be my first pike match for three years.

Checked the bait freezer and found a selection of sardines, herrings and mackeral with a sell by date of 1999 [:0] Decided to bin them and buy some fresh stuff. So armed with smelt, herrings and sprats (and some maggots to try and catch a livebait or two) I arrived at the lake to see mist rising, after the first frost of the year (not good news as far as the fishing goes)
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Since there wasn't many of us fishing (I think the previous days rain and the frost had left a lot of people in bed)we all drew two (adjacent) pegs each. I was very pleased to get 14 and 15 (known as 'The Island' because it sticks out into the lake) since I've caught a lot of pike from there - and also its one of the better pegs for catching livebait.

Set up three pike rods, a simple float rig for fishing live or deadbaits off the bottom, a sunken float paternoster rig (which I could adjust to fish on or off the bottom) and a seven foot spinning rod for lure fishing. Also rigged up a light feeder rod with a very small open-end feeder and single pinkie on a 24 hook (usually the best way to catch a livebait when it's 'hard')

Started with a lip-hooked smelt on the float rig, fished down the side alongside a large reedbed, and had 30 minutes thrashing the water into foam, flinging various lures to all points of the compass[:D]

Binned the lure rod and set the paternoster to fish on the bottom, which I baited with half a herring. After two hours, nobody had had a touch, the frost obviously sending the fish into hibernation. By this time the sun had disappeared, the wind picked up and it got bloody cold!

The first fish came out thirty minutes later, Mike Scott landing this jack of around 2lbs, which he caught on a lamprey section.
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Ten minutes later I heard Keith cursing, he'd just lost a fish which had "a head the size of a bucket" but shortly afterwards he too caught a jack of around 5lbs. I still hadn't had a sniff and to make matters worse I couldn't catch any livebait.

Finally at about 1pm, I got a run, the float sliding away and I landed a jack of about 2.5lbs. Half an hour later on the same bait (smelt) and the same rod I got a second fish which could have been the double of the first.

With 30 minutes left I changed the herring bait to smelt and wacked it out into the deeper channel off peg 13 (which no-one was fishing). I'd no sooner clipped on the bobbin, when it started twitching, rising and falling no more than an inch or two. This continued for perhaps a minute or so, without ever developing into a 'proper' run. Not wanting to deep hook the fish I wound down and struck, the rod hooping over into a most satisfactory curve. I soon landed my best fish of the day, another jack of around 4.5lbs. The bottom treble was just in the corner of the jaw and actually fell out in the net!

Two minutes from the end I got another run on the float rod, I hit the fish but it came off almost straight away, presumably another small jack.

My three fish weighed 10lb 4oz (the best one going 4lb 11oz) and was enough to win the match.


Keith had five runs in total from peg 7, he missed two, lost two fish and landed this one of 5lb 1oz which was enough for 2nd place.


Mike Scott had just the one run, resulting in this fish which weighed 2lb 6oz and was enough for third spot.
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It was a shame that the match happened to coincide with the first frost of the winter, pleasure anglers had been catching 5 or 6 pike a day (many on lures) in the weeks leading up to the match, so I'm sure if the weather had been a little better the catches would have been much improved.

Next match on the River Ure in a fortnight, hopefully this rain will have eased off a little by then and the river will actually be fishable.

Tight Lines

Simon
 

MALC

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Aug 11, 2001
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Well done on the win Simon
Nice read

Good pictures as well

Glad we were not the only one's to suffer with the chill today.

Malc
Fish with Friends @ MaggotDrowning.com
 
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