Posts Tagged ‘Pike’

The weather in the late part of 2010 and early 2011 has really had an impact on the “normal” expected fish behavior. If you are fishing in the sea, estuary, the rivers or still waters everything appears to be either early or late. Fishing the Exeter canal on lures over the past couple of months has been tough. Myself and T-Mark have been putting in the hours but have either blanked or at best caught a couple of fish between us. Dead baiting has been producing the fish but again from speaking to those using this method it has also been a bit hit and miss.

Yesterday was a one of the first days of this year where I have been able to wear a t-shirt while fishing. The water temperature appears to be increasing and the plant life starting to emerge. When we managed to get a response the takes were a lot more aggressive. One pike engulfed a lure that you could only see the very tip of it’s tail, a 19cm savage gear 4 play! I was primarily on the large. Having a number of follows and a fish within 15 minutes things looked good.

I was primarily fishing the large 9″ Slug-Go’s. I have fallen back in love with these simple but deadly lures. I first used them in the states fishing for large mouth bass with explosive results. Once you learn how to rig and work these lures properly they are incredible fish catchers. I particularly like the way you can fish these totally weedless, chucking them into the rough stuff where you even wouldn’t dare cast a plug. They are also exceptional value, giving you more confidence to go balls deep and not be particularly bothered if you lose a couple. Unfortunately the 9″ and 12″ are so big you need to put a stinger on the main hook (I embarrassingly said I couldn’t be arsed but Mark made me put one on, yup I hooked a Pike with the stinger). If you don’t the hook up rate is terrible, fortunately Lunker City have wised up to this and started to churn them out with tandem hook rigs. My ONLY problem with the Slug-Go is that I feel people just don’t know how to fish them properly and therefore are not as popular as they should be. I guess this can also be said about the majority of soft plastics, people are slowly coming round which hopefully means we will have access to greater range of colours, styles and sizes.

After chucking a large amount of hard and soft lures we had plenty of follows and a couple of fish but nothing huge. It just didn’t feel right but hopefully a couple more weeks of mild weather should liven things up. On the walk back to the car we stopped off to chat to a couple of pike anglers dead baiting. As we stood there discussing the canals current form one of the floats started to bob and move very slowly across the surface of the water. A pike of 15lb was on the bank, unhooked and weighed before being gently released. This fish confirmed our suspicions, it was a very long fish but incredibly lean. This fished had more than likely spawned already, at that length it should be nudging towards the 18-20lb mark. Not good news for those looking to land a big winter fish but great for us lure anglers, they should start to be on the feed and ready smash, lunge and destroy anything you put into their lair.

It was a good day, and great to meet some great anglers on our circuit, all willing to share tips and locations. I also finally landed a fish on my new Esox Lucius lure rod. A great bit of kit and excellent for chucking the huge lures but still extremely sensitive (considering it can chuck 100 grms). I am looking forward to the next couple of months and I have my fingers, arms, legs, eyes and everything else crossed for a couple of nice upper doubles on the lures.

River 20

River 20

River 20

River 20

Snow

Bass

River 20

River 14

Mullet

Large Mouth

Bream

Bream

Weaver

Huss

Hallo

Wrasse

River Culm – Coarse Fishing in Exeter

0, August 16, 2009
Posted by james

The River Culm has provided me with many hours of enjoyable fishing and is one of my favorite places to fish in the winter. I hold an Exeter and District Angling Association permit giving me access to 3 stretches of the Culm all of which contain a good head of pike, dace, chub, roach & gudgeon, brown trout, the occasional carp and if you are very very (I am placing an emphasis on very) lucky some barbel. I have had great success fishing for pike during the winter months with my biggest being a little over 17lb. I have had a number of 1lb+ Perch and Roach with some nice chub up to 3lb. This Sunday afternoon I had a few hours to spare so headed out to see what I could catch.

Being an impromtu decision to fish the Culm I didn’t have my favorite baits of Worm and Maggots so settled for some Halibut pellets of varying sizes, luncheon meat and bread flake. The river looked great, not too low with a little colour to the water. Looking below the bridge I could see a few chub and dace, none of which huge but fish I wouldn’t mind catching. I walked down the left side of the River to the first bend. This spot has a large area of deep slack water, plenty of cover, and other features making it ideal for pretty much all species.

Today I would be using a Chub Outkast Twin tip rod along with a Shimano Exage 4000 FA reel. Both are awesome pieces of kit, the Outkast Twin tip I use for 90% of my coarse fishing.  As the name suggests the Chub Outkast consists of two tip sections. One a full length Avon top and the other quiver tip carrier section making it extremely versatile and great value for money. It has a great amount of power when needed but also can be very sensitive detecting the smallest of bites. The Shimano Exage 4000 FA is a front drag reel, extremely smooth, robust and reliable. A perfect combination.

River Culm - Chub Outkast Twintip

River Culm - Chub Outkast Twin tip

River Culm - Shimano Exage 4000 FA

River Culm - Shimano Exage 4000 FA

When fishing a river for the first time it is a good idea to keep the end tackle as simple as possible. My first visit to the River Culm resulted in losing a great deal of end tackle before I found the areas free of snags. I started with an 8mm halibut pellet and a small PVA mesh bag of smaller pellets.

River Culm - End tackle

River Culm - End tackle

From the picture above you can see everything is very simple, 1 ounce fox lead that can run freely up the main line, a bead protecting the swivel, a 4lb fluorocarbon hook link and a Korum quick stop size 12 hook. The halibut pellets are pre-drilled and fed onto the quick stop with a small needle that comes supplied with the hooks. I like to use a snap link & swivel so I can quickly change the lead or swap it over to a feeder. I used the carrier section of the rod with a 2 ounce quiver tip.

My first cast was into a tree, the last time I cast a lead was at Morecambe bay and that was a matter of casting it as far as I could so trying to be accurate over a few meters was hard to get back into. The next cast was a lot better, placing the rig nicely under an over hanging tree. I waited for a around 30minutes, a few bites but today it seemed like a change was in order. I pinched some bread onto the hook and cast to a different spot just before a fallen tree hoping that the bait would waft gently just below the branch. As soon as the bait had settled the rod tip started to twtich non-stop, an abundance of small fish had great fun chewing the bread.

After some very small chub and roach I moved a few meters down river so I could cast across into a deep channel with a lot of cover. I also decided to try luncheon meat, although the bread was getting bites it simply wasn’t robust enough to stand up to the 10billion strong gudgeon and minnow assault. I made a few more casts into some trees and bushes but was soon into a decent sized chub. The end of my session was drawing to a close, it felt good to be back on the bank of the River Culm.

The River Culm offers some great fishing to the mobile angler, bating up a few swims with some bread mash and then fishing each spot for a short period of time often is the best tactic. Trotting can be productive but finding a long stretch of river uniform in depth and free from snags can be difficult. I prefer to fish during the autumn and early winter when the water is high and the River banks are not as over-grown. Chucking a big worm into a back eddy when the water is coloured is great fun, pike, perch, chub and roach all seem to love it. For pike dead baits are reliable (sprats, brown trout, roach all work) and preferably I only use one set of trebles striking as soon as I get a run to avoid deep hooking. I even caught a 5lb eel on a sprat while fishing for pike.

Please take a look at the Exeter and District Angling Association website for further information about this stretch of the River Culm.


View River Culm – Killerton Estate Stretch in a larger map

River Culm

River Culm

River Culm

River Culm

River Culm

River Culm