Image Above: A Pike Breakfasting On My Homemade Crankbait
I arrived at the lake a little after 5:30am and found the carp crew who had been camped out for a couple of days were in the process of landing a lump of a fish. It turned out to be a rather large tench but not a carp and the crew were not happy. I stopped to inquire where their web of lines stretched to so as to avoid setting off another bite alarm and creating some more disappointment for them.
Two days earlier I had been out for an evening’s float fishing session when the crew had turned up carrying all their equipment in a supermarket trolley. Knowing I would be required home they set up around my swim with banks of rods laid out like cannons on the deck of a destroyer. With guns to the left of me and guns to the right, I hung on for an hour and then left them to it.
This morning I had two small patches of water to myself to hunt for pike and fling some new lures and prototypes about. I clipped on a fat head wiggler knowing that this really wasn’t the best location for hurling big bits of wood about. The plug flew but landed with the poise and grace of a scud missile scaring the moorhens and their chicks. I let it swim for a bit and then put it away saving it for a trip to a bigger water and then clipped on a Balsa Crankbait.
Despite the smaller size and lightness the lure flew to almost three quarters of the distance covered by its bigger cousin but also landed with less of a thud. It wasn't long before something was kicking up swirls in pursuit but after a couple of lunges whatever was out there gave up. I moved to my other free stretch of water just as a pike broke the surface in the shallows. Three casts later it had taken my crankbait and when it surfaced the lure was firmly wedged in its jaws. I switched on the mini video camera and then not thinking stupidly landed it in the net instead of picking it out the water from under its chin, instantly the belly hook snagged up and I had two hooks to untangle.
With some minor surgery the hook came out of the fish ok and I slipped him back while I dealt with the bigger problem of the net. When I finally got back off my knees I realized that my little lure had caught its first fish and had the rash to prove it. Unfortunately the video was unusable but I managed to salvage a still from the junk.
After deciding previously to limit myself to one pike per visit to my local water I set about testing some other little creations. Despite some design successes the lake is the place to come and find flaws and test ideas some of which should of never have left the drawing board but it is often only when I have added water that my failings become apparent. One particular prototype swam off in a direction that almost made me believe it was autonomous. I still have a lot to learn about lures and filming especially in the great outdoors