Shop closing for a week soon.

Just a heads up. The Riverpiker Shop will be closed between October 25th and November 5th 2019, so if you need anything you have just over two weeks otherwise you’ll be waiting another week. Many thanks also for your continued custom, it is very much appreciated.

 

Gator products back in stock

Just a quick heads up to let you know that a fresh batch of Gator products, including perch bait, Gator gum in three sizes and Gator stingers has just hit the shelves at the riverpiker shop. If you need some, be sure to be quick as most of it sold out in no time last time. Plus as a side note, the riverpiker shop will be closed for a week or more from june 7th – 17th so if you need anything for the rivers opening now is the time.
Gator products

Double and triple swivels added to shop

Just added to the shop are some double and triple swivels, which are ideal for making up your stinger rigs for big soft plastics. At the minute these are only available in the large 1/0 size, which is 60kg Test. These are a little bulky but do the job. I am late adding these to the shop as I wanted to test them out first myself and see if there were any issues, which there aren’t apart from being a little more noticable than wire or smaller swivels. Also as a note, the Gator stingers are all sold out at the minute by I will do my best to get them back in stock.

GTR Double swivels
GTR Triple swivels


FFS Lures added to the shop

Just added to the shop, a custom made lure by FFS Lures. The floating finesse stick is a a custom made soft bait and is based on the popular ned style baits. Available in five colours these lures are great alternative to soft shads when targetting perch. They are available to buy in single units so pick and choose how many you want in each colour and I will pack them up. Also, until the end of February they are priced a little bit cheaper so make the most of it.
Click here to buy

The Best Lure Ever

That’s it, the voting is over and we have found a winner. The Cruelbaits Godfather Jerk  has been voted by you, the Best lure ever. Beating one of the legends of the lure world the Strike Pro Buster jerk with 883 votes to 599. We started with 128 lures which were all suggested by followers of the Riverpiker Facebook page, and over the last couple of months we have been voting for our favourites. Eventually we were left with just two and after a massive battle, by far the most votes of any of the rounds, we have our winner.  As a side note, the third place play off saw the Mepps Aglia beat the Rapala Xrap Peto.

Ok so what did we actually achieve here? Well right from the start all I wanted to do was to try and answer one of the most common questions I get asked. What is the best lure?  Personally I think this is a really difficult question to answer, even with a load of on line polls. There are so many factors, so many variables, so many opinions, so many types of lures, uses of lures the list goes on. From one year to the next I myself will change my own mind on what is my own favourite, even from one session to the next I will change it. Confidence in a lure is a big factor and to gain some kind of confidence, usually that means you have to have caught a few on it. But when you are just starting out you just don’t know what works and what doesn’t. So there, we have it. We have the answer and the answer is a list of lures below that made it right through to the last 16. If you wanted to, you could go buy all 128 lures from the competition because these were all put forward by anglers who have probably used them and caught on them. That would put a massive hole in your pocket, so this poll has narrowed it down to just 16, the best lures ever!

Cruelbaits Godfather Jerk
Strike Pro Buster jerk
Mepps Aglia
Rapala Xrap Peto
Westin Percy the Perch
Savage Gear Line thru Roach
Savage Gear 4D line thru Trout
Rapala Jointed Shad Rap
Savage Gear Low Rider
Svartzonker McTail
Rapala J9
Savage Gear 4 Play Swim n Jerk
Wolfcreek Lures The Wolf
Salmo Slider
Westin Ricky The Roach
Fox Replicant

 

XXL Grubs restocked

The popular XXL grubs are now back in stock on the Riverpiker shop. Even better, I have added more colours to the range so be sure to check them all out. Recommended from me are the super bright UV colours which are very good in low light and the more natural colours for anyone fishing clearer water. Also added are some more colours in the glitter range, for those who like a bit more bling! These lures are exellent for low and slow fishing through winter. A big bait to get the attention of those big pike. but don’t be scared to rip this bait in fast or even add jerks and pauses to make it dance about.

Best lure ever competition – Finalists confirmed

So we are finally there. The semi finals are over and we have the finalists in the best lure ever competition. The Cruelbaits Godfather Jerk has knocked out the Mepps Aglia spinner and the Strike Pro Buster jerk has seen off the Rapala Xrap Peto. So its a jerk v jerk final and for me personally, two of my most used lures have made it through to the final. But first, we need to have a play off battle for third place between the Mepps and the Xrap Peto.

Third place play off
Mepps Aglia v Rapala Xrap Peto

Final
Strike Pro Buster jerk v Cruelbaits Godfather Jerk

Click here to see the latest competition results.

Down to the last four – best lure ever competition

We are now down to the last four lures in our quest to find the best lure ever. This has been a long slog with many votes cast but we are finally getting to that point. There has been lots of opinions and debate along the journey and the way some people are carrying on it’s actually making the remoaners of Brexit look like grown ups. #luremoaners ha ha! It’s a bloody fishing lure competition for a laugh, just vote! Cries for votes to be cast again because their favourite lure didn’t come through. Cries of dodgy dealings, fake voters and all sorts.

All that to one side, we are nearly there. Two of the favourites by many, the Savage Gear line thru trout and line thru roach are both out, swept aside by jerkbaits, so that will do me fine. Not a single Savage Gear lure made it through when at one point, it looked as though it would be a clean sweep from the brand. A favourite of mine has fallen, the jointed Rapala Shad rap has gone but to be fair it came up against one of the greatest lures of all time, the trusty old Mepps spinner. Emerging as one of the favourites now, simply because it keeps sweeping all to one side is the Rapala Xrap Peto which knocked out the Westin Percy the Perch. But who will get through to the final? Facebook polls coming soon on the Riverpiker page.


Semi Final
Mepps Aglia v Cruelbaits Godfather Jerk

Strike Pro Buster jerk v Rapala Xrap Peto

Click here to see the latest competition results.

Best lure ever – round 4 summary

Well it’s getting really tough now. Some very close battles, where often the voting would swing one way then the other. A favourite to win by many, the Fox Replicant has gone. Other lures to lose their battle in this round were the Salmo Slider, the Savage Gear Low rider and after a revote, the Savage gear 4 play swim n jerk which lost out by just 5 votes to the Buster jerk. Another close battle was the Svartzonker McTail which lost by just 5 votes to the Westin Percy the Perch.

So now we are down to the last eight lures and some very interesting match ups.
Quarter Final
Mepps Aglia v Rapala Jointed shad rap
Cruelbaits Godfather Jerk v Savage Gear 4D line thru trout
Strike Pro Buster Jerk v Savage Gear line thru roach
Westin Percy the Perch v Rapala X rap Peto

Click here to see the latest competition results.

Best lure ever – Round 2 summary

The Savage round – Round two of the Best lure ever poll has again seen some mega battles and some mega shocks. The 64 that made it past the first hurdle have now been whittled down to just 32 lures. Again we had super high quality custom lures taking a battering, while the mass produced readily available lures from the likes of Savage Gear, Westin and Strike Pro seemed to mostly all go through with ease. The biggest knockout blow of the round has to be the Musky Mania Squirrely Burt which was pushed aside by the Savage Gear 4D line thru trout in an epic battle. But, there is no time for tears, we move on to round 3 in our quest to find the Best Lure Ever. Make your vote count!

Click here to see the latest competition results.

Best lure ever – round one summary

Wow, that was a bit mental wasn’t it. A total of 128 lures in a 1v1 vote to see which one progresses. Every lure was not only put forward by you guys, but voted on by you guys. Some really tough battles and some surprising results, but surprising to who?

Well it became clear a few battles into round one that some people were really enjoying the format and the idea of finding the best lure ever. But on the other hand, there also seemed to be a few people who felt we had unfair battles, or results that should never have happened. Well that’s just the luck of the draw and the majority vote wins, no matter who it is.

Yes the classic lures may have served well over the years, but both the British and Swedish record holding lures have gone out in round one. The creek chub pikie and the famous Zalt have gone, and both these lures have had pike well over 40lb. On the other hand, brand new lures to the market like the Rapala xrap-peto have gone through comfortably when they haven’t even had time to get a proper soaking.

So for me, I think at least so far this lure battle has shown us all one thing. That there is a massive increase in the amount of lure anglers out there and these guys are buying the new shiny lures. Go back ten years and every lure angler then knew about the mepps or the ondex, they were using creek chub pikies, kuusammo spoons and so on. These days it’s all savage gear, rapala and strike pro.

So on to round two and another 32 votes will be starting monday on the riverpiker Facebook page. Make sure you make your vote count!

Click here to see the latest competition results.

 

We are ready to find the best lure ever

The riverpiker community have spoken, and we have the list of 128 lures. We will vote, and a winner will be found! Stay tuned for the first vote.

Abu Atom
Abu Fat head killer
Abu Hi Low
Abu McHybrid
Abu Tormentor
Allcock Spoon
Bomber long A
bucher depth raider
Castaic boot tail
copper and silver spoon
Craig Beverley Chimera
Crazyfish Nimble
creek chub pikie
Cruelbaits Godfather Jerk
Daiwa D popper frog
Daiwa duckfin shad
Daiwa spintail shad
DAM Effzett rattling spinnerbait
DAM effzett spoon
Dave Greenwood Big Dipper
Dave Greenwood lures Delta
Delalande Sandra
Devils own scale spinner
Dobb daddy
Dodobaits JAWS
Duo Realis Shinmushi
eastfield lures wingman curlytail
Ecogear Grass Minnow
Fladen eco fat plugbait
Fladen Maxximus conrad softy
Fox micro grub tail
Fox rage proshad
Fox rage replicant
fox rage zander proshad
Fox spikey shad
Gator Gum
Headbanger lure
heddon crazy crawler
Heddon Frog
Heddon lucky 13
Kibs tornado spoon
Killshot jerk
Kuusamo Professor
Loz Harrop middle darter
lunker city sluggo
manns-stretch
Mark houghton Mud pig
Mark houghton slide n shad
Matt Holmes custom jerk
Mepps Aglia
Mepps lusox
Mikado Gosia
Miuras mouse
Mscustomflies Reaper
musky innovations bulldawg
Musky innovations shallow invader
musky mania jake
musky mania squirrely burt
Ondex spinner
Ottó bácsi villantói
Peter Temple glider
Pig shad
Pikeman spoon
PM lures Frank the crank
PM lures Little Johnny
PM lures rat
PM lures ziggy
Quantum The Thing
Rapala glidin rap
Rapala J9
Rapala jointed shad rap
Rapala magnum
rapala original
rapala SSR
Rapala x-rap Peto
Relax kopyto shad
river run manta
river2sea whopper plopper
Robinson lures Bream
Robinson lures Gliding trout
Robinson lures jacktail
Rublex classic
Rublex Orkla
Salmo Fatso
Salmo Hornet
Salmo pike
Salmo slider
salmo sweeper
salmo turno jack
Savage gear 3d herring shad
Savage gear 3D hybrid pike
savage gear 4 play swim n jerk
savage gear 4d line thru pike
savage gear 4d line thru trout
savage gear cannibal shad
savage gear dabush spinnerbait
savage gear deviator
savage gear kick frog
savage gear line thru roach
savage gear lip lure
savage gear low rider
savage gear real eel
savage gear shad
shakespeare Big s
spro BBZ
Spro bronzeye king daddy
spro flapper
spro pikefighter
spro rat
storm goant tail
Strike pro Buster Jerk
strike pro guppy
strike pro wolftail
Strike pro Xbuster
svartzonker mcmio
svartzonker mctail
Toby spoon
Toothy critter zombie
Triple devil
Ugly ducking
unknown from a joblot!
Westin Mike the pike
Westin Percy the perch
Westin Ricky the roach
Westin shadteez
Westin swim
Wolfcreek lures The wolf
Zalt

Best lure ever?

So we are currently trying to find the “best lure ever” on the riverpiker facebook page and right here on riverpiker.com. We so far have a list of over 100 lures which will then be pitted off against each other in a knockout vote by you guys, with the last one standing crowned the winner. Below you will find the latest list of lures suggested.

Now Facebook has gone a little mental since I posted this up and keeping tabs on every entry is tough, so if i missed your suggestion, please let me know and I will add to the list.

Abu Atom
Abu Fat head killer
Abu Hi Low
Abu McHybrid
Abu Tormentor
Allcock Spoon
Bomber long A
bucher depth raider
Castaic boot tail
Craig Beverley Chimera
Crazyfish Nimble
creek chub pikie
Cruelbaits Godfather Jerk
Daiwa D popper frog
Daiwa duckfin shad
Daiwa spintail shad
DAM Effzett rattling spinnerbait
DAM effzett spoon
Dave Greenwood Big Dipper
Dave Greenwood lures Delta
Delalande Sandra
Devils own scale spinner
Dobb daddy
Dodobaits JAWS
Duo Realis Shinmushi
eastfield lures wingman curlytail
Ecogear Grass Minnow
Fladen eco fat plugbait
Fladen Maxximus conrad softy
Fox rage proshad
Fox rage replicant
fox rage zander proshad
Fox spikey shad
Gator Gum
Headbanger lure
heddon crazy crawler
Heddon Frog
Heddon lucky 13
Kibs tornado spoon
Killshot jerk
Kuusamo Professor
Loz Harrop middle darter
lunker city sluggo
manns-stretch
Mark houghton Mud pig
Mark houghton slide n shad
Matt Holmes custom jerk
Mepps Aglia
Mikado Gosia
Miuras mouse
Mscustomflies Reaper
musky innovations bulldawg
Musky innovations shallow invader
musky mania jake
musky mania squirrely burt
Ondex spinner
Ottó bácsi villantói
Peter Temple glider
Pig shad
Pikeman spoon
PM lures Frank the crank
PM lures Little Johnny
PM lures rat
PM lures ziggy
Quantum The Thing
Rapala glidin rap
Rapala J9
Rapala jointed shad rap
Rapala magnum
rapala original
rapala SSR
Rapala x-rap Peto
Relax kopyto shad
river run manta
river2sea whopper plopper
Robinson lures Bream
Robinson lures Gliding trout
Robinson lures jacktail
Rublex classic
Rublex Orkla
Salmo Fatso
Salmo Hornet
Salmo pike
Salmo slider
salmo turno jack
Savage gear 3d herring shad
Savage gear 3D hybrid pike
savage gear 4 play swim n jerk
savage gear 4d line thru pike
savage gear 4d line thru trout
savage gear cannibal shad
savage gear dabush spinnerbait
savage gear deviator
savage gear line thru roach
savage gear lip lure
savage gear low rider
savage gear real eel
savage gear shad
shakespeare Big s
spro BBZ
Spro bronzeye king daddy
spro flapper
spro pikefighter
spro rat
storm goant tail
Strike pro Buster Jerk
strike pro guppy
strike pro wolftail
Strike pro Xbuster
svartzonker mcmio
svartzonker mctail
Toby spoon
Triple devil
Ugly ducking
unknown from a joblot!
Westin Mike the piker
Westin Percy the perch
Westin shadteez
Westin swim
Wolfcreek lures The wolf
Zalt

Spooling up

A week or two ago , I was out with Jacob as you may have seen in a previous post. Well leading up to the day, I knew I would be mostly perch fishing but I didn’t know what rod I was going to be using. My little Sonik rod is ace for small cranks on overgrown rivers, but anything larger than a half pound perch has it bent double and creeking like it’s about to snap. I have a cheapo Shakespere drop shot rod, but let’s be honest, I was never going to be going drop shotting. I’ve got a random assortment of custom rods, custom being that I’ve managed to break the tip off them. I have an Enigma rod which is better suited to 2.5inch plus shads on at least 5g jig heads but it’s not really sensitive using anything smaller and I prefer to use it for my pike fishing with small cranks and 3 inch softies. Basically, I need to buy a new rod.

Then I remembered I’d not dug out my Gunki baitcaster rod for a while. It’s only rated 3-15g which is spot on for my approach to perch fishing. As most of you know, it’s cranks and 2.5 inch kopytos mostly for me, all within the casting limit of this rod. I had paired it with an Abu Revo SX reel, which is not too bad. There’s a kind of annoying clicking feel as you turn the handle sometimes, after a couple of years use. Hopefully it just needs a clean out and it’s not on its way out. But I wasn’t happy with the braid on it. I had some 15lb sunline something or other braid on and it was ok to start, but after a while seems to fray really easy. I know, i’m like most Brit’s who never seem to change their braid as often as we should. It also seemed to be a bit chunky for the tiny rings on the Gunki Iron T198 rod. For you guys who like your diameters of braid, I think it was something like 0.205mm if my quick Google check got it right.

Now for my braid choice, i’m not really one for going too light. Many of my waters are snaggy, and i’m a tight arse and don’t like losing lures, so I go heavy enough to hopefully bend a few hooks out. Usually the lightest I go is about 10lb but since I’m using cranks with trebles I bottled it and decided to stick to 15lb for that little bit of added strength. But what braid would I choose. For well over a year now I have been using two new braids from American Tackle, Nano X and Bushido Combat. I’ve used heavy and I’ve used light on a variety of rods and this time choose the 15lb Bushido Combat braid to go on my little Revo SX.

So what made me choose this braid? Well for a start, it’s only 0.16mm diameter so that’s a massive chunk less in comparison to my old 0.205mm I was using. Bushido Combat braid is an 8 strand PE braid that is silky smooth on the cast and I wanted something that wasn’t going to have me in knots every fifth cast while casting smaller lures on a baitcaster in the bloody wind. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. It’s super strong with a 15lb Test and 23lb breaking strain so would offer me plenty of protection against those snags. I’d used it in 10lb on my spinning reel for ages now, and also used some 50lb on a BFT Instinct X7 reel and it was just lovely.

So only one thing left to do and that was to have a quick test the day before fishing. I nipped out and the weather couldn’t have been any more challenging with strong winds a plenty. Trying to seek some form of shelter under a bridge I had a quick few chucks and in no time I was rewarded with a fish.

If you fancy giving the Bushido combat or the Nano X braid a go, then pop along to the riverpiker shop and take your pick.

Ujka lures, the colourful little cranks

I’m always on the look out for new lures. Like most lure anglers, I just seem to collect them. Always buying something new when there’s no real need to. One of my favourites at the minute is looking for little cranks for my trout and chub fishing. I just enjoy playing about with them in flowing water. Trying to get them to drift with the current, past that rock and through that little slack spot where I’m expecting a trout to be waiting or towards that overhanging bush where I know there will be a gobby chub waiting for something to come drifting down. It really is great fun and if you’ve never done it, I urge you to get a proper ultra light set up just for this and spend a few hours on a lonely river searching for a bite.

So last year I found a new set of lures called Ujka. Little hard plastic cranks, decent price and funky paint jobs. I bought a few in a range of sizes and styles and gave them a go. They worked, caught fish and that’s all I really needed to know. I then found myself using them more and more as they seemed to do the trick. Obviously confidence in any lure means you use it more and then you give it more chance of catching. I’m not daft and neither are you. Wait, hold on a minute, that bloke there. He’s a bit daft, but the rest of you are ok.

I added to my own collection with a few more sizes and styles and kept on catching fish. The great thing about these were the smaller sizes are mostly sinking versions, and seem to have a bit of weight to them, so they cast like a dream on light gear. The slow sink means that in flowing water they stay down and don’t get dragged back up to the surface but also don’t sink so fast that they are always hitting the bottom. The lip digs in on the retrieve and the lure wiggles like mad, irresistible to all sorts of fish. The larger Ujka lures seem to all be floating versions, again with a nasty wiggle that sends out so much vibration and you can use that floating lure to bounce up and away from snags or as a trigger on the pause for that following fish, as was the case for this chunky river pike that took a BM7.

The next step for me then was to buy a few more and add them to the shop. I’m always getting asked for ideas on good lures for this fish and that fish and with this range of lures I was happy I had found something I could point people at the next time they asked me the question. So if you are looking for a few lures to add to your box or may be your soft lure collection needs something different adding to change it up then why not check out the UJka lures in the riverpiker shop. With a range of sizes, styles and colours there’s something for most predatory fish and every angler. They’re not too pricey either so you can have a few in a couple of sizes and you have great options to mix it up a bit.

How to make YouTube fishing videos

I’ve noticed more and more people wanting to get in to making fishing videos and I find myself getting asked about cameras, editing software and more. So in this video I attempt to answer a few questions and explain the gear I use, why I chose it and what I use it for. If you are wanting to get in to making your own fishing videos then this video is for you.

Filming equipment used

GoPro Hero 3+
GoPro Hero 4
Panasonic HC-V250
Canon EOS 700D
Rode VideoMic Go
Rode VideoMic Go Deadcat Windshield
BOYA BY-WM8 Wireless Lavalier Microphone
DJI Spark drone

Editing software

GoPro software
Sony Vegas Pro
Adobe Premier

Wanna be a YouTube star?

This fridays video is a bit of a “how to be a youtube star” tutorial. Ok, it will be in my usual laid back style and it won’t tell you all the crazy things you can do to get a viral video and be one of the top Youtube channels. But it’ll explain how I started my Youtube journey, the cameras and equipment I use, why and how over time these have changed plus a few more tit bits. If you are thinking of starting a fishing channel or you have just started making your first videos then this will be perfect for you.

I have seen so many new fishing channels popping up recently and I’m often getting asked about how to do this and that, so thought it was about time I made a video to cover it all. So tune in tomorrow on the Riverpiker Youtube channel at 6pm to see my top guide to looking just awesome on TV, like me!

Tiny cranks added to the shop

Check out the Tiny Cranks section of the Rvierpiker shop as we have just recieved a fresh top up of trout, chub and perch cranks. The popular Ujka range, including the previously sold out Ujka B0, have had a top up with more colours and sizes available again. The B0 stock took a battering when I put up last weeks chub video so for those of you who have been patiently waiting here they are.

Mada Bomber

I have also added a couple of new lures to the range and both these are custom made lures. One is the Mada Bomber, which is a 2.8cm fat boddied floating crank and just looks like a killer lure for chub to me.

The second new lure added to the shop is the Tuco Minnow which is another custom made lure, and is sinking. Ideal for trout fishing and just looks ace in my opinion.

Be sure to check out the other sections to see what else there is available. Thank you for looking and supporting the channel!

Tucco Minnow

Belly Dancer

 

Lip grip or not?

In todays snowflake world, there seems to always be something that someone finds offensive or disagrees with. With the increasing amount of time we spend on social media, we open ourselves up so much to being offended or upsetting someone else. Every time you flick through your Facebook or Twitter feed you see the same old arguments over and over and in fishing it is just the same. Now I am all for fish care and will always do my best to help people learn the best practices for dealing with fish. But on the other hand, I’m not going to start crying if someone does something slightly wrong.

So we will have a look at perch and the lip gripping method. It seems to be creeping in more and more but is it right? We don’t see this method used for any other freshwater fish in the UK. I’ve seen the folk in the USA and their bass lip grip but I’ve never seen the UK carp lads dangling old Bessie by the lip. Can you imagine a barbel or a trout being held vertically by the lip? That would be so wrong. But why is it ok for a perch to be held in this way?

Going back to the US and their bass. Apparently they have steel reinforced lip and jaw structures and you can safely hold aloft three or four of them in each hand, once you’ve plucked them from your tiny boat live well where they have been swimming belly up for half the day. Seems legit to me. As we all know, the US scene (and others) is way ahead of us knuckle dragging Neanderthals in the UK so it must be fine. A perch looks a bit like a bass , so it’s fine to swing about by the lip and make yoursefl look cool as hell. Of course it is cocka. Who’s tha think tha’s kidding?

Now personally i’m not totally against it. I’ve used the method sometimes but the bigger the fish gets, the weirder and more awkward it starts to feel and on a big one it feels just wrong. As soon as you get a chunky perch, there just seems to be so much more pressure on that lip and you feel like you are ripping the poor things mouth apart. So for me I’m thinking we need to use a bit of caution when they are smaller, and if its a lump? Well there is a far better way of doing it and it’s tried and tested with pretty much every other species. For me, the pictures below are the way to do it, with either a supported lip grip or a finger on top to get that stunning dorsal fin up. Whether the lip grip is right or wrong, the photos below are the best way to show off these stunning creatures. You know it makes sense. 😉

Returning the favour

Those of you who saw the last zander video will have seen me fishing with Jacob Stone who is part of the Rapture UK team. We had a great day catching small zander and a few perch on the midlands canals, and while I was there I explained how the canals in the north of England are totally different. The midlands canals seem to be shallow and very murky water where the north has many larger canals and some with much better visablilty. So we planned for Jacob to come up to my neck of the woods and have a day fishing, see what we could catch and just have a good laugh.

With a two hour drive for Jacob ahead of him we were never going to be fishing too early, but he managed to get up to Yorkshire for just after 7:15. A quick call to the shop for some food and drink for me and then a little drive and we were fishing not much long after. Straight away Jacob was struck by the size and clarity of the canal and in no time he was getting hammered by what seemed like millions of small perch. We had planned to try and target the larger perch and jacks rather than the smaller perch. But that is easier said than done when there are so many of them about. The rod tip constantly seemed to be rattling round from them. Most you didn’t hook up on as they were too small to get the larger hooks in their mouth. A quick change to a smaller lure and you were catching, but we decided to stick to the plan and try to ignore these smaller ones, as best we could anyway.

That meant it would mostly be a hard slog. Lots of fishing and not much action but we were happy with that. Chatting and fishing and moving often to try and find some fish. We kept picking the odd perch up, often a crazily small one on a lure far too big for their greedy eyes. Every now and again I would catch a small pike which would get the heart fluttering for a moment as I was convinced it was a big stripey. After a few hours of this, and a few hours of rain, it was nice to find a few chunky, but not large, perch in an area around some flowing water.

At this point we decided it was time to move spots. Still raining and still struggling for a better fish, but not too damp that we had anything else on our minds other than to keep on plugging away. The new venue produced a flurry of tiny pike for me. I seem to have caught more titchy pike in this last few months than I have in my whole life, and I love it. They are super little creatures and I always try to imagine what they will one day grow in to. With luck that is. One of those little pike I hooked probably won’t live to see adulthood. As I was bringing it in, it came up to the surface, wriggling away like mad. When all of a sudden a much larger pike shot out from nowhere and grabbed it. I played them both for a while but didn’t expect to be landing either of them before eventually the much larger pike let go. I can only hope the little fellow will recover, but it didn’t look good.

So now Jacob was using the same lure as me. We’d been switching it up a bit to try and find what they wanted, but when I kept catching pike and he wasn’t catching anything he also switched to a jointed Rapala shad rap, my trusty firetiger. A while later I had a whack right at the end of the retrieve from what I beleived to be a proper one. I saw a bit of it, and it looked good, but it didn’t quite grab a hook. I quickly told Jacob to cast along the margin past me and run the lure through the spot. Just as it came past me he was smacked by the big perch, the rod was beant double, some head shakes and a bit of squirming from the perch. I grabbed the net and went towards Jacob to land it, when all of a sudden the rod flew back and the perch was gone. That might have been our one chance at a whacker and we lost. Ah well, that’s fishing.

We kept searching and searching with the same tactics. Running and gunning, trying to cover water and find a fish or two. I brought my shad rap along the margin, lifted it up and recast back out to the far bank. As I was watching my rod tip, a slow cloud of muddy water started to rise and grow, right where my lure had just exited the water only a few seconds earlier. I beckoned to Jacob to come cast across me as it was either a really big perch or a pike. He’s probably only done a handful of turns of the reel when his rod went solid and all hell broke loose. The drag on his reel was screaming and this pike was running him a merry dance. They are such good fun on the lighter gear. My net is a little bigger and was just about big enough to scoop it in safely. Hooks out, quick photo and smiles all round. A very nice fish to break up what had been a bit of slow fishing for a while.

After lots of graft and not too much more reward we decided it was time to move so again jumped in the car. It was knocking on now, and with a two hour drive ahead of Jacob I decided it was time for some sport. We’d missed our only decent shot at a proper one and I felt that finishing on a few fish was the way to go. The perch obliged and Jacob was knocking them out on his cheberushka rigged, crazy fish smelly as hell shad. I’ll have to ask him again what the proper name is as he bagged loads of fish on it. Plenty of small ones, a few chunkier ones and then to finish, a proper one at 41cm. We didn’t weigh it as it had a bit of an empty belly but it was a nice end to the day. Great bit of sport, loads of fish, not many monsters and we got soaked wet through but we didn’t give a shit. It was a reyt good day!