E-Sox Consultant Steve Rowley has become addicted to pike fishing from his kayak, and his burning ambition this winter was to catch his first ever kayak thirty pounder.
31lb 12oz pike caught from the kayak
Steve caught a 27lb 02oz earlier in the season from the kayak but was soon surpassed by his lovely 29lb 08oz that we covered a few weeks ago. Then right at the end of the season, Steve had a real red letter day, catching a 25lb 04oz, 26lb 14oz and his first ever kayak thirty at 31lb 12oz on the same afternoon.
“To catch three fish over twenty-five pounds in a day is something very special, but to catch them on my kayak is an unbelievable bonus. I knew the second the thirty went in the net that I had achieved my main goal of the season” said Steve.
Steve anchored his Channel Kayak Pro over sixteen foot of water just past an area he had seen lots of small fish activity previously and it wasn’t long after casting out the first fish of the day made it’s way to the net.
Steve used two E-Sox Piker 12ft Bait rods, each coupled with Series 7 BR 9-40 Specimen reels loaded with 60lb E-Sox Piker Braided Reel Line, a simple float setup, and traces made from Seven Strand Pike Wire and Size 4 Semi Barbed E-Sox Extra Strong Trebles.
Jamie Cartwright caught this immaculate 4lb 6oz perch from the Great Ouse on a lure last week. Here’s the former Drennan Cup Champion’s account of a memorable capture:
I arrived at the river bright and early on Sunday morning. The first thing I did was set up my lure rod in an attempt to track down a shoal of fish. I also had a bucket of lobworms and a couple of pint of red maggots with me as a back up in case I struggled with the lures, but I had been enjoying a rich run of form with the lures of late, so for now the lid would stay on the worm bucket.
I started casting my roach pattern Savage Gear 4 Play Shad all the way across to the far bank and began twitching it back along the bottom, trying to keep in contact with the lure at all times. To help with this, it’s crucial to use a jig head that is heavy enough to allow you to feel the lure hit bottom, but not too big so the lure behaves unnaturally.
In my third swim, I had an aggressive take as a clearly big fish made its mistake. I was beginning to think it was probably a pike, as it was feeling pretty heavy, although it didn’t seem to be darting about as pike tend to do. As it came up under the rod tip I was genuinely surprised by the size of the perch that appeared out of the gloom. I scooped up my prize and let out a huge sigh of relief, as I could see the lure clearly in the corner of the fish’s mouth during the latter stages of the fight and I was very nervous of the hook dropping out or snagging up in the rushes under the rod tip.
On the scales it weighed 4lb 6oz, which is my lure-caught personal best by exactly 1lb. It also fulfilled an ambition I’d set myself back in January, which was to catch a 4lb perch from the Great Ouse before the season was out. I followed that fish up with a few more perch weighing 3lb 1oz, 2lb 15oz, two 2lb 14oz and a 2lb 6oz, which certainly made it a day to remember. I just hope I can enjoy a few more days like that before the season ends.
Ryan Craggs has only been pike fishing since Christmas yet already has this stunning 37lb 1oz pike to his name!
The 39 year old pipe layer from Durham caught the impressive fish at the famous Chew Valley Lake in Somerset. The fish came 40 minutes after moving to a new area of the lake and was tempted on a smelt positioned 60 yards from the bank at the bottom of a drop off.
He used a 3lb+ test curve E-Sox 12ft Piker Bait Rod with 20lb ESP Syncro XT line, 40lb E-Sox Super Trace Wire and barbless size 6 Extra Strong Trebles.
Drennan’s Ryan Hayden was rewarded this weekend with a lovely brace of perch from the River Great Ouse after spending the day searching with lures.
With the colour dropping out of the river, Ryan decided to give the lures a go in hope of locating a few big perch.
“After a relatively unsuccessful morning with only one small pike to show for my efforts, a move further downstream resulted in a take on the drop. A perch of about a pound had hit my lure within a foot of the far bank less than a second after it had hit the water. With plenty of water already covered, I hoped I had located a shoal of perch held up tight to the far bank behind a large fallen tree, sheltering from the extra flow.”
A dozen or so casts later, Ryan had hooked and landed two better fish, again from the same area confirming his thoughts that they had been sat out of the extra flow.
Ryan used his 8ft 6in E-Sox Dropshot rod coupled with an FD-3000 reel loaded with 8lb braid, 8lb Fluorocarbon leader and a crayfish lure mounted on an 8g jig head.
“When there is extra colour, I prefer to use creature type baits as they give off much more vibrations into the water than a fish shaped lure. The only downside being that they do not cast as well due to their size and less aerodynamic shape. I find myself using a slightly bigger jig head than normal to achieve the same distance and to be able to confidently feel the lure hit the bottom when twitching it back on the retrieve,” added Ryan.
E-Sox consultant Steve Rowley has been concentrating on kayak fishing for pike this season, and his results have been pretty good to date.
His biggest pike from a kayak so far is a fish of 29lb 8oz, which was landed using his 12ft E-Sox Piker Bait rod, 60lb E-Sox Piker Braided Reel Line, 7 Strand Pike Wire, and size 4 E-Sox Semi Barbless Extra Strong Pike Trebles.
“The rod works perfectly when kayak fishing for pike, and are powerful enough to stop those last minute lunges under the boat,” explained Steve.
Simon Ashton landed one of his long-term targets recently with an impressive 27lb 3oz pike from a very tough venue in North-West England.
Simon Ashton pictured with his prized catch, a 27lb 3oz pike.
The bite came just after 4pm in sub-zero temperatures. The Durham angler was fishing at range in 42ft of water on a 15in mackerel, flavoured in salmon oil for extra attraction.
“The fish, which beats my previous best 24lb 10oz by a considerable margin, put up an amazing fight in the deep water. To capture one of the lake’s heavyweights means the world to me after 10 years of trying to bank a fish over 25lb.”
Simon used his trusty 12ft E-Sox Piker Bait rods with reels loaded with 60lb E-Sox Piker Braided Reel Line, a simple free running ring to which he attaches a 5oz lead and a 2ft long trace made up of 40lb E-Sox Super Trace material and size 4 Extra Strong Pike Trebles in semi barbed.
Norfolk-based all-round angler, David Selley landed himself a new personal best pike recently breaking the 20lb barrier with an immaculate fish.
After a biteless morning, David was convinced by his friend to move stretches and try his luck in a mill pool nearby.
“I fished a trout deadbait under a float and had the bite within half an hour of casting out. The fish fought really well, forcing me to back wind at times. She broke my former personal best of 19lb that stood for over eight years, so I was over the moon when the needle of the scales swung past the 20lb mark.”
David used 45lb E-Sox Piker Braided Reel Line and 34lb Super Trace Pike Wire to land the powerful fish.
Kurtis Kauble from Oxford has been enjoying some canal sport using E-Sox Dropshot tackle, as this trio of different species shows.
“I’ve been catching local using your E-Sox Dropshot gear and it’s brought me so much confidence knowing I can pop out for an hour and guarantee myself a few good fish,” he explained. “Last week I had a chub 3lb, a jack pike 4lb, a zander 4lb 6oz and a perch 12oz. Two days later I had a chub 4lb and a zander 5lb 2oz.”
The E-Sox Dropshot series has almost everything you could need for a day’s lure fishing, including rods, line, hooks and, of course, some excellent lures with a proven track record. Learn more about the E-Sox Dropshot range.
Paul Elt shows you how to tackle small rivers for pike with float fished deadbaits in the latest issue of Improve Your Coarse Fishing.
The well respected specialist angler visits his local River Ivel to highlight the great predator sport you could be experiencing this winter. Check out his article in the latest Issue of Improve Your Coarse Fishing, which is on sale now.
Former Drennan Cup winner, Jamie Cartwright reflects on his recent trip to the famous pike water, Chew Valley Lake, near Bristol.
Day one, Wick Green.
It is always incredibly exciting when an opportunity presents itself to fish for the huge pike that lurk in the depths of Chew Valley. Nights are spent dreaming of what could grace our nets, until the night before when sleep is impossible to come by.
I have been lucky enough to fish this fantastic water a number of times in the past seven or eight years, with varying results, some mediocre, but some beyond my wildest dreams. One thing is certain, when your indicator drops off at Chew your heart rate soars and your mind races with thoughts of what could be on the other end of your line.
So, when a last minute opportunity to spend the first two days of bank fishing of the Autumn with Ryan Hayden presented itself, I didn’t have to think twice about accepting. Holidays were booked and plans were talked over again and again for the trip ahead. What baits would we take? Which areas do we target?
Baits were fairly straightforward as we both had a good idea what we wanted to be using. My preference was always going to be a whole ‘bluey’ on one rod, as I had caught most of my biggest Chew pike (including my personal best of 33lb 8oz) on these fantastic, oily, bloody baits. Smelt are also a favourite among Chew regulars and I had a couple of packs of super smelt stashed at the bottom of the freezer that would fit the bill nicely. I also took packs of bass, mackerel and herring. A change of bait can certainly mean a change of fortunes if the pike are in a choosy mood.