Tag Archives: Pike

Dizzy’s look back at 2014

A look back on a crazy year of lure and bait fishing from the kayak…

I got to meet a couple of angling celebs… Jeremy Wade…

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and Bob Nudd (One of my fishing heroes)…

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2014 was a great year for catching black bream from the kayak. I managed to catch quite a few fish over 3 lbs, including a new PB of 4lbs 2ozs, and some rays as well.

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Some great trips to Wales to fish the reefs…

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A nice tope – great fun catching them from the kayak…

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I made a conscious decision that in 2014, I would concentrate on freshwater lure fishing from the kayak. My aim was to catch a decent pike, a decent perch, and a zander. The reasons were two-fold. Firstly, I live 2 mins from a river, and spend most of my time on the salt, despite it being over 2.5 hours away. Secondly, there were 3 big lure fishing events occurring in 2014 – all of them freshwater based – all of them in Holland (more of that later).

So opening day of the coarse fishing season, saw me down at my local river kayak fishing. An encouraging start, but I knew there were more rewards to be discovered…

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The Teklon 702 dropshot rod was a fantastic piece of kit – I have to be honest, I didn’t use it much for dropshotting, but its so versatile – one of my favourite rods.

The first of the big competitions was the World Predator Classic 2014 in Hellevoetsluis in Holland. This amazing tournament saw boat, street and kayak fishermen from all over the world compete in a 3 day event. The venue, accomodation and organisation were top drawer. The potential of the venue is vast, with massive perch, pike and zander – sadly, I didn’t manage any of them ! But I learned alot, and I will be back in 2015…

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I managed to make it on to the front cover of Blade kayak fishing magazine. I was chuffed as hell…

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July was the month when I felt like I finally cracked the river.. it had been a long time coming, and lots of hard work, but now it was paying off with massive chub and some nice perch and pike from the kayak. Best of all, I got to enjoy it with 2 great friends – Steve and Charlie…

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I caught some huge chub on small crankbaits. This was light tackle lure fishing at its best…

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Also managed some nice perch on 2.5cm Z-man grubz…

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I love livebaiting from the kayak. I have a livebait well on my Hobie kayak, and its just the ticket…

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Then, something I have wanted to do for a long, long time on the kayak. My time came with a trip to Weymouth. I was on my todd, but the conditions were perfect. As is so often the case, the fishing was slow, and I started to wonder what I was doing wrong. Eventually, things clicked into place, and I managed to land 4 or 5 squid on 4lb line and ultra light rods and reels. Great fun – and the squid jigs from Veals really did the business…

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In September there was another trip to Holland. This time, it was the Hobie European Championships. I decided to go over a week early, and get some fishing practice in.

In an incredible space of about 10 minutes I had 4 perch all over 2.5 lbs, on small hardbaits. This was very technical fishing, and the Hobie Revolution 11 kayak really excelled. The fish were packed into an area no bigger than 3 feet wide, with heavy cover on one side and a moored boat only feet away. Exciting stuff, and it felt great to beat my perch PB 4 times in the space of as many minutes…

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On the last day before we had to leave for the Euros, I managed a really decent zander on a soft plastic lure. It put up a great scrap, and yet again I was as pleased as punch…

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So on to the Hobie Euro finals; I met up with all of my lure fishing friends from Europe. These guys really know their stuff when it comes to lure fishing. I had learned so much this year, and honestly, we are a long way behind in this country.  I decided to concentrate on what I knew best – micro crank baits on ultralight gear, and medium soft plastics, with spinnerbaits and chatterbaits as a backup (you really need to check out chatterbaits). On the practice day, I saw plenty of fish; on the first day of the competition proper, everyone followed each other. I did my own thing. For a while I thought I had done the right thing. I caught some Ide and then a cracking Asp on a micro crank. I was sight fishing for them – a bit like stalking mullet with lures ! …

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With only 30 minutes of the competition left, I hooked into something special, ironically on my ultralight rod and Mitchell Mag Pro Lite 500 reel. Right from the outset I knew this could be the fish of a lifetime. I was pretty sure it was a big pike, and I knew I had a finesse 10 lb wire trace on the end of a tiny 2 inch soft plastic lure. It took me a long time to get the upper hand, and I needed the help and encouragement of Danish competitor Thomas. Without pinching his net, I dont think I would ever have landed that monster. Even my competition measure was not big enough to measure the brute, so the camera boat had to come out and measure it for me. It went 106cms… somewhere between 20 and 30lbs. My previous PB (from a boat was 26lbs) and this creature felt bigger and stronger. All caught on video – one of the most memorable battles I have ever had with any fish; boat, shore or kayak…

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To catch it in a competition, with my mates around me, made it even more special. I was starting to like Holland, and the craic was fantastic; we made so many new friends and learned so much…

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The result in the Euros meant that I had won a place at the 2014 Hobie World Championships – also in Holland. This would be my 3rd Hobie Worlds event – 45 of the worlds best lure fishermen – 13 countries taking part…

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Ironically, my best fish was caught during a spot of street fishing in a 3 foot wide ditch right outside a tackle shop – the funniest thing you have ever witnessed. The locals didn’t really know what was going on, when some crazy Italians, and an Englishman start fishing at the end of their garden…

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… Once a fisherman, always a fisherman !

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At the final presentation we all had to vote for the “Sportsman” award. This is the first time the award has been presented, and somehow, I managed to win it. It took a few moments for it to sink in – I thought it was a wind up. The award gave me entry into the 2015 Hobie World Championships and pays for my accomodation too, so I was pretty chuffed to say the least.

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Also during October was the trip to Ravensthorpe reserviour near Northampton…

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All I could manage were trout on big lures, but one of them was a cracker…

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2014 saw me write for a new magazine title – Neville Fickling’s Pike and Predator magazine. Its a great magazine, and I like the content…

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To round the year off; a spot of flounder fishing in Poole Harbour…

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I was very pleased with second place.

The rest of December was spent gathering goodies for my great Facebook giveaway – that all went off well, and 3 lucky winners will hopefully be using their lures, nets, dry bags and other assorted accessories to good effect in the coming months.

And what of 2015 – well I have a new Hobie Outback kayak to fit out, and I am looking forward to kayak fishing some new exciting venues. I hope to see you all on the water, or in the bar.

All the best for 2015 – keep casting those lures

 

Dizzy.

Going Dutch

I have been lucky enough to go to Holland 3 times this year kayak fishing. The first trip was for the World Predator Classic competition back in June, the second event was the Hobie European Championships in September and the third time was the Hobie World Kayak Fishing Championships in October.

In terms of the fishing, the Hobie Euros were my favourite.

I managed to catch perch…

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My first zander from the kayak, including a decent one…

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Some firsts for me, including an ide, and an asp (very handy to get an “A” and an “I” for my alphabet of fish 🙂

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The suagr coating was the final day of the european championships, when with 20 minutes to go, I hooked into a monster pike on my ultralite outfit. The fish lead me a merry dance around the shallow waters of the Dutch Heringvliet. I was using a Mitchell Mag Pro Lite 500 reel loaded with 8lb nanofil. Its always the way; I was fishing for perch with a tiny paddle tail soft plastic. Eventually, I managed to land the fish on the kayak. It measured 106cms – a new kayak pike PB for me.

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I was chuffed…

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I took all 3 of my trusty Teklon rods 702ML, 702L and the 702 Dropshot special – and had specimen fish on all of them. They are great rods – I have used and abused them for a long time now.

Check out the video to see how the tiny Mitchel Mag Pro Lite 500 reel got put through its paces my a Dutch croc…

This lure fishng lark might just catch on 🙂

Kayak fishing here there and everywhere

I havent actually been on a great number of kayak fishing trips this year. But I have mixed it up a bit, and done quite well. The results I have had in just a hand full of trips show just how effective kayak fishing can be. I never could have experienced that level of fishing from either the boat or the shore….

Now, I know you guys love the salt, but I am a bit of an all-rounder, so excuse me for chatting about the “dark side” (freshwater !). I also love lure fishing, especially small plugs and soft plastics. My first trip combined all of these. I took the kayak to the beautiful Llangorse lake in the Brecons. I set up my stall with very light tackle – 6lb varivas braid and wire traces, and a lightweight LRF type rod. I was also using the Tokushima GraphX reel – a very solid peice of kit indeed. To cut a long story short, I never managed to catch the legend of Llangorse (google it… go on !). I did manage to catch a lot of pike.

I can tell you that they don’t half scrap on that gear. I was using weedless soft plastic lures (the pike love to hide in the weed).

Best part of the trip was the capture of a really nice perch, which fought all of the way to the net. A lovely looking fish…

Anyone who tells you that lure fishing doesn’t work in cold water, is talking absolute rubbish. Give it a try and you will find out for yourself.

Next trip was going to be fly fishing from the kayak (Flyaking) at Wimbleball lake on the edge of Exmoor. Another really scenic location. I was lucky enough to be joined by my friend Alistair – great company and a great fisherman. The weather was hot and still, and the water was clear – not ideal conditions for trout fishing. But the fish were there, and when they started to bite, the action was intense. You could see every movement of the fish in the clear water.

We had the whole lake to ourselves – not another boat or bank fisherman in sight. It was a special day, in so many ways. One of those trips which cheers you up when you are having a bad day at work.

I ended up with my limit. And the Hobie kayak performed absolutely flawlessly – it was a joy to be afloat.

So on to the salt ! I was umming and ahhing as to where to go. Then my good friend James contacted me to tell me that the bream were in early, and there were some good ones being caught. So that made up my mind, and soon I was driving down South to the bream mark.

I was again blessed with fantastic kayak fishing conditions  – light winds, a decent sized tide and bright sunshine. I pedelled the Hobie Revolution 11 kayak out into the middle of the bay, and tied up to a pot bouy. I had been studying the surrounding ground on the fishfinder, and there was a nice mixture of reef, rock, stone and sand – a nice bit of mixed ground.

I was going to try something a bit different. A swimfeeder containing frozen fish oils and other assorted goodies. This was very similar to the SeaScenter…

https://www.veals.co.uk/acatalog/___Seascenter.html

…And I was convinced it was going to work, if, and it was a big “if”, the bream were around.

As it happened, I didn’t have too long to find out…. on my first cast, I managed to hook into a huge bream which sadly straightened the hook of the squid baited shrimpers I was using. The fish flapped on the surface for a split second, and then it was gone.

It mattered not, becuase over the space of the next few hours, I managed to catch lots of bream, including a couple over 3lbs. The biggest was a new personal best for me… a shocking 4lbs 2ozs. All those years I fished fromt he shore in Alderney, I never thought I would beat my personal best in the UK – but that’s kayak fishing.

Any fish over 4lbs is a cracker – I was over the moon.

Then just to make it an even better day, I managed a lovely looking spotted ray.

Three very different trips and different styles of fishing. All great in their own way, and why I love kayak fishing so much.

If you want to see more, watch the video Kayak Fishing for Bream.

 

Circle Hooks for Pike/Bass

Pike not bass

Not a Bass, but a nice lower double river Pike

I went fishing with Mike Ladle back in October. The plan was to fish the evening and early the following morning for bass along some of Mikes favorite Dorset marks. Best laid plans gone astray …. a strong onshore wind the previous evening had washed all the maggot laden weed away, and it it would seem the bass had gone with it. After a ‘dead’ evenings fishing, Mike thought it best to have a crack at the pike in the local river. Always keen to fish for whatever, in the company of someone who really knows his stuff, (see his 18lb+ Pike in our late November blog) an early start resulted in me christening my new ( to me ) Daiwa Luvias 2500. I was using the Varivas Circle hooks that Mike has been extolling the virtues of, for Bass and Pike, and as he predicted, it was neatly hooked in the scissors. Very impressive, I just waited for the fish to move off and then tightened, fish on!
Great scrap on bass gear, she was all over the river and ended up landing her over 100yds downstream. A great bit of fishing with a really nice guy, and like they say, you never stop learning. Dave