Sunday, 30 November 2014

November 2014 - Not quite happening..............

I think the title of this blog sums up SENPAC's November pretty well. November is usually the month when our members sort of get serious about their piking, and just as in previous years this November saw some serious effort being put in on various waters by a significant proportion of our number, but with nothing outstanding by way of results so far. A case in point would be our annual tour of the Lake District, five days of  fishing hard for the six tour regulars with only five low doubles to celebrate along with a few smaller fish which ultimately felt disappointing. We've had 20's on each of the previous two years jaunts. Still the evening socials go a long way towards making-up for the lack of notable fish, thankfully. Stuart Fairclough managed two fish over the 10lb mark whilst Steve Sandiford, Dave Gardner and Bruce Turnbull each found one, although Bruce left it until the final hour of the trip for his fish which no doubt made the drive home a little easier.
and for Dave
A Lakeland double for Stuart

Of the other November fishing, well, our club trip was fished in what should have been ideal conditions weather-wise, light breeze, overcast, possibly slightly too mild, but as predicted in last month's blog the water level in the loch was up over a metre which made for difficult access and snaggy fishing. We were welcomed with a stunning sunrise which our editor felt worthy of the Newsletter's front cover and alarms which sounded from the word go although not all of the offers translated into fish on the bank sadly.
The action, though, didn't last long unfortunately and by lunchtime it had gone very quiet and stayed that way for the rest of the day. After two of our six trips we have a four-way tie at the head of the championship table, Pat Hamilton, Paul Proctor, Dave Gardner and Bruce Turnbull all hoping for better things on the next trip.
Paul Proctor' club trip fish

A few of our members have been fishing some of our more local waters and all have remarked on how weedy they all are. The die-back this year has been particularly slow as water temperatures seem to remain relatively high due to the lack of any frosts to speak of and the popular belief seems to be that it is this lack of winter temperatures which is responsible for the somewhat poor fishing results.........we always have an excuse for not catching I know but when you see reports of frog-spawn in the ponds and snowdrops starting to appear you could perhaps understand why the pike would be confused as to the calendar and delayed their winter feed-up. It can only get better one would hope and speaking of looking forward..............
December and we are heading south for a change for our club trip, to fish the Lincolnshire Drains. This is another of our regular venues which provides a complete contrast to the large lochs that we have so far fished this year and brings a whole new set of challenges for our members to overcome. Like mastering the art of short-distance casting and avoiding chucking your bait on to the opposite bank!! We've all done it. Over the years we have enjoyed catching some nice fish from the drains and this close-quarters fishing brings a new level of excitement to our fishing, that electric first bob of the float under the rod tip is a whole new dimension to what we are more used to.

We don't have a club meeting as such in December as Christmas/New Year usually gets in the way however this year we are have a fishing social on a local water on Tuesday 30th December 2014, the venue having been carefully chosen for its very convenient pub rather than the quality of the fishing I have to say!

From all at SENPAC can we wish you a very happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year and of course tight-lines for 2015.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

October 2014............Off and Running...........Sort-Of !

Well that is the first month of the new Piking season already behind us, where did that go? It was all a bit of a blur for most at SENPAC as far as I can tell and to be honest it didn't really feel like the season had really started. The Regions first club outing was a surreal experience in many ways, particularly the weather. In last month's blog we were expressing the hope for some decent weather for what is a fairly exposed water. What we got was almost tropical in terms of temperatures as was highlighted by our Newsletter Editor on the cover of the November Newsletter. Most of those present felt distinctly over-dressed by the end of the day despite a short monsoon-like interlude about mid-afternoon. That said the conditions were not particularly conducive to catching Pike or anything that swims for that matter. But a few fish did show up with three of our sunburned stalwarts managing to net a modest fish each.
A Slightly Pensive Jim Moody
Particularly pleasing was a first SENPAC Pike for one of the Region's newest members, Jim Moody, on what was his first outing with us. Dave Gardner and Bruce Turnbull were the others with a wet net as far as the Pike were concerned however Pat Hamilton left it late in the day for his excitement when he had the rest of us convinced that he had located one of the bigger fish reputed to be present in this water, only to be surprised, perhaps disappointed, to see an eel of some 4lbs eventually come to the surface. Difficult to be disappointed with a fish of that calibre was the final view of all present I think.
A Slippery Customer........Nice Eel As Well Dave!
And speaking of inadvertent eels! Dave Gardner had a session on one of our local commercials in the hope of intercepting one of the specimen perch that featured in our September blog and thought he had struck lucky when his king prawn bait suddenly came back to life and headed off to the far side of the pond putting a worrying bend into his feeder rod. 3lb-10oz this one and whilst this is a good sized eel Dave was genuinely disappointed that it wasn't the perch that he was seeking, particularly after the head-shaking battle that he had to endure in the murky waters of the fishery had him completely convinced that he was connected to a monster stripey. Hey-ho, next time perhaps. Back to the Pike fishing and other notable fish caught during October were a repeat capture from a  south-west Scotland loch for Dave Greally of a very recognisable fish of 21lb which is fast becoming a part of the Greally family ( see our April 2014 blog) and an immaculate fish of 16lb for Bruce Turnbull from one of the larger Highland lochs whilst on a week long visit. Larger being the operative word as his visit coincided with ten inches of rain which fell in the first three days of his stay making swim selection interesting!

Looking forward to November and a busy month here at SENPAC, with our annual four day jolly-boys outing to the Lake District, our monthly club outing, this time to a hydro-electric loch north of the border which brings the additional variable of water levels to add to the challenge and a visit to the Lake of Menteith for a couple of our number. No doubt there will be a lot to talk about at out November meeting which will take place on Tuesday 25th November 2014 at the Northumbrian Piper.