Posted by: benhmurray | January 14, 2010

First great day’s fishing of 2010

Yesterday I went pike fishing on the River Cam’s upper Mill Pond with the aim of breaking new 2010 duck, in that I’d not landed a fish (other than the bait) since Boxing Day 2009. I also took my buddy Andy along and gave him the job title of Executive Bait Catcher, a position which he filled admirably.

First cast with the bait rod (size 22 hook, 1.7lb line, small crystal waggler and double pinkie bait) and the Executive Bait Catcher (EBC) swung in a nice-sized roach. So far so good. I sent that straight back out (attached to a size 6 treble, 18lb line and a small float) and within five-minutes something was chewing on that too.

It turned out to be a nice pike of about 5lbs, and that’s how the rest of the day went – bites and runs all over the place, resulting in seven pike successfuly caught and released and several more lost perch and smaller pike.

We used two rods all day, one with 8lb mainline and a small bubble float and the other with a heavier set-up (18lb line) for larger baits and a bullet weight to keep it near the bottom. They seemed to prefer the lighter rig but none of the takes were real screamers, probably because the water is still really cold and they’re not that active at the moment.

Andy, who was also taking some photos for a newspaper feature I’m working on, went to get the coffees in around mid-morning (and to chat up the waitress) but as soon as he disappeared my right-hand rod – fishing a small livebait under the tiny bubble float – went.

A shoal of fry scattered around the float as the pike hit the bait with a huge boil, I struck and it responded with a solid run and a big head-shake. Andy was out of earshot so I played the fish for about five-minutes until it was ready to be landed, whereupon my EBC returned just in time to get some shots of a perfect and vividly-marked River Cam pike of about 10lbs.

A nice double-figure River Cam pike

All in all, a great day’s fishing and Andy caught a couple too, including one of the smallest pike I’ve seen. It was a true micro-pike and took a large livebait – greedy so-and-so.

Andy and his micro-pike

The slight increase in temperature and general thaw seems to have woken the fish up and I’m going out again tomorrow to see if we can catch the micro-pike’s great-grandmother. I’m confident we can catch at least another double with some stealthy tactics (like the small bubble float), some nice baits and a bit of luck.



  1. Nice pics. I’m beginning to really like your blog. Keep ’em coming!

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