The Lure Forums banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Has anyone else on here that fishes the Thames around Chertsey/Laleham/Penton Hook area felt that this fishing this year has been really tough?

We had the algae bloom at the beginning of the season that could explain a poor start but in comparison to last year I've felt that the pike fishing has been really bad with not even numbers of jacks to be caught.

I've seen lots of perch of a good size but the lack of pike has been really alarming. There's lots of theories from fish taken by eastern europeans (there's a lot of them fishing the area now) to catfish in the river to lack of rain etc etc..

Last year around this time I was spanking the fish, this year I've blanked on my last three times out. What's going on?!

Has anyone experienced poor fishing elsewhere on the Thames? Maybe its just a localised thing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,789 Posts
As you know I have fished that area extensively for the last 7-8 years (my boat was moored at Penton Hook for a long time) and from time to time you get years like you describe and I wouldn’t necessarily be too alarmed.

I have never done well in dry years where that particular stretch seems to become more like a still water rather than a river. I also find that in such conditions the fish tend to hide under moorings and boats inside the marina, which of course are out-of-bounce for other than the berth holders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Well I don't know about on the Thames, but this season the pike fishing on the Kennet has been dire, however the perch and chub fishing is amazing. Like you this time last year we were having a great season but this year we are struggling to get through to the pike. The other month I read an article in Pike and predators in which the author (Neville Fickling) was saying that due to the cold winter this year a lot of female pike died due to becoming spawn bound, as the weather would not warm up for a while. The author thinks that this could be why in many waters this year the fishing has not been as good? I know it is probably not the case, but it sounds plausible?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,394 Posts
It could be just low oxygen levels are making the fish lethargic. We have had very little rain in this part of the world until the last few weeks, which means low flow. Less oxygen, less flow means the fish are likely not as active or hungry. See what affect this rain has had?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,632 Posts
Joe,
I wouldn't worry about the spawn bound theory, given that Pike do very well across vast areas of northern europe, where the winter chill is both more extreme and less predictable.
I would tend top agree with Vidar/Mike, low river levels,low flow rates, low oxygen levels will cause many species to move/change their benehaviour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I'm not sure if my memory is faulty but I'm pretty sure we had similar conditions last year. Maybe not as much weed and I guess this could be a contributor to oxygen boom bust type scenarios. Its a real shame as I was so looking forward to pikefly this year and had almost taken it for granted that I'd start catching nice fish around now like last year. As it is I was out on Sunday and had a soul destroying blank dredging for eight hours with flies for two small perch. Not a single follow... What surprises me is that there are so many roach, dace and chub from 3-6" in the stretch I'm fishing. Would have thought the pike would be there in big numbers. Guess leave it, hope for rain and try again in a month..

On the plus side there are a LOT of nice perch about. I pulled my fly out of the mouth of one that looked jurassic. And seeing a shoal of 2lb perch fighting each other for your fly in the clear water is fantastic. Might be time to get on with perfecting those finesse plastic skills..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Joe,
I wouldn't worry about the spawn bound theory, given that Pike do very well across vast areas of northern europe, where the winter chill is both more extreme and less predictable.
I would tend top agree with Vidar/Mike, low river levels,low flow rates, low oxygen levels will cause many species to move/change their benehaviour.
I agree too, however like David said last year we had very low water levels and the fishing here was amazing. Also this year on the Kennet, there has been a good amount of water in it and with it being a faster flowing river, oxygen levels shouldn't be a problem, and there is no algae bloom as it is mostly chalk/sand gravel. Anyway it is the problems in fishing that make it so dam addictive!
Sorry to go a bit of topic there David.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Don't worry about it. Are you still seeing fish there though?

What worries me is that I'm not getting follows or nips or anything. It's just dead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Well since the start of the river season I have had 3 takes, however they have all been very half hearted. But what I think is strange is that the chub and perch fishing is brilliant, so I would have thought that adverse conditions would deter most of the species, the increase chub and perch activity could be down to the reduction in the pike activity as they are not in danger? . For example in a swim that is normally stacked with really big fish 20lb + I have caught quiet a few very large perch to 3lb this year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Strange, that's exactly what I've found. Lots of perch action in an area where although I've had them before they haven't been so bold or numerous..

Have you tried fishing at night? Could be that the pike just aren't feeding in daylight. I tried a couple of times at 4am for nothing though and it annoyed me that my effort wasn't rewarded.

Can't fish it again til mid-late september. Maybe it will be different then...

Where on the Kennet do you fish? Any chance of trying for pike on fly with a day ticket?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
I have tried fishing at night as last year we had a lot of success at night (caught the 21lb fish in my avatar at night last year on a lure- what a fight on a light rod in the dark)- anyway we tried this year thinking that may be the ticket and we can't get a thing.

You can fish the NAA (Newbury angling association) stretch of the Kennet that I fish on a day ticket however it would not be suitable for fishing with flys, as there is little or no back cast in all but 1 or 2 swims. However from October onwards we often fish this place:
http://www.riverkennet.co.uk/coarse_fishing.html
It is known for big pike, including a past UK river record, and it is perfect for fishing the fly as it is all open banks (designed for the fly angler) and nice and scenic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
I have experienced the same on the warickshire avon, very few fish about, in fact you are lucky to get a hit. The last three years have seen year on year declines in the number of fish (pike/zander) being caught.
The general course fishing has improved with the roach and chub populations increasing.

I have plugged the avon on a couiple of occasions over the past month and with no joy and very few fish moving. I decided to go general course fishing. I fished the seed (hemp) and was into fish from the start, there was a distinct range of fish, year 1,2 & 3. I never experienced any Pike 'trouble' much to my amazement.

When the owner of the stretch of river turned up, I got chatting about the drop in number of predators (pike and zander). His theory was the eastern european population and deadbaiting lines at night, both Pike and Zander have been found on the lines. He said it was only his theory and had no other answers for the drop in Pike and Zander populations and the signifcant increase in silver fish populations over the past three years.

I suppose we will never know and mother nature will balance the books at some stage.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
When the owner of the stretch of river turned up, I got chatting about the drop in number of predators (pike and zander). His theory was the eastern european population and deadbaiting lines at night, both Pike and Zander have been found on the lines. He said it was only his theory and had no other answers for the drop in Pike and Zander populations and the signifcant increase in silver fish populations over the past three years.

I suppose we will never know and mother nature will balance the books at some stage.......
I don't want to sound to "strongly viewed" but I highly doubt that Eastern Europeans are to blame, as that would have to be a lot of netting etc in order to decrease the predators numbers. Near us on the Kennet we get barely any trouble from Eastern Europeans, and the pike are still proving tricky. I personally think that the fish are still there just not active or they have either moved location, and will take some hunting down to find.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
When the owner of the stretch of river turned up, I got chatting about the drop in number of predators (pike and zander). His theory was the eastern european population and deadbaiting lines at night, both Pike and Zander have been found on the lines. He said it was only his theory and had no other answers for the drop in Pike and Zander populations and the signifcant increase in silver fish populations over the past three years.


That is exactly my concern. There are no controls whatsoever in place that can prevent these activities from going on and we now have a good population of people who don't get paid a lot and don't have the same way of thinking as us about releasing fish/eating coarse fish. Have no idea whether it is happening to this degree but I don't think it would take a lot of fishing effort to severely thin out stocks in these areas with baited night lines. There have been reports of these guys being caught with numbers of dead pike in their posession.

It just seems bizarre for an area to go from having loads of fish to having none in a short space of time with no obvious change in conditions. Interestingly another area I fish slightly downsteam has private access on all banks. Here the fishing is nearly as good as last year. Same river, 4 miles away... hmmm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I have tried fishing at night as last year we had a lot of success at night (caught the 21lb fish in my avatar at night last year on a lure- what a fight on a light rod in the dark)- anyway we tried this year thinking that may be the ticket and we can't get a thing.

You can fish the NAA (Newbury angling association) stretch of the Kennet that I fish on a day ticket however it would not be suitable for fishing with flys, as there is little or no back cast in all but 1 or 2 swims. However from October onwards we often fish this place:
http://www.riverkennet.co.uk/coarse_fishing.html
It is known for big pike, including a past UK river record, and it is perfect for fishing the fly as it is all open banks (designed for the fly angler) and nice and scenic.
I've actually fished that one before for trout, well remembered! Will have to give it a go this winter. There's another place, on the Test I think, called Timsbury. Only ever fished that for Grayling, have you tried for pike there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
I've actually fished that one before for trout, well remembered! Will have to give it a go this winter. There's another place, on the Test I think, called Timsbury. Only ever fished that for Grayling, have you tried for pike there?
No I haven't tried there? I have heard of it thought and look forward to trying it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
It looks nice. The river's bigger and wider and last time I fished there there were fewer guys fishing than at Barton Court which was good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,192 Posts
Vidar & I fished Timsbury last winter. The idea was to go for Grayling but the main river was in full flood so we ended up fishing the carrier streams along side. I'd imagine the Test would hold good Pike as the trout population is strong. Where there's trout....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,789 Posts
I've actually fished that one before for trout, well remembered! Will have to give it a go this winter. There's another place, on the Test I think, called Timsbury. Only ever fished that for Grayling, have you tried for pike there?
I've had pike to 18Ib out of the main river at Timsbury.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top