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During our Nantes trip Vidar, Andy, Alex and myself got talking about Thames piking and the fact that there wasn't long before the end of the season. Vidar was keen to go, so was I, so a trip on the last Friday of the season on Vidar's boat was arranged.

We met at Penton Hook Marina at 6.30am and no surpirses to find very few people about and not many boats moving. I have never been there before and the place is massive. Absolutely choc full of boats from little dingies through to £1m gin palaces.

As expected Vidar brought a selection of baitcasting kit that any US bass pro would be proud of. I bought a baitcaster and a fixed spool outfit (hmmm, was I undergunned?). We started off having a few casts from the mooring with the intention of catching perch. Vidar had said that they usually catch a few around the moorings, occasionally some good ones. A bit awkward to cast in certain directions but a start. That start came to an end when I caught a boat. Now my little soft plastic rod has a fair bit of low down power but the boat was tied to its mooring so it wasn't an even contest. We unhooked my lure and set off for the proper fishing.

We tootled off down to a big weir, casting at known hotspots on the way down still trying for perch on smaller lures but the river was running far too fast to fish properly. So it was back to the marina entrance. We ended up about 30M from where we started but in the entrance to the marina and quite close to the junction with the main river. I decided to use the baitcasting rod, a Major Craft 7ft rated up to 1.5oz. Vidar chose a lighter swim bait rod.

Water was a bit lively around the weir.......



A picture of concentration



First cast and a minor overrun. I pulled a couple of feet of line of the reel to free it, started winding and fish on!!!! At first I thought I had caught the bottom or something but no this was fighting back. Anyway, the fight was over pretty quickly and the fish returned without any pictures taken. The fish weighed about 4lbs or so and I think Vidar was embarrassed to have it in the boat, nevermind take a picture!!! A good start though, first cast on the new rod too.
After about ten or so minutes Vidar had a good take on a lure that can only be described as a bit 'in your face'!!! About 2oz, and orange, yellow and black. Visibility was surprisingly good so it could proabably be seen from a fair few metres away. The fish took just under the surface and shot off downstream. It was pretty obvious that it was a bit bigger than four pounds....

Big tail pattern....



It gave a good account of itself and it was definitely a bit of a croc! Of course it was no match for Vidar's tackle and it was duely lifted into the boat. At this point the memory card was full on my camera, I had borrowed my girlfriends as it was smaller and didn't check the card before using it. Muppet! So there are more pictures but Vidar has them on his camera. The fish weighed 17.5lbs and was in very good condition.



That was it for the day fish wise. We were limited by the amount of water coming down the river as to where we could fish. We tried lots of different spots but there was just far too much flow and the pike were hiding away in whatever slack water they could find. After roving about we ended up back at the spot where we caught the two earlier but nothing doing.

A great day out, great company but at least we caught fish. Vidar's fish was in fantastic condition and hopefully he can post some pictures of it later and anything else I missed.

It never ceases to amaze me on the Thames, fishing and being surrounded by green parakeets is just weird. Very weird.
 

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hey Mike, nice report and some super pictures. Fancy ctaching a fish first cast!? That fish of Vidar's is a beauty - looking forwarsd to hispics too. Well done!
 

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Hahahahahaha

I've caught that pike before, he's missing a bit of his lip, nicknamed him smiler :)

Superb section of river. There's fish up to 30lb plus, this year they're gonna get it.
 

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Hahahahahaha

I've caught that pike before, he's missing a bit of his lip, nicknamed him smiler :)

Superb section of river. There's fish up to 30lb plus, this year they're gonna get it.
Yes, it is indeed a superb section of the and after having my boat moored there for three years I know this river stretch like the back of my hand.

During one days mad fishing last year (penultimate day of the season too) I had three twenties up to 25.8Ib and additional dozen or so fish up to 15Ib on lures. Over the years I’ve also caught a few dozen perch weighing in at 2.5Ib plus, with the heaviest one closing in on 4Ib, and scores between 2 and 2.5Ib.



Due to the river conditions the fishing this Friday was very, very difficult indeed and nobody was really catching anything of note. The perch was completely off-the-boil and was not playing ball at all. I spoke to three anglers that came by late in the afternoon and they had been up and down the river all day, fly and lure fishing, with almost nothing to show for their effort.

Another photo of the landing



The unhooking



Me feeling very pleased with myself



The best moment of all - the safe release of a great fish that deserves to live to fight another day

 

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Nice fish Vidar, my Son Adam caught his first Pike on Saturday, and he is cuffed to bits !
 

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Yes, it is indeed a superb section of the and after having my boat moored there for three years I know this river stretch like the back of my hand.

During one days mad fishing last year (penultimate day of the season too) I had three twenties up to 25.8Ib. Over the years I’ve also had a few dozen perch weighing in at 2.5Ib plus with the heaviest one closing in on 4Ib, and scores between 2 and 2.5Ib.

Hi Vidar

thanks for that info on the Japan Auctions, I missed out this time as I decided to go with Plat but the auction ended before they got to my email. Actually not such a bad thing as it was a rod I wanted rather than needed. One of those needs that starts off as a small voice in your head but rises to a crescendo where you are no longer in control! Its a sickness...

I've also been fishing that bit of river for actually maybe four years now, have a boat at home that I bring up there most weekends but I don't really fish in Winter, don't like the cold! Was mainly getting smallish fish up to say 12lb until the end of last year where a friend and myself had several twenties and doubles on fly in a mad three week spell in late September and October.

I actually think I've caught that same fish twice, didn't mention it because I felt bad about it. There were a bunch of big ones hanging out at the top of the island and I was getting a big one each trip on the first cast in that spot. Shows the damage bad handling does.. Those fish must take a real hammering from the live and dead bait brigade..

Have also had some good perch around the 2.5lb mark but mainly as bycatch when piking. Also had chub to 5lb plus on swimbaits and one particularly stupid one that ate a pike fly fished dry whilst I was sorting out a bunch up. He came in skiing on the 10 wt!

Roll on June 16th. There's one fish there that they measured while electro-fishing that I have my eyes on. He was a beast.
 

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Hi Vidar

thanks for that info on the Japan Auctions, I missed out this time as I decided to go with Plat but the auction ended before they got to my email. Actually not such a bad thing as it was a rod I wanted rather than needed. One of those needs that starts off as a small voice in your head but rises to a crescendo where you are no longer in control! Its a sickness...

I've also been fishing that bit of river for actually maybe four years now, have a boat at home that I bring up there most weekends but I don't really fish in Winter, don't like the cold! Was mainly getting smallish fish up to say 12lb until the end of last year where a friend and myself had several twenties and doubles on fly in a mad three week spell in late September and October.

I actually think I've caught that same fish twice, didn't mention it because I felt bad about it. There were a bunch of big ones hanging out at the top of the island and I was getting a big one each trip on the first cast in that spot. Shows the damage bad handling does.. Those fish must take a real hammering from the live and dead bait brigade..

Have also had some good perch around the 2.5lb mark but mainly as bycatch when piking. Also had chub to 5lb plus on swimbaits and one particularly stupid one that ate a pike fly fished dry whilst I was sorting out a bunch up. He came in skiing on the 10 wt!

Roll on June 16th. There's one fish there that they measured while electro-fishing that I have my eyes on. He was a beast.
It was a pleasure to be of assistance.

Yes, I do also know the “want” as opposed to the “need” feeling very well indeed. In fact, if I were to follow my needs I would probably not buy another rod or reel in my life, but I know that’s not going to happen.

Yup, unfortunately far to many about that don’t have a clue about proper fish handling. Besides the obvious poaching problem the biggest concern for me are those who are live/dead-baiting, and don’t strike soon enough thus leading to deep hooked fish. Many, if not most of the anglers that I see on the Thames would not have a clue how to deal with a deep hooked fish.
 

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well done guy's, it's great to keep seeing catch reports that aren't always about bass, billiant !.

looking forward for some reports on the salmon and sea trout when they start running.

kev
 

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Nice report Mike. Did I tell you Vidar always catches the biggest fish ha ha. Good sport guys, sorry I missed the boat, so to speak.

Roll on the spawn Vidar, that little overflow pond in the Park is going to get serious hammering in a few weeks time.
 

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Well done guys,
Fish on the first cast with a new rod-that has to be a good omen.
Nice fish Vidar, Nicely done getting a decent Pike on a differcult day.
Got to say guys the photos look great-must get a camera rather than use my mobile all the time.
 
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