bung, by, canal, caught, esox, fishing, gimp, hertford, nature, On, park, pike, regents, river, victoria, winter, wire
It’s the start of January, work is back on the agenda, rain is lashing sideways on my window, even a kestrel has landed on my window sill to shelter from the driving rain and lost opportunities in search of pike over Christmas play on my mind.
Only now the unemployed, unemployable, retired or just plain fortunate can benefit from a short mid-week session in search of Esox. At weekends with limited time the challenge is to leave the comfort of your own home or the lure of the local for a pint of brown and an open fire. January is a fine month for short sessions in the pub, while others take themselves jogging around the park, detoxing and stretching muscles they thought they never had, the January pub is a quiet place for the guiltless few to be enjoyed before the joggers return in a month or two…dissapointed, as predictable as the returning swifts!
But a far more rewarding day can be had venturing out for pike! Armed with gimp wire, a small bag of basics, a few sprats and some plugs, one can be lost in a darkened grey scene with only the orange or yellow of a bung to focus on. So my next excursion will be on the Regents Canal where my friends narrow boat is moored for the winter months. It’s a spot that holds pike, only a few months ago I watched a young eastern european lad (wearing a jaunty placed grey/silver Trilby) spin for pike and although not connecting with one, managed to lure two away from their lair, only at the last-minute the pike veered off, maybe the pike saw that silvery hat!
So without Trilby I shall be on the Regents and The Hertford Union Canal around Victoria Park in E3 in the month of January and February in search of Esox with the added bonus of a wood burner and hot tea to make the experience a little more comfortable.
For those who don’t make it out this winter for pike may instead want to read ‘On Nature’ the second compilation by the Caught by the River crowd. Part of that crowd is John Andrews who has written (with a lot more skill than I can ever hope to) a piece titled ‘Winter Pike Fishing’, this short, sums up the pike and the pike angler perfectly for me. Other writers include Chris Yates, Dexter Petley, Luke Jennings, Bill Drummond and Charles Rangeley-Wilson.
Just as I write this an email has come in from John Andrews also supporting the January social scene with a gathering at The Stag in Hampstead on the 24th January with the first Caught by the River event of 2012. See you there?
Nick my neighbour about two months back had a 5lb pike at the exact spot you refer to , the join of the Hertford Union canal and Lea.
Me…Im still pikeless, but trying nevertheless
Morning John, the part I was talking about was the Regents to Hertford section but I will be on the Lower Lea, maybe I’ll see you down there soon?
It would be great to meet up , let me know when you are around.
Tom Herbert said:
Enjoy your day out, lure fishing for pike is a lovely way to catch them.
I live in front of victoria park and lure fish for pike in regents canal quite a lot.
It’s been a while since i caught my last decent sized pike.
I’m seeing more and more people fish for them lately. Lots of them having no net and not even a trace, which is quite sad.
I’m not going to speak about these anglers’ nationalities but i’m quite sure not all the pikes are being released.
Would be nice to meet up sometimes, maybe speak about strategies to avoid all of this happening.
The tuesday swim said:
Good to here from other fishers in the Vale of Victoria Park. I have moved a little further up the Lea Navigation to Clapton but I will be casting for Pike around the Lea Bridge area over the next two months. You don’t by any chance fish in the summer wearing a silver trilby hat.
I keep seeing a young chap fishing with the aforementioned head gear who spins for Pike with some skill and success.
No that’s not me. I’m an italian dude, dark hair, wearing mainly camouflage, fishing with a st. croix avid and fixed spool shimano.
I’ve been fishing there (mainly south of victoria park, as i was living in mile end) with good results, but haven’t had much luck in the last few months so i started fishing somewhere else. I was wondering if it’s just me and my mates? have you had any catches in the last, say 4-5 months?
Going to check the Thames on the Shepperton area tomorrow, might go to the canal next weekend or the day after, i’ll keep you posted if you want, can i have your email?
Give me a shout if you’re around and you want some company.
The tuesday swim said:
I’ve not fished that area since last winter, I’m sure there are still there even if the odd one has been removed. I’ll keep an eye out for you, I’m always cycling around the canals.
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org