The theme of pike in October continues although with all of this mild weather I personally don’t consider the pike season has really started for 2013. There’s a pile of seasoned logs awaiting the first cold snap but mother natures seems to be un-hurried this year. I tend to have the date of November 5th as a traditional starting point for me, it is a time when I often go down to Sussex for Bonfire night and grab a few hours for pike before the fireworks begin.
A recent visit to Spitalfields Antique market found me rifling through some old copies of BOP (Boys Own Paper) and the copy below which caught my eye for obvious reasons…pike! BOP really conjures up the past from my childhood although I think the BOP stopped being published by the time I was looking for advice on fishing, camping, astronomy, which first motorbike to buy or improving your slot car performance!
Inside BOP is a picture of a monster pike that would inspire boys to dream of large pike and their potential capture. In reality a capture very rarely happened because these creatures are quite scarce. And secondly, pike tackle in the 1960’s and 70’s was generally fairly crude and an added expense to a young boys fishing armoury, so short cuts were made. If such a pike was hooked it was inevitably never landed. This led way to many boy’s pike stories that ended in lost giants due to snapped lines, un-twisted traces, jamming reels, broken rods, straightened trebles or landing nets that were simply too small.
Boredom would get boys out on their bikes in the middle of winter in search of their dreams sparked by publication such as the BOP, with a collection of botched together pike gear, some hope and a sprinkling of patience.