Sunday, April 07, 2019

Lure fishing for Pike; Lidingö; 6th April 2019

Above and below; A stunning pre spawn Pike in immaculate condition was very, ery welcome on the first session of the year afloat after Pike. The fish weighed 5.9kg (13lb. 2oz.). She took a small yellow Lunker City jig, with a 7g head, intended for Perch on the light rod combo, making for a hooped over, juddering fight on light gear. Whilst not a monster, a very good fish all the same and it certainly made my day after a long Swedish winter.

A day afloat was arrangd with Eddie Bowler on the boat from Lidingö during the week and I had looked forward to it all week after a long Swedish winter. With the boat in the water and the area now ice free we were finally able to get out fishing. We set off at 11am and headed out to a favoured spot on the archipelago, where we began to fish for both Pike and Perch, alternating between lighter and heavier outfits. In the first hour we had several large Bream on the Perch jigs. The side scan on the fishfinder showed they were here in their thousands, big slabs resting along the reedbeds over a large area of water. I had another hit and initially though the culprit another Bream, though after a short while I began to wonder. The fish seemd quite heavy and was swimming around on the bottom, whilst the rod gave slow, deep pulls. After a short while a tail broke the surface and the penny began to drop, despite the brief glimpse, I was now starting to wonder of this could be a decent Pike. I informed Ed to grab the net, who in turn was naturally convinced I was putting him on after all the Bream we had been having. I assured him I was not joking, he assured me I was. Then the fish came to the top, a few expletives echoed through the pines forests briefly, before Ed duly netted the fish. It was a stunning pre spawn Pike, in fantastic condition and it really did brighten our day.
 We soldiered on for the rest of the day, though it proved really tough. The water is only 4-7 degrees at the minute, depending on the location and this seems to affect fishing greatly. Location is the key and we struggled to find any fish. Depite this we really enjoyed the day and it was great to be back out afloat after predators once more. Lots more fishing to look forward to in the coming weeks, with lots of Pike fishing planned over the early spring period theis year. A great start and hopefully much more to come in 2019...

First Pike of 2019; Sickla Alle

 So this was the first Pike of 2019, caught on a short afterwork lure session close to Stockholm City.

The third fish of the session was the smallest, all three took within a 15 minute period

The first session on the Spring was looming over the weekend, the ice having finally melted as Spring finally began to take hold here in Stockholm. The afternoon on Thursday 4th April was particularily nice and I decided to do a short afterwork lure session, quickly grabbing a rod and a handful of lures and getting out onto the bank. On arrival, the water was found to be fairly murky, so I opted for a white bodied CWC PigShad Jnr. I wandered about on the far bank for a while without any action, before settling on a bouple of spots I had caught fish in the past for the moonset trigger time and it paid off. I had three small Pike in rapid succession in a 15 minute period, before things went quiet again and I headed off. Smash and grab fishing at it's best and a reminder how successful short seesions can be, often putting fish on the bank. A great start to the 2019 season...

Monday, March 25, 2019

Handmade Pike lures with holographic fiol

 Small tailbait for shallow water, with silver holographic foil and motoroil McMio tail. Owner trebles.

 Small shallow running jerkbait, with red holographic foil over natural wood finish.

 Large slow sinking Jerkbait, red holographic foil, handpainted. Finished with Owner treble hooks.

 Large Tailbait for shallow water, made with silver holographic foil. Screw on McMy Tail and Owner treble hooks.

Medium slow singing tailbait made with brown holographic foil, handpainted and finished with a motoroil tail and Owner treble hooks.

The latest batch of lures will be the last for this winter. Looking forward to testing these out soon and hopefully catching a few toothy critters on them. Watch this space...

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Pike fishing in 2018

My first pike of the year was at Kyrkviken in Stockholm, a small fish, but most welcome. The day itself was frustrating as we saw many fish, though they were preoccupied with spawning and were not interested in our lures for the most part.

A highlight of the year was the now annual trip to Dalälven, a superb location to fish for Pike and other species. We spent three days on the water and had a great time lure fishing, catching good numbers of Pike as well. The area is one of stunning beauty and it is a wonderful experience to spend time in such a location.

July was a month of searing hot weather and I spent a few weeks up north in Vasterbotten at that time. Fishing at the location of out summer cottage, I enjoyed fantastic sport with Pike on most evenings, with the fish hitting lures freely on most evenings. The fish in the area are not huge in summer, though they are present in good numbers and the sport is hectic at times. A few evenings were recorded with the GoPro cameras, with all four clips above assembled from footage shot during the visit.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

New Handmade Lures for Pike in 2019

 Tailbait, Mc Mio Tail and 1/0 Owner treble hooks fitted to handcarved oak body.

 Sinking Jerkbait; fitted with Owner 3/0 treble hooks

Above and Below; Large glidebait; fitted with Owner 3/0 treble hooks

 Tailbait; fitted with Mc Mio tail and Owner 3/0 treble hooks

 Glidebait; fitted with Owner 3/0 treble hooks

Tailbait; fitted with Mc Mio tail Owner 3/0 treble hooks

 Tailbait; fitted with Mc Mio tail Owner 3/0 treble hooks

 Glidebait; fitted with Owner 3/0 treble hooks

Images here of the result of this winter efforts at lurebuilding. I learnt a lot from my first batch last year and this year I was able to produce a much better results using this knowledge and a few new power tools, notalbly a jigsaw and an electric disc sander. All of these are handcarved for oak, carefully weighted with tungsten. They were painted by hand using acrylic colour and copper glitter. The tailbaits were all finished off with McMio tails by Claes Svartzonker, whilst the hooks are all Owner trebles, which I have found to be strong and very reliable. Looking forward to testing these out when the ice breaks up here in Stockholm, hopefully they will give me plenty of Pike. Having caught quite a few Pike on last years home made lures, I can say it really enhances the fishing experience to catch fish on a lure tht you have fashioned yourself. Hopefully these will bear the marks of Pike dentures before too long.

Monday, April 23, 2018

First day on the Water; 2018

Finally, after a cold, late winter the ice has finally cleared and the fishing season has begun. Eddie Bowler, Andy Shaw and myself got out over the weekend and spent the morning at a site out on the Stockholm Archipelago. A strong northwesterly wind made life very difficult however and we struggled as the steady breeze repeatedly pushed the boat out of position, making lure fishing very difficult. With just a single Perch of around a pound coming to my rod, we  were soon forced to rethink our plans for the day..
 Finally we decided to head for more sheltered water and eventually we located the Pike in the shallow waters at the top of a favoured area. The water tempature has rapidly risen to 10 degrees as this meant the Pike were preoccupied with spawning. We saw many fish splashing and rolling in the reedbed, with a few bigger females evident. As is often the case with preoccupied, spawning fish, we struggled to tempt many bites. Despite the obvious presence of a lot of fish, it seemed they had only one thing on their minds on the day. We all managed a few bites, though these were rather halfhearted and the only fish of the entire day was a single jack pike to my rod on a red/white Pigshad Jnr. Despite the tough conditions, it was great to be out on the water again and we now look forward to the 2018 fishing season and especially the post spawn fishing for Pike. Watch this space...

A short video here of the only fish of the day, the first Pike of 2018.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Big Tailbaits; Making Lures for Pike in 2018

 The first step, cutting out blocks and drawing out the shapes for the lures, these were then cut with a jigsaw, the block held in a vice on a workbench...

 Next stage was whitling down the edge with a pocket knife...

 Sanding was quite time consuming until I began to use a long strip of grip tape, effectively sandpaper on a vinyl belt. The wood was held in a vice during early sanding, before it was fine tuned in the palm of the hand...

 Wire eyes were twisted together using a power drill and a nail driven into a block of wood in the vice. A layer of epoxy resin followed this and then it was dried out...

 Next the careful proceess of working out how much lead to use inside the body. This depends on how fast you want the lure to sink. Generally I use shallow running lures, so this process can be quite fiddly, though eventually I worked it out, drilled into the bait and set the lead bars inside the wood. This was then filled over with wood filler and sanded down after it dried out...

Handpainted, rather garish lure for spring fishing in murky water, a slow sinker...

 Another batch drying. These all came after the lure above, which I learned a lot from. I used copper glitter in all these baits to varying degrees. Also, proper plastic 3D eyes with fitted, superglued and then given three coats of epoxy resin...

 Lure 1. A large tailbait with a slow zink. Hi visibility bait for murky water...

 Lure 2. Another large tail bait, a very slow sinker, for use in shallow water,,,

 Lure 3. A simple glidebait, shallow running, with a little sparkle due to use of copper glitter over the paint..

Lure 4. Yellow was a very good colour for me in 2017. This was handpainted with a little copper glitter sprinkled over the paint job. This lure can be fished as a tailbait, or if removed, as a simple glidebait. 

With winter stretching out rather late into the spring months, my thoughts have turned to fishing. It has been frustrating waiting for this cold period to pass over and the waters around Stockholm remain frozen solid, so I decided to involve myself in a little project while waiting for spring to arrive. Building Pike lures is something that I have wanted to try for a few years, though never had the space to try it. Having changed jobs and suddenly having access to a full range of woodworking tools it was time to try my hand at a few baits.
 In 2017 I made a bait from Balsa wood which didnt work so well due to a few errors I made. There is no such thing as time wasted in this regard though, as I had learnt a great deal making this single lure and I knew exactly what was required this time around. Access to the tools meant I could work with precision, the sanding went really well this time round and the crucial adding in weight in a balanced fashion was now possible. No access to an airbrush was no great handicap and to be honest, I was quite happy with the first bait. After that I went back and didi three more baits at the same time and once again, the knowledge I had picked up by making the first large tailbait stood to me and I felt these were, if nothing else, given a more professional paint job. Having made these baits, I can't wait to get out on the water and try to catch a fish on them. Will they work? If they do, I will be absolutely stoked! Watch this space...

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

In search of Perch; Waxholm; 30th September 2017

Late autumn is a classic time to fish for large Perch, one of my favourite species. It was decided to fish at Vaxholm, as the area had produced in the past. We began from the shore at an old favourite spot, legering redworms on the bottom. After a few hours later and we had only small fish and it was apparent that the large Perch were not in the area. As a result, we were more than happy to board when Eddie Bowler arrived to pick us up in the boat to try fishing other areas with the jig rods. We made a few stops before moving to a favoured area for big Perch and all four of us casted towards the margins in the hope of a big specimen..
 The first strike proved not to be a Perch at all, but a small Pike for Ed. This began a rather remarkable five minutes for Ed, who had only just released his Pike when his yellow jig was hit again, this time the jagging motion was his rod tip suggested he was into a good Perch. We all peered over the side of the boat and sure enough, as the fish came to the top, the tell tale green tiger stripes of a really good Perch flashed in the water and we duly netted the fish. As Perch go, this was a stunner, easily a two pounder. We took a little video for posterity and quickly released it and fished on. Not for long. On his next cast, Eddie literally struck again, this time into a slightly longer, lean Pike. This fish fought harder on light gear before it was boated, unhooked and released.
After that, we fished on, having the odd contact, though the bites were tentative in the main. I missed a good bite however, as did Rafa, whilst Andy concentrated on bigger lures in the hope of a good Pike. Repeatedly casting to the edge of the reeds we were enjoying the fishing on a really nice evening, when I had a strike and my rod arched into a good fish. It felt like a good Perch straight away. I broke the surface before long and the sight of it left me in no doubt it was a personal best. It's always the same when you have a big fish on, it's nerve wracking stuff the fish is in the net and this was no exception. It was a brief tussle, thankfully, and soon Ed slid the net under the fish and I got a clear look at it. .It weighed in at 1.36kilo(3lb. on the nose) It was a new personal best and a stunning fish that everyone in the boat enjoyed seeing. It was duly released and we fished on...

 1.36 kilo, finally a 3lb. fish and a new personal best. I've been waiting a long time for this fish...

The light was fading rapidly at this point and we decided to head back towards the dock and fish a little on the way. We had a fun journey back as the sun dropped and we sped through the achipelago. We tried a few late cast without success, before packing daown and getting ourselves home after a wonderful day out. Special thanks to Eddie Bowler once again for a memorable day...