Thursday, 27 October 2011

Pike And Parents

My father took me piking on the Tring reservoir complex as a child, it's something we both enjoyed immensely. It's no surprise then that around this time of year he suggests a trip out after these beautiful predators.
I'd thrown my mother one of my rather random requests recently. You see I've always hankered after the marvellous 'lucky' bobble hat once worn by Jack Hilton...this one.
After some research and some great help from the fellows on 'The Path By The Water' a photo emerged giving us the colours...
Green and White stripes, white bobble..."Mum, can you knit me a Jack Hilton bobble hat please??"
 Bless her, after I had sourced some wool she was straight on the case and here is the fruit of her labour. I am delighted with it.

What better way to try it out then and test its 'luckiness' than a day out with the folks in search of Pike.
The chosen water throws up a challenge, that in view of its Catfish population the use of treble hooks are banned. Wire trace is allowed from October 1st. I therefore made up some single hook rigs with size 2/0 Gold Label Tackle Penetrator hooks. I crimped a loop and ring to the hook for the attachment of bait 'hair rig' style.

This being more a social occasion than a 'specimen hunt' we opted for an easily accessed swim and I soon erected the shelter for the day (you know by now that it always rains when I fish, today was no different) and duly cast a mackerel tail, a smelt, and a roach. The two outer baits to the marginal shelf and the middle rod at range. The parents soon made themselves at home.....

They really seem to embrace the outdoor life. The bailiff seemed quite surprised at the bankside family reunion, but with sandwiches, tea , sausages rolls, more tea, soup etc.. we were warm, dry, fed and happy.
 We were even happier when old Esox took a liking for the margin fished roach...
.This fish appeared to have had a scrape with a Catfish at some stage in it life, a scar on its back (near my hand) suggesting it was grabbed in ones vice like pads.
 About an hour later my Dad landed a jack on a jelly lure.

 This feisty fish was incredibly angry, tail walking and darting around like a definitely had delusions of grandeur.
 Dad seemed to take to fishing with a lure really well..In the past he'd used spoons and hard lures but never the modern shad type..He persisted with the lure rod through driving rain in the hope of another take. It's strange how things turn full circle, I put the kettle on and told him tea was forthcoming,"Just another five minutes" was his reply.
 Soon it was the turn of the mackerel tail to get chomped and another beautiful Pike was landed....Dad got in on the action with this one.

My father remembered the lake as a working sand pit and was amazed at the transformation into a scenic haven for wildlife, Mum loved to watch the green woodpecker, and hungry flocks of goldfinch and long-tailed tits as they swarmed around the willows.
 Soon the mackerel rod was away again and Dad was straight on to it. The fish (photo-held by Mum to follow!!)
was soon subdued and rounded off what to me was a most enjoyable time. Dad and I shared the spoils with two fish each and it can be noted that all three pick-ups on the single-hook rig were landed successfully. I know the folks loved it just as much and I look forward to the next family Pike pursuit.
 I also got to christen that hat and it truly was 'lucky'. Thanks Mum and Dad, I had a fine day.


  1. Hahaha the resemblance is uncany,
    Thats a great day out and a family day at that,
    Your Dad looks right keen,
    What can i say when green must be the "Lucky" colour for you with the new bobble hat and a green woodpecker as well,
    And Pike on the bank just makes it that much more interesting,
    Great write up Gurn as always,
    Say hello to your Mum & Dad for me,
    Kindest regards,

  2. For a group out for a social occasion, you landed some beautiful specimens.

  3. Thanks for your comments fellas...My Dad is responsible for my passion for angling,and my Mum is responsible for my passion for the natural world.What more could a son ask for...bless em.

  4. What an awesome hat!!! Nice pike too!

  5. That's a great post. I know Dads join sons on trips but to have your Mom as well is something else. BTW, nice fish!

  6. Sounds like a lovely day out mate, well done

  7. Mmmmm.....might have to find the ET whippet cap from my teens......or the bushman's hat....what a dilemma....

  8. Brilliant hat! I collect hats like girls collect shoes, can't go fishing without one.

    I'll pay good money for one like yours in sky blue...does your mum take Paypal?

  9. As a Yeovil Town supporter I am years ahead of you in the green and white bobble hat ownership club - though mine never worked much when fishing, or watching my team for that matter :-)

    What a great day, I'm sure it will live long in the memory for all of you.

  10. Love the new lucky pike hat, It's even pike colours...nice!

  11. Was this actually at Tring Reservoir ? Thanks