Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Piking in an old school timewarp

Normally associated with Thursdays, but "what the heck, let's live dangerously", here's a Throwback Tuesday photograph. Firstly, I realise that apologies are due for the orange T-shirt, ridiculous sunglasses and gold ear-ring that looks as if it was purloined from Long John Silver, but this is me displaying an unremarkable looking pike (although I'd have loved to have tangled with the much bigger pike responsible for the massive wound on its flank!) caught from a North London lake almost 20 years ago.

Now, you may very well be wondering why I'm bothering to post a picture from a past era in my lure fishing history, and the answer is twofold: firstly, because I've little to report as it's a fortnight since I last fished, and my next planned trip is still a week away (a family break over half term and a nightmare workload having temporarily curtailed my angling exploits) and secondly, because I've been musing during this period of piscatorial inactivity on how little my lure fishing has changed over the last two decades, as my lure collection demonstrates.

20 years ago I was, if not "ahead of the curve" certainly pretty much at the sharp end of where the majority of UK pike anglers were when it came to lure choice. I religiously read (and prodigiously ordered from) the then-magnificent Harris Angling catalogue and had a great collection of hard baits by Heddon, Storm, Halco, Lucky Strike, Shakespear, Luhr-Jensen, Rapala et al, but since then most anglers have moved on, and the market is now dominated by soft-plastics but I tend still to opt for the "old standards" as my first choices. The reason may partly be that for the most part of the last 18 years I've been pursuing species other than pike and perch (a decade spent almost exclusively chasing carp in Devon, followed by a brief flirtation with crucians and quite a bit of general float fishing for "whatever comes along"), before my angling started to move back to being predominantly predator and lure driven.
It's not that I don't own any shads, jigs or grubs (I do), nor that I never use them, but the issue is one of confidence. In theory I know that they'd many times be the most effective choice, but as I've caught far more fish on hardbaits, spinners and spoons I use the latter far more than the soft baits. I guess it's going to rely on self-discipline if I'm to change, and perhaps I'll need to have a few trips when I only take soft baits with me to "force the issue". Among my plans for next year is to get into drop-shotting for perch, so perhaps that will prove to be the catalyst to my gaining confidence with rubbers and soft plastics.
 I guess I'm the victim of my own (incredibly limited and unspectacular) "success." While I never "empty the canal" I also rarely blank, and the fact that I'm regularly catching perhaps introduces an element of risk aversion.
Maybe next week I'll start off on a rubber shad and see what happens ............ but then again, perhaps not. So many options, so little time....

No comments:

Post a Comment