Saturday, January 10, 2009

Better weather for pike fishing at last..?

Is the thaw expected to set in over the next couple of days going to give pike fishing a jump start..?

That's the question we reckon thousands must be asking themselves tonight after a dour week when unseasonally low temperatures have seen waters frozen over from the Fens to the Glens.

Mike Ashcroft sums it up for many on the Cheshire Predator Group's blog.

"Four tentative dropped runs between us told us that the Pike are just not in the mood at the moment," he writes.

"We both agreed as soon as this weather breaks the Pike will really turn on."

Let's hope he's right. This season's not been an easy one for many pike anglers, if the impression you get from the forums and blogs is anything to go by.

Sprats might not be the most in-vogue bait compared to more exotic offerings like blueys and lamprey these days, but the Newcastle Journal reports:

"Pike anglers have suffered badly with the deep freeze seeing many traditional waters frozen over and unfishable.

"However piking is still continuing on the few rivers that hold the species and sprat has been the in bait for Tees fish around the Stockton and Yarm areas."

The web-based weather forecasting service Metcheck has this to say tonight: "Another cold start with some frost is expected across southeast England on Sunday morning, but the milder conditions will be moving in as the southwesterly winds freshen here, although it will probably remain dry throughout the day.

"Further rain at times will affect many northern and western areas, but temperatures could well make double figures for the first time in a long time."

You had to look hard to find anywhere with temperatures predicted to bump double figures. But five degrees is better than minus-five - if only because you don't need to go our dressed like Eskimo Nell and can at least get your baits in the water without them bouncing off the ice.

The BBC is also tipping milder weather - but warning heavy rain could bring a risk of flooding to some areas.

Many tip the first day or two of a thaw as the time to hit stillwaters, especially gravel pits.

Whether it's the slight increase in water temperatures or the oxygen boost from the lid coming off and the wind moving the water, it seems to get pike which have been lying dormant on the feed.

From the current freeze-up, the experts reckon we could find ourselves at the other extreme come the last week of January, when temperatures will be much milder than normal.

A week or two of that could see pike heading for their spawning areas early in some lowland areas.