Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Edinburgh : Street Piking

On Monday Scott and I found ourselves in the vicinity of the Union Canal due to a job we were doing. With the work over by 11.00 and having had the foresight to bring our tackle, we headed to the canal for a short session. I went with my LRF kit, my 7'9" Graphiteleader Corto Ex rod, Shimano Technium 3000SFC reel spooled with Sunline Super PE 0.6 braid and Scott went with a heavier setup of his 9' Daiwa Powermesh X-Spin rod, Daiwa Exceler X-3000 reel spooled with 20lb Power Pro braid.

When we got to the canal we were surprised to see the water was crystal clear! This is very unusual as the canal is normally a pretty murky place and is constantly stirred up by the barges that travel along it. The clear water and bright sunshine meant we could see all the features we normally fish over such as tangles of mountain bikes, traffic cones, shopping trolleys and the odd lamp post!

We both went with the same lure, a Savage Gear 9.5cm Soft 4Play in Dirty Roach, but with 2 different approaches. Scott rigged his with an AGM 7g #2/0 Ultra Ball jighead and I rigged mine weightless on the Savage Gear "ready to fish " single treble hook rig. We began working our lures along the canal and it was great to see them working in the clear water. The lures are so life like that small roach were following the lure about trying to shoal up with it! It wasn't long before Scott spotted a Jack lazily following his lure across the canal. It stopped following and hung motionless in the middle of the canal, Scott made another cast bringing the lure right past it with a slow twitched retrieve but the pike just turned and looked at it before swimming slowly back to the reeds. Frustrating but exiting to be able to see the pikes reactions to the lure! A few minutes later, while searching the far bank with my lure a jack suddenly fired out from the reeds and seized the lure. He shook his head and instantly spat the lure out then went and sulked in the weeds. I consoled myself with the fact that at least this pike had played ball and continued to fish on.

As we both worked our way down the canal we kept getting follows from pike but they were very lethargic and the bright clear conditions were not helping even though it made it pleasant to fish in! 12 pike follows later and half a mile down the canal a young guy approached me saying he could see a wee jack sitting in a reed bed. He showed me where it was and left me to get on with it. The jack was very small, so I rigged up Berkley gulp 1" minnow on a Ecogear 2.3g #8 Shirasu Fine jighead. I cast over him and brought the lure past him with a twitchy slow retrieve. In a flash he seized it, I set the hook and he tried to dive back into the weed bed but being tiny I just reeled him in! Unfortunately the little pike had other ideas and just as I was about to lift him out launched into a little tail walk and threw the hooks!

Meanwhile Scott had been experimenting with some other lures and had manged to get a couple of jacks to attack but with the same results as me, no hook ups. I decided to stick with the micro lures and see if the small perch we had passed were interested. Scott pointed out yet another tiny jack lurking right in close to the reeds. Needing no encouragement I jigged the little lure in front of his face and he totally nailed it! I quickly lifted him out of the water and held possibly the smallest pike I have ever caught!

This micro pike is my new personal worst!

Oh well at least the blank was off! A few minutes later a wee perch fell for the minnow, my first ever perch from the Union Canal! Brilliant! I have a real soft spot for perch no matter how small.

My first Union Canal perch, perfection in miniature.

Another ten minutes later I had another slightly larger jack on the Gulp! 1" Minnow who gave a spirited little fight on my light gear before he was unhooked, photographed and released.

This jack couldn't resist a Berkley Gulp! 1" Minnow!

As we approached our starting point I changed lures and went back to the soft 4 play to try and tempt the first fish I saw again. I had just cast my lure beneath an over hanging tree on the far bank and given a couple of twitches when an unseen pike shot out at speed and grabbed the lure! This time he was well hooked and tore off heading for the reeds. It was a better fish and put a nice bend in my rod. The reel played its part too, with the smooth drag giving line as he darted for cover. After a couple of runs and some impressive tail walking he was soon landed, photographed and returned.

This pike though small put up a great fight on the LRF gear.

It was a bigger pike about 2.5lb which was enormous fun on my light gear! The pike had torn the Soft 4Play off its mount and it was no where to be seen, so I reached into my back pocket for my little lure box. It wasn't there! I checked my other pockets with that horrible cold realisation that my little treasure trove was no longer in my possession! I quickly ran back along the canal to where I remembered last having it but sadly I couldn't find it. In all likelihood someone had found it and taken it! It was a blow to lose some of my lures and I had a few that I'd owned for years in the box. I doubt whoever found it would appreciate what they had.

Oh well It was still an enjoyable few hours and although someone had made off with some of my lures and Scott had blanked it was still good to experience the clear water action of the canal. It beats working all day that's for sure!

Tight lines, Schogsky.

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