A few weeks back I had a call from a good friend who is also a great angler. He was coming up for a few days piking and did I fancy a day or two on Windermere? In fact we spent four days out there in bitterly cold conditions gazing at stunning winter skies, a couple of other mostly unsuccessful anglers, and to cap it all, we even managed a few fish!! There were a few fish rolling on the surface the first afternoon which was quietly reassurring especially as the water temperature was down to 7 degrees. I had a pick up on a snurged deadbait resulting in a fish of around 9lb, then Matt had a cracking 17lb+ in ace condition. Windermere pike are truly stunning fish, almost trout water fat with coral pink tinges to their fins, very different from the green and gold north Lakes specimens. Next day after a severe frost, we blanked! Tuesday I was out on Derwentwater with Martin Salisbury and Kev- another fun but hard days fishing so I was rather looking forward to getting back onto Windermere to see if the pike had switched back on. Another early start and Matt had a dropped run at the outset then nothing. We motored back to the area of 40 foot water where we had seen the fish showing on the first day and though nothing came for a while we were confident we were in the right area. Mid afternoon as the cold returned I got a steady run and tightened into a good fish. Five minutes later we lifted it into the boat and on the scales it went 21.2. A good result on a hard day and we were both well suited. Next day we went straight to the hotspot determined to sit it out. We lost one first cast then all went quiet. In fact it stayed quiet for most of the day but right at last knockings the float on the far edge of the shelf sat up, paused , then vanished. ‘This feels like a good fish’ I said and for a moment almost started doing ‘Hawg ‘impressions before the fish powered away steadily down the shelf towards deeper water and I got kind of serious for a while.After a couple more determined runs, the pike eventually came to the boat and as we hauled it inboard realised what a cracking fish it was. A load of pictures then into the weigh sling and back. We packed up after that. Well wouldn’t you with a twenty six pound fish in the boat as the light faded. Grinning, we motored down the lake in the cold winter dusk. Four days afloat in hard winter conditions, two anglers some superb skies, one seventeen pounder and two twenties -just rewards for figuring it out and sticking at it. I’m already looking forward to the next session. As for the pictures of the 26lb pike, you will just have to wait for the new year update.
Windermere Pike 21lb2oz December 2007
Sunrise over Windermere