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Wensum Pike?

Well it has been a while since I last posted, I guess this is more a call for feedback than a post. Over the summer months I managed to catch a few pike on the free parts of the Wensum. I did a bit of research on the internet and found a nice picture of a double taken just over the road from me last winter.

The part of the Wensum that I am talking about is the non tidal “free” part that runs from above New Mills through Wensum Park and then the Meadow and winds its way past the Water Works and on up to Hellesdon Mill.

I have spoken to Anglers that have been fishing here for a lot longer than me and they have all reported that sport has taken a rapid downturn. I know that the tidal sections at Riverside and behind Carrow Road throw up some monsters, and from what I hear it has been reasonably consistent this season.

The question that I am interested in is “what is causing the downturn of sport on the non tidal sections? Is it Otter predation…I have seen them with my own eye’s so I know that they are there, or is it our Eastern European friends taking fish illegally as they are not accustomed to our “sport fishing” ways.

Or could the reason be that the pike have wised up to Lures and Deadbaits or even the presence of wiretraces?

I would be really interested in hearing what you think. Feel free to comment!!

Wensum Jack

Wensum Jack... Big or Small... I love em!!

Just to prove a point here is a nice little Pike that I caught at The Meadow this summer while I was after Perch on the lure…what happened to it after I released it?


Shimano Baitrunner ST 10000RA First Look


For those of you who know me you will be aware that I am starting back into Predator Fishing for the first time in quite a while. spurred on by a lifelong fascination with Pike and a summer capture of a 6lb Jack. I finally decided to invest in some proper Predator Gear, One of the first purchases I made was a bigger baitrunner. I have taken a look at rival products like the offerings from Okuma but in the end I prefered to go with what I know and that is Shimano’s. They have never let me down when I have been fishing for other species so they seemed like the logical purchase.

I think its only fair to say at this point that I am not made of money. I am the proud father of two and although I work for a living I would consider ourselves a “low-income family”. As any father will tell you family comes before Fishing, so I like to try to make purchases on a budget.

Shimano Baitrunner ST 10000RA First Looks

The reel itself cost me £54.99 from Angling Direct in Norwich. I was going to go for the ST 6000RA which they are doing at £39.99 at the moment, but I was told that they had sold all 700 of these units that they had bought in at the reduced price. On reflection I think purchasing the 10000 size model will be better for me in the future. There appears to be no body size difference between the 6000 and 10000 model that I could see.


Shimano ST10000RA

It’s clear when you hold the 10000RA that its a baitrunner, It has all the levers and knobs in the right places…but somehow it is different! It is clear that Shimano has redesigned the body from what I know as a baitrunner (Think Aero 5000GTE / 5000RE) I guess this is just the next step in the products evolution. One weakness that I have always found with Shimano Reels is the Rear Drag. On the Aero GTE’s and RE’s the drag always seemed to just disappear out at each end. If you compare this to Okuma Reels for example you know when you have reached the end of the drag in one direction or the other because the knob can no longer travel. Shimano seemed to have addressed this issue with the 10000RA. In fact the outer casing for the drag mech looks completely different to an older “Aero” baitrunner.

10000RA Drag and Baitrunner Tension Adjustment

One nice surprise was the Line Clip, the line clip on the 10000’s spool is one of the chunky round metal affairs. I prefer these over the plastic ones and they are easier to clip up when you have cold wet fingers!! One thing I should point out is that you DO NOT get a second spool with this model. Separate spools can be ordered but you do not get one included for your money.

10000RA Line Clip

The Baitrunner lever/mech seem faultlessly snappy and the bail arm seems perfect to me. I guess only time will tell. I am really looking forward to taking this little monster out after some Pike. If I do discover any faults I will of course post these here.

Big Brother and Little Brother, Left: 10000RA Right: 5000RE


Picnics and Pike!!

Well I am back!! I can’t really decide what category I should put this post under…so I will just keep writing and see where I end up. Yesterday (Sunday) was the usual kind of Sunday for the Lock family. Jake had decided to come over and as per usual (despite all our hard work) we where skint, broke etc.

I asked Tania if she fancied going to the Meadow for an ad hoc picnic. We could take Jake and Jenson and give Tai a good run around too. I would take a Lure Fishing Rod and a couple of lures and try my chances on the River Wensum that runs next to the meadow. Tania agreed and we decided that we would make a move as soon as Jake arrived. Tania prepared a small feast and when Jake arrived we set of. The Meadow is just across the road from us, we are just on the outskirts of Norwich and to be honest we are spoilt having the Meadow and the wonderful River Wensum so near to us. To top all this off we have Wensum Park just up the road too!

We arrived and I set about fishing. I chose a small Toby Lure and began working some likely looking swims. After a while I went back to my family and fished a little closer to where they were sitting. It was great listening to Jake and his Mum just talking about all sorts of random stuff. Jake was playing with Jenson and even Tai was getting he’s mangy tennis ball thrown for him every now and again.

I have bored Tania silly with telling her how much I adore the Pike as a species. Tania has seen the pictures in the mags and even saw one of my heroes (John Wilson) catch a Pike from one of the broads that she knows on TV. I really wanted to show her and the rest of the family what a stunning fish the Pike is.  On Saturday I managed to hook a nice Jack Pike while I was bait fishing for Chub…this reminded me that my favourite type of Angling was Pike Fishing and no matter what happens or where I move we always seem to cross paths.

Tania and Jake had decided to pop over to the shops to stock up on crisps and other (cheap) bits and bobs. I spent the time in the company of my youngest son Jenson having farting competitions…I know this sounds really rude but what I mean by farting was blowing raspberries with our mouths. Jenson seems to have adopted this as a primary form of communication at the moment!!

Jake and Tania returned and I was making noises about moving down river towards a bridge to “have a chuck” there. Tania and Jake didn’t really seem up for it, so I decided that I would give it a go another day. I decided to give a swim near to where we were another go. I think it was about the second or third cast that I hit gold. I was working a favourite lure of mine upstream along by some reeds on the near back when she hit. I saw the Pike hit the bait in the gin clear water…she then proceeded to head straight for the streamer weeds…when she got there she buried her self in them. “I’m in babes” I half shouted back to the family. Tania, Jake and Jenson rushed over to see me seemingly attached to the river bed. Past experience has tought me just to keep the pressure up and eventually she will move…I felt her nod her head a couple of times in anger…one quick heave and I was fighting her in open water…it seemed like only a few seconds and I was wading down a small crevice so that I could land her.

What a great day, I got to spend time with my family and introduced them to a constant in my life since I was a teenager…good old Esox.

Incase you are wondering Tania does not find Pike “beautifull” even after meeting (and touching) one!! I will have to work on this 🙂

Wensum Jack

Wensum Jack... Big or Small... I love em!!


Pre Season snoop on the Wensum

Well June 16th will be here before we know it and with that in mind I have been sorting out my gear and taking Jenson (our 5 month old boy) for some long walks up and down the River Wensum in Norwich. The river as far as I know is free fishing throughout the city (for holders of a current national rod licence). The “free” section starts at Hellesdon Mill Pool and includes the section that runs past Drayton Road and Wensum Park, after Wensum Park the river winds its way down to New Mills Yard where it becomes Tidal (as it is throughout the inner city).

Hellesdon Mill Pool

Hellesdon Mill Pool

I have heard stories of good-sized barbel being caught from New Mills yard and this article in the EDP would seem to confirm this. So what have I seen on my journeys, the answer would be… not a lot. I have seen a good-sized Jack Pike down at New Mills and plenty of smaller fish (most likely small dace and chublets) but to be honest I haven’t been looking for the fish I have just been looking for swims that look like they have a feature that I could fish to.

New Mills Yard

New Mills Yard

I used to fish a very similar “urban” river when I was a youngster in south london, the River was called the Wandle. I spent many a school summer holiday with my mates chasing the local inhabitants of that river (at the time it was mainly Rainbow and Brown Trout). I learned my watercraft skills on that river, it would seem that somewhere  in between I kinda lost track of those skills. Most of my time has been spent building (and knocking down) careers for myself and when I have fished it has been on faceless lakes and huge rivers like the Thames.

Coslany Street Bridge

Looking Towards New Mills from Coslany Street Bridge

So with this in mind I decided that it would be nice to spend this up and coming season getting to know and who knows even plundering some of the “free” Wensum’s secrets. I will be sure to let you know how I get on.

If you would like further information on the course and history of the River Wensum then you could do far worse than check out the entry in Wikipedia