Small water lure fishing with Andy Ormrod
Sat 08 February 14
As the winter has been relatively mild so far it’s given me the chance to do a bit more small water lure fishing. This for me is something that I love but really don’t do enough of. I guess the reason for this is that I spend most of the year conducting various tutorials which tend to see me taking gear for every possible eventuality and fishing in a static style. In my own fishing I tend to fish larger waters for both carp in the warmer months and pike in the winter. The time of year where I get most opportunity to fish is generally in February and March and during the past few winters these months have seen most small northern waters frozen solid.
The mild end to the winter and, dare I say it, the start of spring this year has really opened my eyes to some hidden gems in my local area. A good friend gave me a tip off about a local section of canal which has been disused and cut off for many years and this has been my main area of focus over the last few weeks. I’ve had a few trips down there for a couple of hours each time and it’s the type of place where previously, I’d expect to catch nothing more than a disguarded traffic cone or possibly a shopping trolley from the local supermarket. This water hasn’t ever appeared on my angling radar but, wrong can you be! I’ve found it to be brilliant fun using light lure kit to try and outwit the resident pike, none of whom would go beyond single figures.
I use a light lure rod which is capable of casting lures up to the 40g mark I’ve paired that with a 6010 baitrunner reel and loaded that with 30lb braid. If you’re not fully versed in lure fishing this type of set up will allow an angler to fish and cast small lures a reasonable distance on larger waters but its also light enough to be used on small waters such as canals where all that is required is an under arm flick to send a small lure close to the far bank or over hanging tree. I carry a small box of my favourite lures and bits of tackle like spare lure traces, a selection of long nosed pliers, wire cutters and forceps for unhooking, a specialist lure anglers net and an unhooking mat. This tackle is important but possibly the most important and positively essential kit is a good pair of polarised sunglasses, I use a pair of Fortis Wraps with a brown tint but there are lots of different makes, styles and colours available, and a cap. I think that when fishing a canal section or similar small water there are so many snags and the water is so shallow that being able to see into the depths is very important.
A big part of my small water lure fishing is about spotting fish, casting past them and then twitching the lure right past their nose, something most small pike can’t resist! The benefit of wearing a cap and specialist glasses make a massive difference in helping spot fish and avoid snags! Another great plus is that anglers, especially children, who are new to lure fishing, have a great level of protection around their eyes if they have glasses and a cap on. As we all know accidents happen and minimising the chances of this can only be a good thing. The use of braid is very important when using lures in my opinion, as it gives a very narrow diameter, which aids casting, and great breaking strain which helps in getting your lure back if it becomes snagged. Just on this note if you are lure fishing and your lure becomes snagged in a tree or on the bottom of the lake or canal take lots of care when attempting to get it back. Lures can and will “ping” back towards where they are pulled from, always try to protect yourself and anyone else close to you on the bank.
My best advice is to get out and give it a try; I use a small selection of lures and small plugs around the 15 or 20g mark. Try to comb the water by making several casts in an arc before moving swims and repeating and keep changing your lure. It usually pays dividends to vary the way you retrieve your lure too, once you’ve found the combination that’s working stick with it. Always work your lure right up to the bank and watch just behind it, sooner or later there will be a toothy mouth opening and trying to engulf it! Try as much as possible to be stealthy, creep around rather than clumping about and throwing bags on the ground and try if possible to stay away from the waters edge as your shadow or silhouette can spook any fish lying close by. Small water lure fishing is great fun, from the first time you see a pike chase and hit your lure you’ll be addicted, go for it!
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