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Predator Fishing in England – can I catch a big fish (over 10 or 20 pounds) for once?

Posted by on June 10, 2019

It’s time to go after that hard to catch Pike or Zander during the late Spring, early Summer time frame while fishing in the UK. I figured with the weather conditions warming up, the predator fish should be more active especially Zander as they finally emerge from the cold deep depths of the water and feed near the surface or in the shallows at least. Never mind the “or” in the first sentence I wrote. I want BOTH! And they better be big ones too! I demand big fish this time around since I’ve been working to fish successfully!

After doing that Red Snapper fishing in Madeira, I think I’m ready to go after the big lumps of fish flesh, freshwater-style again! I was actually hoping for a Carp after returning back to the UK since I’ve caught a ton of them in the Czech Republic and tried for them in the Grand Union Canal, but I suppose it was not meant to be. With the wind and weather doing weird things as this was supposed to be summertime, it was back to the basics of fishing: try hard, cast as many times as possible, and hope for the best.

The first day was quite difficult due to the weather doing some weird things being cold and extremely windy. This is not winter nor spring! It should be breezy, sunny, and somewhat warm, but instead, the climate conditions have been quite odd in summer. The constant changes make the fish a little antsy as they don’t like the continuously edits to their environment particularly when it comes to feeding cycles since some of the fish are used to certain cues as to what types of food to feed on: flying insects, bug hatches, underwater hatches, etc.

net a jumper jumping rainbow trout

Sometimes luck is key during a hard day of fishing. This rainbow trout jumped 4 times trying to spit the hook out. Fortunately, I was able to net it.

weather changing fishing

One of the few fish that I caught that day. This 2 pound rainbow trout was probably my best for that day. Weird, hard days of fishing due to the constant changes in the weather.

So instead of catching a lot of fish, I caught quite a bit of empty reel ins on the first day. I did catch a few jumpers especially this one rainbow trout doing the aerial acrobatics, doing 4 airborne jumps trying to do its best Steelhead impression.

fly fishing on boat reservoir fish stocked

Casting in futile… that’s what I thought at times. And then I get a bite! And then it gets away! Damn fish!

Unfortunately, I hooked up a 5-6 pound rainbow trout but that fish eventually came off with a Houdini escape! I was not happy about that especially after getting the hookup via dry fly on a large reservoir. I dwelled and mulled on that fish for quite some time, but, there would always be tomorrow…. and tomorrow was difficult as well, but as you know, if you want something, then you have to force yourself into doing the hard work of casting and re-casting, over and over and over again. Multiple times, striking out many times before I get a good chance to hit a home run. And of course, after working extra hard and some may argue, being extra stupid, there was nothing. Just one bite and it was a small perch that somehow got away.

casting spinning rod hook in the sun and clouds

This day was a huge change from the previous day’s windy, wacky, cloudy weather. This day was less wind, some cloud, and some sun. Fish generally don’t like that kind of changes as it affects their feeding patterns as well.

Of course, after hours of casting and moving and more casting, the self-doubt starts to kick in slowly but surely. It’s like a rationalization fly: should I land on the poop or should I land on people? But in this case, it was: should have I done something else instead of going on this trip to England to fish? As time went on, the self-pity thoughts kicked in but before they could go full blast, I had a great hookup on my fishing rod – I had a fish on! And it was bigger than the usual! Yessssssss!

I was very excited to fight a decent-sized fish and after netting it, I went to full-celebration mode! Yay! All that pain and worry went right out of the window and into the vortex. This 6-7 pound pike saved me from additional mental anguish!

spinning rod for predator fish england UK reservoir waters

After many hours and casts and retrieves, I finally get a good hookup of a bite and land this 7 pound pike! It’s not as big as the previous ones but it’ll do! Especially on a hard day of fishing. This was caught on a crankbait lure with a spinning rod.

fish dentist pike lure crankbait hook deep

My guide, the fish dentist, to the fish’s rescue of pulling the lure out of its throat. You have to be delicate as these fish like to thrash around and make people bleed.

The rest of the day was pretty much a wash, but I did get several more bites, one perch, and one big perch. The biggest of my life, but not the biggest one out there.

perch english european on a boat spinning reel

I can’t imagine how a little perch like that was trying to swallow down that little crankbait.

Despite my efforts for a really, really big fish, it was still a victory thanks to that 7 pound pike’s sacrifice to make it my day and also save the previous day’s big fish failure so I was good to go. That’s fishing – you never know what will happen. Good days and bad days will always be there. The monster fishing days such as my Thresher Shark and Sailfish with days where I just get skunked.