Every year a group of us here at TFGear take a predator-fishing trip and test some of the prototype TFGear coarse fishing tackle at the same time. This year saw us revisiting Rutland water in Leicestershire for the opening few days of their Pike trials, so cars packed with as many lures, sample fishing rods, waterproof fishing clothing and thermal underwear ready for testing, off we head. Now visiting any of the big trout reservoirs is always a very exciting time and Rutland at over 3,000 acres is no exception because you just never know what it is capable of throwing up. Unfortunately the weather conditions made testing waterproof fishing clothing & thermal underwear out of the question, over 20 degrees, bright sunshine and very little wind meant it was more like the summer we never had!
The first morning dawned bright and clear with a little breeze as we headed off up the south arm to Manton bay an area we had done well on an earlier visit. With the bright conditions this meant the first couple of hours before the sun gets too high are really the best chance of any good pike fishing. Within the first hour we had a few pike following right to the side of the boat before turning away, a common occurrence on many trout waters, then a good strike to the jerk bait and a spirited fight ensues but as it come closer to the boat it turns out to be a good rainbow trout of about 5lb. Then Chris my boat partner hooks and lands a jack pike of 5-6lbs on a soft plastic lure.
With the sun now high follows die off so a quick call to the other TFGear lads Simon & Ceri to see if they are having anything. They are having takes in 35-40ft of water near browns island on soft jigs, with a nice zander lost by the side of the boat and two landed of about 1 ½ lb, so zander are still willing to have a go in the deeper water and we head over to join them. A few hours pass and nothing else to either boat we head off to the north arms tower. Quite a few fish appear on the echo sounder and we start getting takes straight away, now getting takes from zander is one thing but hooking and landing them is another. Both Ceri and Simon take a couple of fish each to 3 1/4lb and with ½ an hour to go I manage to boat a zander of about 1 1/2lb. This ends our first day on Rutland water and most of the pike boats have had a hard but enjoyable day.
The second morning is just as bright and even less wind, so we make a decision to concentrate on the zander unless the conditions change. A quick word with one of the rangers who points us in the area we should try for zander. So rigged up with one of the new prototype TFGear jig fishing rods and a very special new braid we’re testing we head off. The breeze has now pick up a little so we set the drift upwind of the spot selected, drogue(underwater parachute to slow the boats drift) deployed to slow the boats drift and echo sounder showing we’re in 60ft of water and plenty of fish showing on the screen. Straight away we start to get takes on our vertically fished jigs and I’m soon into my first zander of the day landing it I find its hooked on the stinger treble.
A very important addition to the jig the stinger treble is attached to wire and threaded through the jig body coming out near the tail, without this you will seriously reduce your catch rate.
Quite a few more fish landed and lost then my jig is hit by something a bit bigger and the clutch squeals as line is taken, after a good fight a PB zander of about 8lb slide into the net and I’m over the moon.
We end the day with over 25 zander to our boat and Simon and Ceri have also had a cracking day landing fish up to 5lb and a bonus pike on a jig, all this and we get to watch a beautiful Rutland sunset in the bargain.