THE first frosts have hit, the trees have begun to shed their leaves and the temperatures have started to fall.
I’ve been up north this week enjoying some windy munros and touring around some glorious autumnal scenery.
I’ve driven over classic salmon rivers such as the Spey and the Findhorn but a bit of research had me out chasing Highland pike when I had few hours free for a cast.
A little back and forth up the roads round Aviemore to grab a permit from the watersports centre and I was all set.
Fishing a wild loch with restricted backcasts from the shore in a hooley wasn’t ideal but I’d missed the chance to get the rowboat out safely so the fly rod was left in the boot and I was hunting with lures.
With limited time and information, fishing with lures is a great way to cover water and explore.
The extra casting distance meant that I could stay mobile, aiming to find an area of the loch with deeper water within casting range, using the bare minimum of tackle.
Hopefully, the rocky points and bays become even more productive with a wind pounding into them. Pike are more active and easier to catch with a bit of a wave as wind adds chop to the surface and cuts light penetration.
As anglers we have no control over conditions, so wind can be the bane of our existence.
Fish of the Week
This week’s winner of the Daiwa Fish of the Week is Mick Burns with his new PB Perch, Mick had caught a few fish already on a session at a loch in new Galloway Forest when he was playing around with what was effectively a toy rod. This cracking specimen tool his bait and had his reel screaming testing the little rod to the limits before safely netting. He didn’t get a chance to weigh the fish but it dwarfs his previous best and earns him £150 of Daiwa Tackle.
We curse it and praise it, sometimes within the same day but it’s always worth a go.
Take a small selection of lure colours and patterns along with you and experiment until you find something the pike are showing a preference for.
Sometimes it will be brightly coloured, gaudy lures, while, on other days, duller, more realistic representations of fish will work better. As a rule of thumb, when the water is churned up, carrying colour and visibility is poor, I tend towards brightly coloured lures but when faced with a gale, castability really starts to mean a lot.
Inline lures and metals let me push out further across the breeze but I’d wandered a long stretch in my wellies before I got a sniff.
I chopped and changed as I went trying to get the right bait in front of the fish when a classic redhead jig eventually got a boil, a chase and some feisty jacks on the bank.
In the autumn, the fish will hopefully be chasing lures with gusto until winter bites and they become more lethargic but, especially in Scotland, you need to get out in all weathers to find them.