The Pike Pool – Thanks Ade for agreeing to an interview. You have been on our interview “hit list” of very notable interesting pike anglers (VNIPA) who have been around for a good while !. Tell us Pool Siders please how you got into fishing and your pike fishing in particular.
Ade - First of all I am totally Gob Smacked that i have been asked to participate in an interview and hope I can keep up the standard of the Pike Pool. My first time fishing was when I was about ten, I used to go fishing on my local river Stort for roach, perch or any thing that might pull the float under. Nothing ever did but then one day while sitting there I saw this long green monster swim by, so I quickly cast my single maggot at it and sat there waiting for the float to go under guess what? Correct.. nothing !
Now fast forward to 1987 while telling a work mate that story, he laughed at me and suggested i went with him and after showing me the basics, badly i might add, i was now a pike angler?.... Not !. I joined my local water that year and fishing the sluices that opened up onto the lagoons I soon starting to catch pike on deads. Then one day i turned up and there was two youngsters pike fishing and they started to catch one pike one after another. Each time I noticed they both reached into a bucket and were casting little wrigley baits. A lesson learnt. That first season having a proper go at it, in total I had amassed a total of over 200 pike using deads and lives. The ratio of of doubles was one in ten with the biggest ones going 12lb, 15lb and 18lb respectively. I thought I was the dogs bollocks piker!
The Pike Pool – Many of us will first have seen you in Dave Horton’s “Ultimate Pike” book with photos holding a couple of big pike. They are photos that stick in the mind. Dave is obviously a great friend of yours, tell us about Dave and your fishing together. What have been the highlights for you ?
Ade – One day a beat up old car screamed up at the sluice, and out got a skinhead and we started talking pike. From the very start we bonded. I told this skinhead about my catches that season, 200 pike and one in ten doubles. He then told me that my ratio of bigger pike would be improved if I got my backside down to Abberton Reservoir as there I would find a better stamp of fish.
Another important lesson learnt.... as you can not catch what is not there in front of you. After exchanging telephone numbers and the fella leaving me with a bucket full of the biggest roach I had ever seen, he was back in his car and off.
The skin head was Dave Horton.
So happy days, bucket of big lives and plans in my head for Abbo as I was now part of a grapevine of two !
Most of the time Dave likes to fish on his own, but at times will fish with others and I think I have been more fortunate than most over the years when fishing with Dave. One such time was in Nov 95 at Ardleigh reservoir. The plan was to get there at first light, nice and early and sit it out just off the trout pen with the wind on our back and on the "hotspot" drinking tea all day. But no such luck as while loading the boat we could just make out another boat already in the spot. It turned out to be Billy Palmer and Steve Wells, so we decided to go on the troll, to no avail, it was hard work and uncomfortable. We both agreed that we should get back to the pen for the last hour and plot up at the other end of the pen to where Billy and Steve were positioned. After anchoring up and getting the thumbs up from Billy that we was not too close to them we had our baits out and were settled in, time for a cuppa me thinks, no chance. Dave tells me they have up anchored and gone off down the Ressa and we have time to move into the hotspot. It was getting dark quickly now but once there the baits were out in position quickly with one each tight to the pen. With the light fading we could barely make the floats out. Dave gets a take and bends into a fish and at first he thinks he is hooked into the netting under the pen. Then the fish kites away from the pen and he asks me to get the net, that's not quite true, he tells me to get the FERKING net !. I reply telling him not to panic as I wont let him down and have the net in the water and he does the rest. We are soon both looking at a lump in the net ( she was a new pb for Dave at 37lb 4oz ) and he asks me to lift the net up a bit higher in case she jumps out. I lift the net up and over did it a bit and the net handle snapped. I cant stop laughing writing this now, I've got tears coming down my face as Dave was not a happy bunny !! . Driving home he is pissing himself laughing at me and apologises for his pb breaking my net, I said no need to worry Dave as it was your net !
This fish got me back into my piking as this was a time in my life where I was in a really bad place, it was1995. My fishing had totally ground to a stop, a break up in my marriage, a son on heroin and me drinking far to much.
I was turning up at work smelling of alcohol all the time, this ended with Fords giving me a offer I could not refuse. Redundancy of £60k or the sack. I jumped at the money. But then I really hit the self destruct button with a string of new girl friends and lots of hanger-ons. They were all "wrong-uns" and rarely sober to every substance available, I was a heart attack waiting to happen and it did happen a few years later. It was around about this bad time in my life when I had Dave move in with me at my house. We did not see a lot of each other ,with him working his shift pattens and me out down the pub or clubbing !. On one afternoon when we were both in together he suggested we should grab a couple of big baits out the tank and go pikeing. Yes !.... when Dave moves in the whole lot comes as a package, live bait tank in the garden the whole ball game and I could not open a cupboard without a copy of his Ultimate Pike book hitting me on me head !
We both head off down to the Dobbs Weir to have a crack at catching the the big old girl that lived in the Pool at that time. When we arrived he told me to jump in the swim that the fish had been previously caught from.When I reached into the bucket to get a bait out Dave told me to put the biggest chub on as he just wanted me to catch this fish. This fish lived just under a fishing platform that you can stand on, so if she is there on the day you stood a good chance of catching her. I put the chub on a paternoster and the bait was lowered the just off the platform and stuck the a rod on a rest, sea fishing style. The bait was working like a goodun. I sat back and waited and after about ten minutes the float starts dancing about . I walked to the end of the platform to see what might be occurring and I see the chub try to swim to the surface. Then from underneath a huge pike with open mouth and all its teeth showing engulfed this big chub !. Time stopped for a moment and the bait runner screamed. I hit into her just before she reached the snags.After a few scary moments holding on to her as she tried to make the for over hanging trees next to platform we were both looking at my first 30lb and 1oz pike. On reflection we were away from my house for only about an hour. An hour of sanity for me, but a kick start for my own-sanity . Thanks Dave ( crumbs off the table )
The Pike Pool – Who else have you fished with who have influenced your pike fishing
Ade - How long is a piece of string on this one as the list is endless. From Billy Palmer, Steve Wells & ET at Abbo to James Garner (the Doc) fishing the Yare, who always seamed to catch when we all failed. But there are two that stick out for me, Steve Rodwell (Rodders)from the Fens and Lee Corrigan from Ireland. Lee for his knowledge on the big Lochs in Ireland and Rodders for his experience on the Fens and the Broads.When ever i am presented with the opportunity I will always except a days fishing with either of them.
You can probably see a pattern emerging from that first encounter that day on the Sluice with the grapevine of two. I would probably be able to write the "who's who" of pikers now.
The Pike Pool – Who would you like to have a day’s fishing with Ade , someone who you don’t actually know who might just tickle your fancy !
Ade - That one is easy for me. George Higgins from Ireland and Steve Younger. The one that tickles my fancy that has been about for ages and I would like to hear about some of his great catches is Tony Pie Eater from Wigan, but for now will just have to settle with a chat over a beer at the PAC conferences ( cheers guys )
The Pike Pool - OK Ade , we have a mission for you. Fast forward to November 2012 and we want you to catch a 25lb plus pike. Where are you going to catch her and how are you going to go about it ?
Ade - Due to the rising cost of fuel these days i try to keep my piking quite local if possible. I will recount what happened to me last season, which will be taking forward my plans this coming October and November.
While doing social carping with a friend at a fishery not too far from I live, 15mins drive, i started hearing from the carp anglers of 20lb pike and good size doubles being caught. With this knowledge I was eager to give this water a crack come the start of the pike season. The piking on there was good, first trip having a 16lb and 20lb 6oz. This water was on a day ticket at £10 for two rods, I decided to have one trip a week there and on one of these trips I got talking to a old piker from the past, Peter Mann, he used to fish with Billy Palmer on the King George Reservoir (Peter named it the big pond) back in 1969/ early 70s.
Peter showed me some photos of some pike on his camera that he had caught the previous season, one fish stuck out from the rest, she was a 28lber. He told me he would get me a guest ticket to fish this water. I had my day with him and blanked with Peter having a good size eel. Now this place is what I would call a small pit as you can cast a lead and dead bait the length of it. The water is fenced off ,a very pretty place with the lilly pads, and most days in the winter you have it all to your self. Loverly !. I was told that i could get a concessionary permit if I was 65 and only £25.
I wasn't 65 till December 19th so I decided to wait until my birthday to buy the ticket and this is going to be easy I thought. On the 19th December with my pensioners permit in my pocket, I started my campaign to catch this fish, starting with deads and later with lives, After fishing the place hard for eight days all over the Xmas period, dawn to dusk I was now losing the will to live!. But then just on dark on the 27th December i had my first run, I had been putting in smelly chop in the margins for the previous eight days and I knew she would have to make a mistake eventually. She came out on a small dead roach and weighed 28lb 1oz. Now I am thinking she might just go the magic 30 at the back end of the season with a little bit of help by baiting the swim up too. So at every opportunity I started to prebait every time i was near the water. I had her out again at the back end of February weighing 271b10oz so maybe 28lb is her ceiling weight.
I will give it another go this coming season but will start putting in bait all though the summer months to try fatten her up while on my trips over there trying to catch a big eel or the odd big carp, I have renamed this water after Peter Mann calling it The Small Pond . Plus I am still keeping my ear to the ground, for new waters near home and i am hearing about a few good river pike near home too. So who knows ?, might get lucky and Tight Lines to all Pool Siders.
The Pike Pool - Thanks Ade for this very interesting interview. Catch you at the PAC Convention we hope for a beer or two.