My season no longer starts on October 1st, it seems to run through most of the year. However many clubs sensibly have restrictions as to when you pike fish and September or October is the start of my season on many of the waters I fish.

My pike fishing methods comprises lure fishing, deadbaiting and the use of livebaits from time to time. Deadbaiting takes up about 50% of my effort the rest being devoted to lures and livebaits.

I have a list of waters that I have tickets for and I would love to fish them all, but circumstances frequently get in the way. However I feel I need to have a choice of venues. The criteria I search for are simple. My first requirement is that there’s the chance of a 30lb pike. With this in mind I have a  ticket for Wykeham Lakes the home of some very big pike. There’s a day ticket water I know that has produced a 30lb pike locally.  A canal thirty is also a possibility. I’ve a season ticket for a trout water over the border. The fishing is mainly lure fishing and its snaggy as hell. I’ve lost two lures the last trip! That water has produced thirty pounders, my best though is 24. The Trent is near to my house and I had two different 24s last season both from the bank. I do take my boat out on the river from time to time and I’ve been exploring the very tidal water just above Gainsborough. There are zander down there, but catching them has proved difficult.

I will of course fish Chew Valley Lake. I’ve 8 days on there and though I’ve had 3 thirties from there in the past, I’ve struggled the last two seasons.  I did apply for a ticket to fish Blagdon the potential record pike water but I failed to come up in the draw.

Christmas sees me go to Ireland fishing new waters and I do not expect quick results, it takes quite a bit of time to figure waters out  that are 20,000 acres or more.

My tackle is a bit disorganised at the moment and this week hopefully I will get it sorted. I keep a selection of rods made up for all sorts of methods. I have 6 of the Daiwa boat rods, two rigged for float legering, four for straight legering on the Trent.  I have four 12 foot 3lb test rods for live and deadbait work from the bank. Three lure rods one for casting the other two mainly for trolling

Loaded with the Acu-depth braid. This is marked off in 10 metre sections each a different colour. This makes trolling a lot easier. All bait rods are loaded with 50 or 65lb J braid. Because braid lasts so long I’ve a bit of the earlier  Tournament braid on a couple of rods. I find this useful on the river for zander fishing because it is very fine for its breaking strain.

I try and keep my lures organised so I take the right lures to the right water. The introduction of the Prorex range has seen me even more heavily loaded down. Because I work for Daiwa I of course try and use Daiwa lures. Where Daiwa has nothing appropriate for my needs I obviously use other lures. The Prorex range has done well so far, a 21, 23 and 3 different 19s plus a lot of smaller fish. Amusingly the other day I managed to lose two Prorex lures on snags and then caught a Fox  Replicant! Figure that one out!

My biggest single problem is inadequate preparation.  I do try to get organised, organisation makes you fish more efficiently. A half day spent organising is worth 4 hours on the bank wasted from not being organised!  However when there’s a whole lot of fishing that needs to be done the system frequently collapses!

Finally new waters turn up and I try to be flexible and switch venues. My work and fishing takes me over 25,000 miles a year and no I don’t enjoy driving. Sometimes though you have to make an effort to get what you want!