Catching big pike and perch at Grafham Water

The God of Grafham Water has either forgiven me my previous sins, or possibly heard me declare that I was thinking of boycotting the place, but whichever, a couple of days ago I once more visited the big reservoir, this time with that very successful all-round and match angler, Dave Smart. Two pals of mine were already fishing when we arrived – Andy Lush from the Friendly Fisherman and that well-known ‘Piking Pirate’, Gordy Burton. They said things were slow, Andy only having had two very small zander so far. With this in mind Dave and I made a tour of the place, trying all the likely areas, but without any action – and indeed very few fish on the depth-finder screen.

By lunchtime we were still blank, so we returned to the North Shore where we learned that Andy had just had a personal best perch of 4lbs 1oz – great going. Conditions were perfect – warm, pretty calm and overcast with no necessity to use the drogue as we made a series of slow drifts. There were a few more fish showing on the screen now and it wasn’t long before I’d had two or three small perch and a real baby zander of about 6” in length. At least we hadn’t blanked!


After a short while I hooked what felt like a very decent perch, but unfortunately it dropped off as I was reaching for the net. “Blast!” I thought, but that’s fishing – you can’t win `em all. Shortly after I had a small but nicely conditioned pike of about six pounds, then another take when the light St Croix rod bent into a satisfying hoop.

“If this is a perch it’s a world record!” I exclaimed to Dave, as the fish continued to pull hard and made a series of unstoppable dives back to the bottom. Eventually I caught sight of it and confirmed that it was a very nice pike. Dave had it in the net expertly and we shook hands. I haven’t had a 20lb pike for some two years, in fact since I had the 30 on fly at Chew fishing with my friend John Sinnuck, but this was obviously well over the 20-mark, and indeed the scales showed exactly 23lbs. I was delighted. Soon after this we saw Andy into a large fish, and that turned out to be another nice pike a pound bigger than mine – a great day for both of us!


Unfortunately I had to leave early (or risk the wrath of Sally!) so we made our way back to the dock at around 3.30 having had around 15 fish between us – mostly modest perch, although I managed another very nice one at 3lbs 6oz. We’d had a most enjoyable afternoon and I shall now look forward to more visits there once again!

Watch this space…

Mike Green About Mike Green

Although a bit of a pike fanatic, Mike Green has been fishing in the UK and abroad for most of his life, catching coarse, sea and game fish in the UK, Canada, Alaska, New Zealand, Asia and Americas.