I have been fishing for over 15 years but never for pike so during the autumn 09 I decided to head down to Barden Lake in Tonbridge which belongs to Tonbridge angling society. I was a member there for two years and was on the waiting list for my night permit which I never received. I knew it held some decent size pike over 30lbs so it seemed the perfect venue. It’s a large gravel pit of around 18 acre and contains some massive carp to.
Out came my carp rods with dead bait traces legered with a float for bite indication. I decided to use dead roach as bait as that would be the predominant natural food for the pike in the pit. I also decided to take my spinning rod and a few lures.
I arrived at the lake at dawn and it looked fantastic as it always does. I was struggling and was unsuccessful for half the day until my spinning rod bent round and I was in. I landed a small male pike of around 3lb (below) but it was on a lure so I was as happy as Larry. That was my first fish on a lure.
The evening drew closer and after walking around the lake twice I settled in a quite bay. Within 10 minutes my float disappeared and I was in but not for long as the fish shook the hooks after a short battle. I returned the bait to the same area hoping the fish might take it again and within five minutes the rod bait runner sounded. After a short easy fight I landed what looked like a large pike estimated 16-18lb but this was not the case. After weighing her twice she went to 12lb but looked much bigger. The head on the fish was of a 20lb fish. I decided that the fish was down in weight and may have been slightly ill as the fight she put up was poor. However I was still a very happy fisherman as this was my personal best pike(below).
I made another trip to Barden in search of pike and had a great session catching three pike from the bay and losing two on dead baits. 13lb (below), 10lb, 9lb again beating my personal best for the species. I intend to do some more sessions on Barden for pike during the winter when the fish have filled out more and are in better condition. I am also interested in the large roach that inhabit the water so I will keep you updated.