Reading old fishing books

steve2

Well-known member
I have been reading some of my old fishing books and none of them mention a pike close season in fact most fish all year round for pike. Does anyone know where the October 1st start date came from.

Also in some they even use gaffs to land their carp because the nets were too small. They would now be hung drawn and quartered.
It also seems that every fish no matter what was taken home with recipes for most fish.
The other thing you find out is that most of our methods are far from being new just rediscovered.
 

barbelboi

Well-known member
Also in some they even use gaffs to land their carp because the nets were too small. They would now be hung drawn and quartered.
Bob Richard's record fish from Redmire was gaffed/killed and, upon the recommendation of BB, was advised to let **** Walker 'stuff' the fish for him. Walker weeded the info from him as to where it was caught and the short story is now well known..................
 

sylvanillo

Well-known member
We might have been grown in different parts of the world, but I find the same in French books. When I was a teenager in the 80s, a few books written in the 60s had become famous - from Henri Limousin or Michel Duborgel
Old techniques, good techniques.
These guys started to fish when zander was found everywhere, and when at the same time pike density was so high. They describe the use of gaffes, how they threw a fish behind because a next zander will be caught immediately etc.Different times. But the techniques remain the same and I especially love the art of wobbling deadbait, compared to all those fashion lures and rigs that have been introduced in Europe in the last 30 years!
 

markg

Well-known member
I have often wondered where the idea of a Pike closed season comes from, is it a law? I have caught Pike in the summer and can't say I have noticed anything different about them.
I like the old books, I find the authors were a bit more poetic in the way they write and they were better anglers then modern ones; I learn more from those old books than modern ones about how to fish; a bit less tackle orientated with more detail on baits (they didn't buy so many ready made ones in a tin) and reading the water etc. And oddly perhaps I find those good old wonky pen and ink diagrams better understood. They often have a few old forgotten about tips in them as well.
Most of my modern books are all basically the same, high resolution images with monotonous details. All my old books are very individual works where the authors have taken the time to pass on their experience. Maybe not always but often I think like this when I compare them.
 
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David Rogers 3

Well-known member
Fred Wagstaffe used to write a lot about summer pike on lures back in the 60s. I think the idea of a (voluntary) close season for them was introduced on some waters once their high requirement for oxygen was better understood. Probably not really necessary so long as they're landed as quickly as possible and rested before being returned, as is now standard practice with barbel.
 

sam vimes

Well-known member
I have been reading some of my old fishing books and none of them mention a pike close season in fact most fish all year round for pike. Does anyone know where the October 1st start date came from.
There is not, and never has been, an actual law or byelaw with respect to a pike closed season. They are wrapped up in the standard coarse fish closed season, even if it doesn't actually cover their spawning period. Any suggestion that a pike season might be law is a myth.

The 1st of October thing is born of a combination of tradition and the PAC. The tradition aspect from the way that few were single species anglers. Even the big fish chasers were not generally exclusive single species anglers. Folks fished for specific species seasonally. Most people chose to fish for pike in winter.

The PAC side of it comes from their own club ethics/guidelines. They deem it to be inadvisable to fish for pike in the warmer months.

Some clubs, syndicates and fisheries apply the 1st Oct thing as one of their rules, but that's often down to the influence of the PAC or its members.
 

sylvanillo

Well-known member
The weird thing with pike close season is that while the same species lives in European waters (ups sorry, in Occidental waters now) the off season varies a lot.
In UK bylaws, we can target big females right until mid March (!).
In France, the default national law says we can't fish predators during spawning period, from late January to mid April.
In Belgium, we can't fish predators from 1 Jan to 30 Jun.

So, when I travel from oxfordshire to brussels I can stop by the GU canal to catch a pike, perhaps I can't do the Thames in London, there's 50% chance I can't do the Meuse on the belgian bank but perhaps the same day I can fish the french bank :confused:
 

steve2

Well-known member
Always struck me that the pike open season is their spawning season and why are the PAC are happy to catch spawn filled females. May be if their are any PAC members on here they could answer that question.
Can't imagine carp fishermen fishing during the carp spawning season. But there again we all fish spawning seasons now there is no close season, that is apart from for pike on many waters.
 

sam vimes

Well-known member
Always struck me that the pike open season is their spawning season and why are the PAC are happy to catch spawn filled females. May be if their are any PAC members on here they could answer that question.
Can't imagine carp fishermen fishing during the carp spawning season. But there again we all fish spawning seasons now there is no close season, that is apart from for pike on many waters.
Pike and, post the abolition of the closed season on stillwaters, tench both appear to be equal in this regard. People seem to be actively targeting them in an effort to catch them at their maximum possible weights. I'm really not sure how this situation has become acceptable for some species and not others. However, it's worth bearing in mind that migratory salmonids can only be fished for during their equivalent period.
 

Jeff Woodhouse

Moaning Marlow Meldrew
Always struck me that the pike open season is their spawning season and why are the PAC are happy to catch spawn filled females.
When pike start hydrating their eggs they obviously start to weigh more. If a pike angler can catch them the week before they spawn they're possibly into a new PB. It's all balloni about not fishing until 1st October, pike feed best and are fittest in may through June and July and that's when they put on most weight, muscle tissue wise. Play them quick (braid is best with soft rods) and return them quick, even just dropping them back in, they respond like lightening. (A Dutchman told me the same.)
 

keora

Well-known member
I have been reading some of my old fishing books and none of them mention a pike close season in fact most fish all year round for pike. Does anyone know where the October 1st start date came from.

Also in some they even use gaffs to land their carp because the nets were too small. They would now be hung drawn and quartered.
It also seems that every fish no matter what was taken home with recipes for most fish.
The other thing you find out is that most of our methods are far from being new just rediscovered.
The closed season for coarse fishing in England was introduced in 1878. The legislation was called the Mundella act, it covered fishing in both rivers and stillwaters. There's some information on the history on this link:

The River Close Season Debate

The close season for coarse fish in stillwaters was abolished in about 1995. I understand the reason was that there was no scientific evidence to justify the close season on stillwaters.

Need for the close season for coarse fish in rivers was reviewed by the EA in 2018/9. Anglers views were invited. The EA decided to continue with the close season in rivers, which covers the period 15th March to 15th June.

A few Regions used to have a separate close season for pike, which started on the 1st October. I don't think the separate pike seasons exist any more.

There's also some confusion in angling literature - some anglers refer to a pike season starting on the 1st October. But they aren't talking about a legally enforced season. They mean that the season traditionally started on the 1st October, when it was the custom for anglers to start winter pike fishing on and after that date.
 
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