Unfortunately I was right, the water was rising and this morning there was about 5 foot of extra water on the river. And unsettled water levels mean the pike don't tend to feed. Myself and Roger still gave it about six or seven hours in a few spots that have produced the odd pike at these levels before, but no fish showed.
My luck hasn't really been in while fishing the Wye this season, most sessions have either been cancelled or aborted due to the water conditions. I've managed just 3 successful sessions for 6 pike. My Wye season really was saved by the twenty on Friday - one fish can make a season!
Sadly that's it for the Wye this year, next year I'm going to have to start earlier - perhaps a session or two in September and/or October to beat the winter weather.
No photos, no USB doohickey, no pike! Flood photo added!
I spent the morning spinning, and by lunch time I was really rather dizzy.
Another early start on the Wye as I was determined to take advantage of the clear water and do some plug fishing, by lunch time I had tried nearly every plug in the box, a couple of shad and even some old Abu spoons, for one pike about 4lb. Taken on a small, silver mini-S-plug, the same one that caught yesterday.
Roger continued using dead baits and caught a pike about 5lb on a ledgered sprat. I've a new respect for sprats as dead baits - I only used to use them when I'd run out of everything else. I swapped over to a float fished sprat and we peg-hopped for a few hours, but no runs...
As the light was fading I swapped back to plug fishing, and fished until dark without a take - they just weren't feeding today - and I have a horrible feeling the river is rising...
Again no photos, no USB thing, sorry. Photos added!
Today saw the start of a long weekend on the Wye, with only one pike on the board and only a couple of weeks left of the season, I need to get a move on... I arrived yesterday evening, so that first thing this morning myself and Roger could head to some out of the way River Wye.
We planned to fish a selection of dead baits (and I brought some plugs). I was first into the action, after about an hour, with a run on a float-fished tiny 2" sprat, I struck and all went solid, I thought I was stuck in a snag until a powerful surge and I realised I was into a good fish. The pike made several powerful runs before we saw it, and as it came over the net we knew it was a twenty or very, very close.
As Roger lifted the net there was a loud rip and the pike disappeared back into the water - the pike was still in what was left of the net and the net was still connected to the string between the spreader arms - not sure how we did it, but we managed to lift it onto the bank.
A beautiful pike that went 20lb 2oz, only my second fish of the season and a twenty! Yay! And a landing net that was beyond repair.
A new landing net was sourced and delivered to the river bank within the hour (thanks Mum) and fishing continued. We leapfrogged our way between swims fishing sprats and herring and Roger was into the next pike on a sprat, this one went about a pound.
We followed this with a 8lb 15oz pike to me (sprat), 7lb 10oz pike to Roger (sprat), 2lb approx to me (sprat) and 11lb 8oz to Roger (sprat). In fact we didn't get a run on herring all day.
Roger had the last run of the day on dead bait (sprat again) and landed a 14lb 8oz pike, his biggest of the session - despite being a good double figure fish it had very large, very fresh tooth marks across it's back - I wonder how big the pike was that inflicted these? I want to meet her!
With the scores on the doors being: Roger 4 pike, me 3 pike, I fished on until dark with a plug. I had been plug fishing as well as dead baiting most of the day, with a few follows. And just as we decided to leave I had one about 3lb. Four all, great day and a twenty!
Sorry, no photos - I forgot to bring the USB thing. Doh! Photos added!
Bit early this week. Little to report on the fishing front, a couple of hours on the Wandle for one lost fish and a couple of hours piking on the Thames, again for one lost fish, didn't see it - felt like a good fish... Briefly...
Several years ago my brother sent me a plug from the States, in fact he's sent me quite a few, but this one was green and looked a lot like a jack pike. It was by far the most successful lure in the box, probably accounting for 80% of the takes I got while lure fishing. So I was gutted when I lost it in the Thames earlier this season. Despite trawling the internet and shops both in the UK and USA, I haven't been able to replace it.
So I was delighted when I came across the lures above on a UK website, Shut Up And Fish, I'm not sure if the price on the site was wrong but they cost me just £4.50 each and went out of stock as soon as I placed my order. It's not the same lure, but I've been reading a lot about big pike striking smaller ones even when they aren't hungry, a territory / competition thing. And I've caught pike smaller than these lures! Can't wait to test them out... Just remembered Jack's Pike #06...
On Friday night while on the Wandte I saw a shoal of carp, about 5-10 of them with the biggest appearing to we well into double figures. They didn't seem interested in my bait so I gave them half a tin of luncheon meat and decided to return for them another day.
Yesterday we went to see if they'd play. We started off about a mile from the swim and tried every lightly looking spot, Dan using meat and I was using maggots but nothing showed. We arrived at the carp spot shortly before dark and both squeezed into he same swim. We both fished meat and we soon started getting knocks.
It was about an hour before I connected with what felt like a very good fish, it shot down the swim and was too much for my 5lb line - there isn't enough room to play a fish that has a serious weight advantage - stronger kit next time. About and hour later Dan had a good bite and connected to the chub above, it went exactly 4lb a new personal best... So we headed for the pub and a celebratory pint. We'll get those carp next time...
I spent the day on the Thames on Wednesday without a run on the pike kit and not a bite on the feeder kit. Yesterday Roger spent the day piking on the Wye for one run, a low double lost at the net... I think I need to dig out my lucky fishing hat...
Edit: Friday, 19:07
And I couldn't resist the last hour of light/first hour of dark after a Wandte roach... This time using worm hook bait, resulting in 3 giant gudgeon and this 3lb 3oz chub. I saw roach here in the summer - not sure if they've moved or the chub are spooking them - but I'll settle for a chub (even if the photo is out of focus).
And I've just remembered.
When I made this blog (back in July 2009) I decided to make myself a t-shirt, so I uploaded the logo to Cafe Press. Anyway I didn't order one and forgot all about it, I just remembered and had a look, they've been selling really well. I haven't made a penny out of it but I'm sure someone has!
Well, looking at the weather station the River Wye looks fishable... Perhaps I shouldn't have cut the trip short, I should have concentrated on catching live bait in the flood and gone after the pike today. Still, you live and learn!
To console myself I popped down to the Wandte and fished the first hour of darkness after some roach. Unfortunately the roach didn't show, but I did catch a dace and a 2lb 12oz chub (which I convinced myself was a big roach in the dark, it only turned into a chub in the net).
Bugger! The water was dropping back last night and I thought today was going to be the day... But there are severe weather warnings in Wales, the river is rising very rapidly and it's blowing a gale... Still we gave it five, fish-less hours...
Edit: Sunday, 6 February, 16:48
After dropping off the pike kit and having a cup of tea and a bit of lunch, I popped down to the rapidly flooding brook for a couple of hours. I fished bread on the ledger (well, light lure rod) and had 12-15 chublets to about a pound - saved a blank...
With only just over 5 weeks left of the season I was desperate to get a pike on the board. So today I headed to the River Wye. The Wye has been low and clear for a couple of weeks so I intended to do some lure fishing... But the weather was against me once more, I arrived to rain, gales and an extra 3 foot of dirty water... Dead baits it was then...
First pike of the season... 14lb 6oz
I float fished joey mackerel, Roger opted for float fished sprats. I was first into the action after trying a couple swims when I had a run about 2 foot out, resulting in the 14lb 6oz pike above... What a relief to get one on the bank!
Another double... 13lb 12oz
After a couple of hours and several miles of walking Roger dropped his sprat dead bait into a slack, again only a couple of foot from the bank, and was rewarded with a 13lb 12oz pike (above) and the next cast with the 11lb 8oz (below) - both banked within five minutes of each other.
Five minutes later... 11lb 8oz
We fished on for several more hours but the wind was making things impossible and with no more runs we headed for home about four. Not too bad, three doubles, perhaps try again tomorrow...
Yesterday afternoon myself and Dan headed to the Wandte, Dan wanted to see if the barbel were feeding again after the cold weather and I was after a roach. Dan fished the weir with luncheon meat with only a few half-hearted bites - I don't think the barbel are ready to feed yet.
I tried a few spots with ledgered bread, and just below the weir I hit a bite resulting in this 3lb 15oz ghost koi - what a fantastic looking fish. No roach showed but I was still happy.
We fished into the dark and because Dan couldn't get any regular glow sticks he bought the big ones people wear at raves... We didn't catch any more fish but we did make the lightsaber noises when we cast out...