Monday 23 December 2013


It's happening again! Before the season began I set myself a challenge of catching 200lb of pike, a fairly reasonable target if I was fishing much - but work has really gotten in the way. James also took up this challenge and added the 'must be at least 5 doubles clause' - so I added that to my own challenge.

Brian5 31lb 2oz 2
James 17 103lb 4oz 3

As you can see from the table above; James has made good progress, where as I haven't gotten to grips with it yet. But I had an ace up my sleeve - 2 weeks fishing my home turf, the River Wye, with the best pike angler I know - my Dad.

I've been watching the water levels and the webcams and it was looking good, until a couple of days ago when the Christmas weather curse arrived. Pouring down with rain and a river that is about to burst it's banks... I'm going to fish it no matter what... But the odds don't look good!

Miles and miles and miles! I don't know how long I've had these shoes, must be 10 or 12 years - and I wonder how many thousands of miles I've walked in them chasing things with fins? On the long walk back from Penton Hook on Thursday they finally ripped.

Goodbye fishing shoes and I'm really glad to finally chuck you in the bin - even clean and dry they weigh a ton - why did I keep them?

And what did my girlfriend get me for Christmas? Yeap, proper waterproof hiker's boots - fantastic!

Girls sometimes listen to you, even if you are banging on about fishing! My girlfriend and I don't have Christmas together, so we have Mini-Christmas a few days before, and as well as my shoes I opened the present above - a set of kitchen scales.

"You said that you were going to take a week off in March and try and catch a monster gudgeon at it's full breeding weight, now you'll know exactly how much it weighs and can bore me with the details"

OK, perhaps I have mentioned my plan a few times - but I didn't think about the logistics... Now I have scales that weigh to 0.1oz... Roll on March gudgeon fishing!

Easy targets? Looking through my PB list there are quite a few species I've never caught; silver bream, crucian, wels, zander, grayling and rainbow trout. And some very low weights; bream 2lb 14oz, rudd 4oz, tench 12oz, salmon 6lb 4oz.

Myself and James have a plan to catch a crucian or two next summer - and hopefully I'll bag a PB tench in the process. But our target for early next year is a grayling - a fish that we both find fascinating but neither of us have ever caught... If anyone has any advise we'd love to hear it - a day ticket venue with a good head of fish would be great!

Merry Christmas! Well it's time to pack up the wet-weather gear and head down to the Wye, I've got a date with a thirty... Before I go it's time to wish everyone in Blog-Land a Merry Christmas - see you next year - and tight lines!


  1. Brian,

    Your not alone,I have been looking at the EA website and watching the levels rise and rise.....Bugger.

    Merry Christmas mate.

    1. Yeah, that's a horrible looking graph, checked it again this morning hoping for a Christmas miracle... But no, looks like it's in the fields! Bugger!

      Merry Christmas

  2. Try the lower Itchen Fishery just outside Southampton. Plenty of Grayling there. Off there myself on 12th January.
    Have a nice Christmas.

    1. Cheers Stew, haven't had much time to do any research, but looking at the river conditions, looks like I'll have a bit of time over Christmas!! Good luck on the Itchen, I'll look forward to the report - and Merry Christmas

  3. A yup Brian, I've been doing some research for them and although I do fancy the Itchen I am also going to throw the river Avon at Britford and also the Test just above Southampton and the river Nadder also in Britford....well more Salisbury than Britford and also the top of the Kennet, all of which has day ticket Grayling/coarse fishing available so we have our 4 river short list.

    I feel for you......sooooo much all year the Wye has been your light at the end of the tunnel and you get there and it looks like a giant cup of Mocha!!

    Tut tut tut..... Good luck and merry Xmas mate, we will catch a Grayling I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever.


    1. Haven't done much grayling research, but I'll definitely check out those rivers - thanks.

      Ah, the Wye at Christmas:
      2010 Frozen over
      2011 Flooded
      2012 Flooded
      2013 *Awaiting miracle...

      Merry Christmas, and a grayling or two in the new year!

  4. Good luck with your grayling hunt, you won't be disappointed. The upper Wye is a good venue should the levels ever recede this winter.