Friday 28 February 2020

The Chub Shoal

I headed to the river to check out a shoal of chub James had told me about - taking the stick ‘n’ pin to winkle one or two out while I was there. But I’m pretty sure even James didn’t know how big the shoal was - hundreds of chub - the water was black with them!

There was the odd roach and dace in the mix but it was basically a chub a cast - and even releasing them back into the shoal didn’t put them off. My morning mission was scrapped, this was going to take all day! I had 5 roach to 14oz, 6 dace to 6.9oz and a load of chub...

Seventy of them in fact!! Ranging is size from about 6oz to 1½lb, with a lot of fish around the pound mark. My biggest bag of river fish ever (excluding pike & barbel). I worked it out on the way home - that’s a fish every 6 minutes for 8 hours - and my arm and back are killing me!

Wednesday 26 February 2020

Late Winter?

The rivers are still in flood and it’s hardly stopped raining - now looking at the forecast we’ve got hail and snow to come. It’s been a very wet winter but now it’s going to get cold!

With less than 3 weeks left of the season I dashed out between storms - and convinced a barbel to take a bait. Really thought it was a double during the fight, but at 9lb 2oz I’m more than happy with that!

Friday 21 February 2020

Reel Value II

New replacement general purpose reels - Mitchell Tanager RZ 2000 fd - twenty quid each, and they look pretty good and very smooth. Two spools; one with 8lb line the other with 12lb Berkley, that’s barbel/carp and pike covered. The proof is in the fishing...

I christened one reel with the 18lb 6oz pike a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to christen the second one. In these flood conditions pike were out - so I targeted the barbel. First up I landed a chub, followed by three little barbel - onward and upward...

For the barbel records: 4lb, 4½lb & 4lb (153)

Thursday 20 February 2020

Dennis Vs The Wye

Soon after Storm Ciara topped up The Wye, Storm Dennis arrived. With the river still up and the water table high the extra rain pushed the water levels up to a new record high level - the gauge is broken but locals have estimated it was about +5.3 meters of extra water.

The river flooded local shops & houses - no one was hurt but there was a lot of damage. And makes me realise just how lucky me and my brother were with our pike trip a couple of weeks ago - but it looks like one last weekend before the season ends isn’t going to happen...

Saturday 15 February 2020

Big Little Fish

Bit of a wander with the stick ‘n’ pin - dace the target species - and 10oz+ the target weight. I struggled to find dace but half a dozen trout, similar number of chub and 3 roach put a nice bend in the rod. Eventually I found my target and landed three to 7.6oz - fairly close!

Still enough season for another crack at a 10oz fish - four weeks left!

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Wye: Week On The River

A week picked months in advance, and me and Paulos fished some of the best conditions all winter - pretty lucky, especially as Storm Ciara arrived the day after we left and put The Wye back in the fields!

It wasn’t easy fishing, there are no matches on these sections - the main target is barbel - with no bait going in the baitfish are difficult to locate, are they still here? And are the pike still here in numbers?

It was great to be re-stomping our old beats - and the pressure was soon off the mission when Paulos landed a jack followed by a 15lb 9oz double - worth the trip! And the final scorecard looked like this:

  Pike Caught: 13
  Doubles: 6
  Miles Walked: 71.9
  Nets Broken: 1

Breaking that down Paulos landed 7 pike, including 4 doubles (18lb 3oz, 15lb 9oz, 14lb 4oz & 11lb 7oz). I landed 6 pike, including 2 doubles (18lb 6oz & 15lb 9oz). No twenties - that’s for next time!

I cracking week on the river, the first annual Wye winter trip for me and Paulos I hope (or at least biennial). Massive thanks to Mum & Dad for putting up with us. And Wye pike - we’ll be back...

Pike Jack Pike 15lb 9oz Pike Jack
Pike Jack Pike 15lb 9oz (Recapture) Paulos Fishing
Pike 11lb 7oz Pike 14lb 4oz Pike 9lb 15oz
Swan Skull Pike Jack Pike Jack
Pike 9lb 10oz Perch 2lb 2oz (PB) Pike 18lb 3oz
Pike 18lb 6oz Pike 18lb 6oz Damaged Jaw Pike Floats

Monday 10 February 2020

Wye: Big & Stripey

This perch deserves it’s own post - while the pike favoured the deadbaits, this surprise perch nailed a ledgered bleak livebait. What a beauty - and a new a PB for Paulos at 2lb 2oz - nice one!

Friday 7 February 2020

Wye: Into The Mist

It hasn’t been easy, we’ve put the hours in and the week has flown by. I’m going to finish typing this, get out of my nice warm bed, give Paulos a shout and we’ll wander out into the cold for one last session (this season) - is there a twenty out there waiting for us?

A couple from yesterday, 18lb 3oz, wobbled smelt. (+1.0)

And 18lb 6oz, ledgered smelt. Full week report to follow...

Tuesday 4 February 2020

Wye: Tough Going

Halfway through our week on The Wye; the high water table means the river isn’t dropping as fast as we thought it would and locating the baitfish, and therefore pike, is tough going...

There is some work to do but Paulos is still into the pike, and doubles (11lb 7oz above and 14lb 4oz below). Deadbaits scoring well and livebaits working but difficult to catch...

I missed out - loosing an upper double on a sprat and a jack on a lure. Nearly another double with a 9lb 15oz pike (below). But more to follow I hope, we’ve still got a few days left. (+1.2)

Saturday 1 February 2020

Wye: High Pressure

On the Wye searching for pike and joined by my brother, Paulos - I don’t normally feel any real pressure to catch fish - but he’d travelled 4,127 miles from Georgia to wet a line here - must find a pike!

I needn’t have worried, Paul was soon into a pike about 7lb on a ledgered smelt -phew! A few hours and a bit of searching later a mid-double found the net, 15lb 9oz, on a float fished bleak. (+1.2)

Pressure off the trip we both added a jack each before I landed a mid-double on a ledgered sprat - unfortunately a recapture of Paul’s fifteen (2 hours later). Cracking first day - more to follow I hope...