It was supposed to be the traditional Xmas Fish Off with Dyl & Steve but the weather was awful, strong winds, driving rain and Steve wasn't well. Was a shame - I really fancied a win this year - might have to come back in January or February...
Instead I headed to The Wye, with about 3 hours until dark I abandoned the pike gear and tried to bag a barbel before returning to London. Three chub to 4lb 10oz and a little barbel of 4lb 11oz found the net. At least a Wye barbel wanted to play! (+1.6)
Merry Christmas! Back to The Wye, it's mild and the river is in it's banks for a change. But the pike fishing is tough - some locals (and very good anglers) have been struggling, very few pike have been out this winter. I think the otters are having a big impact.
There are three otter holts in less than a mile on one stretch I fish - and one angler I spoke to found 6 pike skeletons outside just one in the summer! Looking back through the blog shows diminishing returns on my Christmas pike fishing year on year.
I've got my excuses in because day one I fished a number of 'banker' swims - all day without a run - didn't see a pike, even though the conditions seemed perfect. Same story on day two, but I did take a ledger rod and bagged a few blank-saver chub (too cold for barbel).
Not giving up, there has to be a pike in there somewhere - hopefully - going to have to put my thinking cap on and track down my Wye Christmas Pike. And as a bit of inspiration here's a Wye twenty - from twenty-seven years ago - the good old days!!
Mr Fox peering through the window waiting for his breakfast.
Unsurprisingly the chub shoal has moved, and I've looked a few hundred yards upstream and down - did I say moved? - I meant vanished! Kind of knew they would - big chub tend to do that!
I did catch a couple of barbel but they are getting difficult to tempt in the cold weather. Think I might have to target a roach or dace before heading to The Wye, hopefully for a Christmas pike or two...