Thursday 22 February 2024

Week On The Wye (Pt 2)

Three days gone, three to go and we hadn't even seen a pike, the water was still well above the +1.4 we needed - and the frogs and toads had started spawning - pike spawn around the same time. The difficult pike mission was getting even harder - but you've got to be in it to win it...

Day 4 / Saturday / Water level +2.1 - We were joined by our mate Steve, and we had permission to fish a tiny Wye tributary (we couldn't find pike in the main river). And it turned out to be a game changer. A run almost straight away - nervy, snaggy fight - a big pike in the net!

She went 20lb 0oz - very glad she'd had breakfast!! Steve followed a few minutes later with a 13lb 0oz beauty - we'd found fish! Then we fished on all day without another run. Absolutely brilliant to bag a Wye twenty - just needed Paulos to land a pike to make the trip...

Day 5 / Sunday / Water level +1.9 - Early start, only 2 days left and back on the main river. A run to Paulos - and a bumped fish - crap! An hour or so later it hit the smelt again, great fight and a 17lb 4oz pike was in the net. The only action - but - mission accomplished!

Day 6 / Monday / Water level +3.4 - The river rose a meter and a half overnight. But we'd had a big pike each, that was going to be our lot. A bit of early season addering instead - no adders yet but we did find three common lizards. Tough trip - but a cracking couple of pike!

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Week On The Wye (Pt 1)

Paulos was over from the States for a week - and that could mean only one thing - Wye Pike! We really need the water levels at +1.4 or below to catch them - and it wasn't going to happen! Hopefully we could find flood water pike - if not I'd just photograph the friendly robins!

Day 1 / Wednesday / Water level +2.4 - An early start & a meter more water than we wanted. Two rods each - we put deadbaits (and occasionally lures) through all the slacks. Only one run all day which turned out to be a new PB chub for Paulos - 5lb 4oz on a whole smelt!

Day 2 / Thursday / Water level +2.6 - Paulos couldn't fish today, but I headed out. Our dad, Roger, popped down to see me - decided it looked good for a barbel - so he walked home to get his kit. Walked back and had one in no time! At 6lb 7oz it was the only fish we saw all day!

Day 3 / Friday / Water level +2.3 - Another long day, and a lot of water covered. We talked of the good old days and 10 or 15 pike in an afternoon. Only the eels were interested in the deadbaits - so as it was getting dark I put a piece of meat on the lure rod & bagged a barbel.

Half way through the trip - it wasn't going to plan at all...

Sunday 18 February 2024

No Cuts, No Glory

Tough going on the flooded Wye, but eventually found one!

Thursday 8 February 2024

Gone Digital

Having broken my scales on the last trip to The Wye I decided to replace them with their digital cousins. I'll miss watching the needle pull round, but they'll replace my 6/12lb and my 20/40lb scales - one less thing to carry - I've joined the digital age of fishing! Now what to test them on? I couldn't find anything suitable in the house or garden!?!!

Any excuse to go fishing - and James phoned - he was driving past my house on the way to the Small River - perfect! Leapfrogging down the river we both found barbel - I landed seven - mostly 4 or 5 pounders - but then something to test the scales on. A cracking fight in the fast water, before this beauty was in the net - 8lb 15oz

And James' 40 River Challenge is ticking along nicely, river number 24 in the bag with this hard earned, massive Itchen barbel. In case you missed it - the blog post is here.

Sunday 4 February 2024

Chasing Chub

Right species, right shape, wrong size! With 3½ hours on the clock I shot down the river to see if I could tempt those chub I'd spotted last time - and I did talk one into taking a bait. Unfortunately the smallest one of the bunch - but if I can fool one hopefully I can fool his big brothers!

As they weren't playing I abandoned the chub and targeted the barbel. They had moved up into surprisingly shallow water and a cube of luncheon meat did the trick - landing five - 6lb 14oz, 6lb 2oz, 6lb 0oz, 5lb 10oz & 5lb 9oz. A better average size so far this year...

Friday 2 February 2024

Meat & Mooching

A grey afternoon, but warm for the time of year - a bit of mooching about on the Small River - and I needed to use up the remainder of the tin of luncheon meat I opened on The Wye.

I was searching for chub, and I did spot a few in the clear water - but they were very spooky. The barbel wanted to play - six fish to 7lb 0oz - great stuff. And I'll be back for those chub...