This weather is no good for fishing or I’m getting soft in my old age, probably both. I’ve not done as much fishing as usual, just a short chub session that gave an almost predictable blank and a barbel session on the Nene trying to take advantage of the slightly milder weather on Wednesday and Thursday, again a blank. In between this I had a trip for perch on a local water and actually had a bite, I missed it, but that was better than the two pike anglers either side of me that blanked if you don’t count two cormorants hooked and lost. There was an interesting sight of thousands of starlings coming over the water at dusk and giving their aerial display before settling in for the night.
A small section of the starling's display
Then I got a chance to partner Dave Mutton on a boat on Chew Valley Reservoir, can’t miss that chance can you? If anything in fishing can be called a lottery then this must be very high in the list. Each week that the pike trials are on there are hundreds of hopefuls that brought a ticket for the raffle. Almost every day there is a thirty pound pike caught, sometimes more than one, and each of those hopefuls are thinking ‘today will be my turn.’ If you were to consider the tactics used then I imagine that most of the big pike fall to float fished sea dead bait and most of these will have been presented on the bottom. Very little skill and a very big slice of luck so I’m well pleased to say my turn for the ‘luck’ card came on this trip.
We arrived about an hour late due to a long traffic build up in Bristol where a couple of road workers were looking after what appeared to be two cone stuck in the middle of a traffic junction. I measured the queue going the other way once we got past and it was 1.4 miles, absolutely barmy. Still we got out on the water about 9.30am and it was obvious that results had been poor, those boats that could be seen were spread all over the place rather than the usual gathering around the current hot area. We went off towards the dam near Walley Bank and settled in about 28ft of water. Dave got a take which is always exciting on this venue but it proved to be a jack of about 6lb and nothing happened after that. About 11am we moved into slightly shallower water and yet again Dave was soon into a slightly better fish of 14lb-12oz, we both felt this was a good sign that other bigger fish could be present and we were happy to give it the rest of the day until the 4.10pm finish time.
Dave with his 14lb-12oz pike
Watching the odd boats we could see as well as the bank anglers and there seemed to be no action as the hours ticked by towards the deadline. It was about 3.55pm when I got a very slight indication on one of my rods and watching the float it bobbed up and down for some minutes before I struck. The float had not moved from its position and I was very confident that it was a trout attacking my mackerel bait, but the result of the strike left no doubt that it was not a trout. Initially not a lot happened and Dave asked if it was a jack, then the fish woke up to the fact that it had been hooked and zoomed off quite annoyed I think. I good fight and eventually it went into the net and onto the boat. A check showed the only the tail of the bait was showing suggesting he had just sat there munching it on the spot, fortunately we are both confident in this situation and the hooks were removed without harm to the fish. The scales showed my first trout water pike went a very pleasing 25lb-11oz but that proved to be the last bite since next day was a blank for both of us.
25lb-11oz Chew lottery prize.
Those that think trout water piking is easy should give it a try and build up a few blank days and then possibly revise their ideas. Still that's it for now so tight lines until the next update comes along.
Pike float sits in the dying rays of the setting sun.