Sunday, 8 January 2012

Pike in the 'Sham

Having spent last night in a cracking pub in Coventry(yes I didn't think there was one either!) with a gang of fellow bloggers talking fishing until late I did not get to the river until nearly lunchtime. It didn't matter, I wanted to fish dusk more than dawn anyway. 
I have been watching the river level on the Wye all week and it has been very up and down, in fact more up than down so I stayed local and fished the deep water in Evesham town centre. Contrastingly the level of the Avon has not changed for months. The stretch I chose is about 14 feet deep and has a reputation for occasionally throwing up 20lb Pike so I gave it a go.
A beautiful winters day, blazing sun and no wind made it very pleasant loafing around but a few more fish would have capped it off nicely. In the end I avoided a blank by landing this 8lb 14oz Pike on a Mackerel tail. It put up a really good fight for it's size.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Wye, we'll be back.

The first session of the new year was spent on the Wye just below Ross (on Wye) attempting to catch a twenty pound Pike. This river never ceases to amaze me in terms of it's beauty and the stretch we fished today was no exception. It looks great even in winter and we know there are thirty pounders in there.
Cockney Steve and I set off with high hopes this morning but on seeing the river our confidence waned somewhat. Five foot up, chocolate brown in coloration and bombing along at breakneck speed. Also it continued to rise another couple of feet while we were there. Far from ideal conditions but we gave it a go. I should have checked the Environment Agency website for river levels before booking.
I found the slackest water I could and slid my way down a treacherous bank to drop a couple of  Mackerel tails a rod length out. This swim was not built for comfort and I had to stand up permanently to stop sliding in. However it paid off, after about an hour I struck into a Pike and played it to the surface. It took one look at me, thought sod this, shook it's head and threw the hooks out. It was only a Jack so I was not too bothered and I recast with renewed confidence.
As is often the case with fishing it was a small window of opportunity and nothing else materialised from that swim. We roved the river looking for other likely spots and finally settled in a backwater that looked very promising. Apart from some teeth marks in one of my Mackerel nothing much occurred. 
Cockney Steve did not have a touch all day so although it wasn't the result we were hoping for, hooking a Pike in the conditions was a good result(of sorts). We will study the weather more carefully for next time. We will be back.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Review of 2011, Plans for 2012.

A busy festive season that I really enjoyed has not left me with much time for fishing, a day on the Avon trying to better my recent big Roach and a very short session with the lure rod chasing Pike. The lure rod was a blank but the Roach sortie yielded three Roach to about 12oz and a Silver Bream of about 4oz. It was interesting to find the Silver in the stretch and I may have a more concerted effort for them next year.

2011 Review
2011 was a productive year for me personally and the bloggers challenge led me to targeting species that I don't normally go for like Crucians, Silver Bream and Dace. Added to this were sea and game species I have never caught before and I also started fly fishing seriously. This led to an impressive 9 personal bests plus a river Tench that made 10.

The freezing January temperatures meant I only targeted Chub and Pike. Several Chub to 3lb 10oz.....
using cheese paste and Pike to 17lb 7oz on dead baits.

February saw a slight break in the weather and as temperatures rose above freezing I had a session after Barbel, the biggest weighing 9lb 10oz.....
and a fat Chub weighing 5lb 3oz to complete a pretty good brace. Casters were their downfall.

March was a bit of a struggle but I did land a 1lb 3oz Roach and a 1lb 15oz Perch.

April saw the start of my Tench campaign, I am desperate for a double, I hope 2012 will be my year for that. I think that May is when the old Tincas seem to really pile on the weight, but I did manage several in April to 7lb 11oz.

May 2011 was a particularly productive month of the year for me, three personal bests. A trip to Yorkshire led to a  2lb 12oz Blue Trout and a 2lb 7oz Rainbow taken on the fly, both pbs.

 A single session at Linear gave me a pb 32lb 8oz Mirror and a 9lb 6oz Tench, another impressive brace!

Both taken on worm hook baits to 8lb line and size 12 hooks.

June saw me take another couple of bests, both species that I have never weighed before, a 1lb 7oz Crucian from Marsh Farm.....
and a 7oz Siver Bream from Willow farm. Not that impressive but I will target both species for improvement in 2012.

July saw me back on the river and trying new tactics for Chub and Barbel. Freelined rolling meat certainly captures plenty of fish, the average size seems smaller than static legering but the action is fast and furious. I landed over thirty Barbel in July to the tactic, best 10lb 14oz...
and lots of Chub to 4lb 14oz. I would like to see this particular fish again at it's late winter weight, it will be well over 5lb, possibly pushing 6.

August saw the first of a couple of Shark trips out of Plymouth. No toothy critters were landed on the first but I did fluke my first ever Bass while messing about with lures while the Sharks weren't biting. A great battle on light gear and obviously a pb at 4lb 12oz.
The skipper put me on to the Garfish in the slick and they are great fun, another new species for me and I landed several to a pound.
Good fun but they are messy and smelly!

September had me Sharking again with more success, two on the boat, the biggest a 50lb Blue.
The other extreme was a 3 1/2oz Gudgeon, the biggest I have ever caught.

October and November were difficult fishing months, I blame the weather, weed, lack of rain etc. I did have a couple of good days though. I fished a session on the Irfon in deepest Wales and landed lots of Trout and Grayling to a pound.
I also enjoyed some more fly fishing taking Trout to 2lb.

December saw the capture of my favourite fish of the year, a 2lb Roach from the Avon taken on bread flake.

2011 was an enjoyable and fairly successful year on the water and I cannot wait to get out in 2012 and land some more pbs. I also finished a respectable third in the bloggers challenge.

Plans and Targets for 2012
Top priority is a double figure Tench having had plenty of 'nines' I must land a 'ten' this year.
A twenty pound Pike is a fish I would love to land and I will spend time after that early in the year.
We have a Spanish Catfish trip booked and I would love to better my 125lb pb that week.
Also a family trip to Florida should enable me to get out and target a few different species.
Two shark trips in autumn chasing 100lb Blues.
Crucians, Silver Bream and Rudd are on the cards for beating.
3lb Eels and Trout will be sought and I would love to try for Mullet as I have never caught one.

I don't want much then! I shall let you know how I get on.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, tight lines and screeching reels!!