BIG WYE PIKE ARE THE STARS OF THE SHOW
...but falling leaves will put chub, roach and dace on the feed
LEAVES are still falling outside in the garden as I write, and there are still plenty on the trees!
They make things difficult for river anglers, but I’m sure they give the fish an injection of food before the winter, what with all the insects that fall in with them.
A few days ago when I was on the river the wind got up and lots of leaves started to fall on to the water. Then chub, roach and dace started to rise in numbers to take food from the surface that was coming down with the leaves.
Take a walk along the river when the leaves are falling. You’ll get a great idea where the fish are holding up for the next few weeks.
Had a few maggots left over from a carping session so I popped down to the River Stour for a few hours’ fishing on the float.
It was quite hard fishing and that was on a few different swims, ones I normally find very productive. It was just one of those days when the fish were not having it, or at least they weren’t having what I was trying to give them!
I ended up with a few dace, a big gudgeon and one tiny roach, but it was a nice crisp day and gave me a good appetite for dinner.
I need a couple more trips on the float this winter because to say I was rusty is an understatement...
Fished with jigs on the Severn just north of Bewdley. In the clear water I enjoyed a great day with about 20 perch.
I know anglers have been winning matches on perch and you can see why – the river is full of them. The best I had weighed 2lb 7oz, with another two over 2lb, but lots of them were over 1lb – great sport on a light rod.
By bouncing the shads slowly along the bottom I had lots of takes and I missed a few as well.
I now have so many lures that it’s hard to decide which one to use. Not long ago all you took was a Mepps spinner and a Shakespeare Big S!
Of course the biggest perch were the highlight of the day, but running it close was the sight of a dipper flying up the centre of the river. It’s always special to see one of these delightful little birds. I jumped in the car and felt I had fished well, so I was in a good mood – exactly how a day’s fishing should leave you feeling!
Phone call from Nige Williams to tell me he had caught another 30lb pike – his twenty-fifth over 30lb and from 17 different waters. That is simply amazing, and confirms Nige as one of the most successful big-pike anglers of all time.
We made arrangements for our annual Christmas piking trip where we set up a bivvy table and drink wine, eat sausage rolls and mince pies while waiting for the bobbins to drop off. We’ve had some good fish together in the past. One year on the Fens we caught seven pike over 20lb and lots of big doubles in two days… all with a raging hangover!
An early start on the Wye for pike with Steve Greenway and, with a couple of foot of water on, it was looking good for some fish.
It’s always a proper day out with Steve, starting with a double bacon-and-egg sandwich, freshly cooked minutes before I arrive at his house. The chat with Steve on the journey is always interesting because his knowledge of angling and wildlife is superb, and I always learn something new.
We arrived and were casting at the break of dawn. It’s always nice to hear the words ‘bring the net’ on the first cast and soon Steve had banked a 10-pounder on a legered sardine. Unfortunately that was the only run on this spot and at 10.30am we moved upstream… with no success.
We moved again to another spot. We’d now walked a good distance, but that’s all part of being a river angler. This time we were catching within minutes and ended up with a couple of fish well into double figures. I’d forgotten how these river pike fight, and my 10ft Scope rods were bent double.
By the time we got on the road in heavy traffic we were obviously going to be late home, so we stopped for fish and chips. The temperature had dropped outside and as we sat outside the chippy in the car eating our meal, we made plans for our next Wye piking trip.