Rhys Price a top young angler fishing with his dad Mark on Saturday landed the best fish from 3 boats fishing that day. Beating all the older guys who only managed jacks including myself and region 31's RO and top Pike rod Jon Neafcy. Well Done Rhys! Keep them coming mate!
Monday, 23 February 2009
Sunday, 22 February 2009
Pike ace Rick added another 20 (22lb'er to be exact) to his tally with a super looking fish. Rick arrived at a popular stretch of Pike fishing at an un-godly hour and still never managed to get a peg he fancied. Not to be deterred Rick plonked himself in a swim not known for big lumps and managed to extract this super fish pictured above and also lost another good fish. Well done mate! Keep them coming............
Thursday, 19 February 2009
Monday, 16 February 2009
After a few frustrating trips and the pain of losing a certain twenty recently Paul Houghton landed a lump at last. A super fish of 17lb took his bait just inches from the bank on a live he had retrieved because he thought his other rod had got a run. We are not sure whether that fish was lying there or whether it was the fish that had been harrassing his other rod and had followed his bait in when he retrieved it to put it out of the way. Mark Price and his son had a Jack and i helped out with clearing the jacks which is normally Paul's responsibility with a super little chunky fish which fought like a good double. Mark competed with Gulper's culinery expertise by making a freshly prepared fried turkey baguette sandwich which really hit the spot.
Saturday trip out on Gulper's boat 'Unleash the Fury' was it's usual day of fun and although the Pike weren't really in the mood we all managed a fish a piece with Gulper landing the best fish; a perfect looking double and Womble and myself landing Jacks (photos above). The fishing was a little disappointing but not half as disappointing as the food this week. The Fury's catering is famous and today it was my turn to supply the ingredients for Chef Gulper to perform his culinery magic. Sadly i brought with me the supplies but the frying pan and utensils were still in my kitchen. In my defence I never expected Steve to tidy up the boat and remeove his stuff from the boat. There's was a discussion that ensued on board as to who was to blame. I think i lost...... Also there is an excellent photo of Gulper improvising a bacon sandwich with the use of a little gas heater and a couple of Pike spoons which held the bacon over the front of the heater. He also ate a pot noodle with the use of Pike Forceps.........Interesting! I survived by eating most of Womble's sausage rolls and Jammie Doughnuts.
Another fun day!
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Another early start on the river today but not early enough. Pete and his son beat me to my favourite pegs for once and Pete was chuffed. Arrived at 4.30 am and the Moon was acting as a subtle form of floodlighting. I don't normally put a livebait out at this hour but couldn't resist. The bungs were clearly visible, except for the odd occasion when the moon hid behind a cloud briefly. My two rods weren't in the water more that 10 minutes when i decided to bring the right hand bait slightly closer to the shelf in a spot i know is a popular slack water Pike residence. I moved the bung and immediately the bung dived under and the fish moved out into deeper water. A small double came to the net(11lb pictured above). What a start. I will never know whether moving the bait contributed to enticing the strike or whether i moved the bait to the fish but whatever the answer is it resulted in a super little Pike being landed.
I placed a fresh bait back on the same spot and 10 minutes later i heard the clutch on the reel make that noise Pike anglers love but sadly this time the fish evaded capture by finding a snag. The advantage of fishing heavy 80lb braid is that everything came back except my bait and of course regrettably the Pike escaped but at least it wasn't left with hooks in it or worse still tethered to a snag. Rivers are full of big snags as are many stillwaters and using 15lb Carp Mono just won't suffice. Pike safety is paramount if we are to see the future of our beloved Esox flourish.
The next action came not in the 'Rod-bending' form but in the highly entertaining display of insanity by two EA officers in dry suits swimming into the river to dislodge some trees and debris that had collected around the Bridge supports(Photo above). The sanity of pike anglers is oftened questioned when we venture out in arctic conditions, so this brief interlude was highly amusing to all the river regulars.
Entertainment over with and I was enjoying some roach sport on the waggler and stickfloat when the left hand bung disappeared. I had positioned this bait out in the flow where the Chub have been present this last week. A hard fighting double of 16lb 8oz(Photo above) was the prize. It was another typical short fat seasonal river Pike with a belly which made my belly look small. Quite a feat you might retort! What a stunning greedy Pike it was..............
Shortly after that the days fishing came to an abrupt end. Last night's rain had melted the remnants of the snow and it was filtering into the river rapidly along with a heady concentration of Rocksalt i would guess. The silver fish immediately stopped feeding and the river turned from perfect clarity to something resembling the Mississippi. It took just an hour or so for it to turn chocolate brown and zero clarity. On this popular stretch of river where pegs are full on both banks every day at this time of year by sunrise it was completely deserted by 1pm. I was, as usual last to leave but even i was resigned to the futility of staying. I was gutted, as were those around me because the fishing the day before had been spectacular; I had watched Reg catch 40-50lb of Chub opposite me the day before whilst i had a mixed bag of around 30lb. Everyone filled their nets and the Pike were feeding too for the first time in a while. Today was certainly not a disaster by any means but it was anti-climatic..........But i guess that's fishing for you; especially on rivers. Like the opposite sex; they are moody things. Some days dreams are fulfilled and wonders are offered up and other days no matter how much effort you have put in you get nothing in return...........But we keep going back trying to unravel the mysteries of their depths.
Monday, 9 February 2009
Early start on the River today and an early bit of action at first light but on this occasion the Pike managed to free herself from my hooks and left me deflated. It looked a nice mid-double. The morning went by without further action and i began to think it was going to be one of those days but No! my bung bounced once more and after a ferocious battle i landed another magical fish over the magical 20lb barrier. Only by 4oz but what a stunning fish. Just wish the job-hunting was as lucky as my Piking has been this season.
Sunday, 8 February 2009
As you might have noticed the country turned white this week . The weather for the past two months has been somewhat interesting and testing for all and especially anglers. But a little bit of white precipitation on the ground doesn't put off Gulper wanting to take his boat out and go piking. Womble arrived at my house at 5.30am. Not sure whether it is coincidence but 'Womble' and boat fishing tends to guarantee arctic conditions. Un-deterred by the snow which i was a little concerned by, Gulper arrived on time and we loaded his monster truck and off we went up into the hills. Having experienced trips to Scotland with Steve in the past where snow, ice and very testing terrain never seems to worry him i wasn't unduly concerned but as we drove into deepest Cymru the roads began looking treachorous and the snow kept falling. We past one car that had left the road and parked in the trees which was a little worrying but we carried on. Arriving at the lake we noticed we had company; three totally insane blokes had spent the night in a small tent on the side of the lake and after we launched the boat we were entertained by their efforts to get their car up a small icy, snow covered incline back to the main road. It took them a good half hour and alot of digging and skidding and clutch smoking.
Steve and i expected some early action after other trips but it didn't happen. But at 10am after trolling up and down popular spots the right hand rod went and 'Womble' was into a nice double pictured above. Gulper lost a jack that came all the way to the boat and then escaped but shortly after landed either the same jack or one of its cousins(also pictured above).
Midday we anchored up for lunch and the skipper and boat chef made one of his famous 'triple decker' breakfast sandwiches(photo above with me looking like an over-sized gnome) which i could eat every day of my life. We did some more trollling and anchored up on a couple of spots and late on i had a run on a very large livebait and probably hit it a little early and lost the fish. I was gutted but it had been a great day in beautiful scenery in the snow.