December 23, 2013

All I want for Christmas......

- is something to write about. It really has been slim pickings over the last month or two but hey, fishing isn't compulsory and never should be, what I don't do now I can make up for in the future.

I did venture out with Neil for a spot of pike fishing a few weeks back. The plan was for an early start but Neil couldn't get there until after lunch so I decided to wait for him. We opted for a lure fishing session and started bombing the river in a promising looking spot without a sniff. Moving to one of my favourite pike haunts, Neil took the box seat and had a follow second cast. I had to listen to his description of the fish's size and this was repeated when next cast he hooked it albeit for only a second or two.

Regaining some composure he continued to work his way through the lures I'd brought along which were mainly spinner baits of varying sizes and he soon reported a follow from a smaller fish. Meanwhile I didn't see any fish at all, not there or in any of the numerous swims I tried.

We had a think and moved a few miles to another productive spot. Again - nothing, but a few yards upstream is a cracking swim but, as the bank was steep and slippery, I gallantly stood back to allow the boy the pleasure. Two casts later I had to descend the slope to photograph a fine river pike of 13lb 8oz. I was delighted for Neil as pike have long been a bogey fish for him and this was his first from the Wye despite several attempts.

Getting up the bank was a difficult but hilarious experience and we called it a day.

I went to the spot where the two fish followed Neil's lure a day or two later but couldn't raise any response. As I thrashed the river to a foam I thought to myself "Why didn't you just bring some deadbaits?" And promised myself a change of method next time out.

A day or two later that old poacher Paul Ashton contacted me to say that his pike season had started with a flourish and that he had taken a fish of exactly 20lbs and one of 10lbs 4oz. I wonder if you can guess which swim it came from?

The back was playing me up for a while but I did promise myself another go as the low, clear conditions made pike, chub and grayling all catchable. Of course it rained overnight and I didn't fancy the slippery banks and the river was starting to rise, it could wait a day or two. Since then the river has come up and up and......

I have a grayling day booked for early January and a day with Dave Steuart in February and will doubtless find a moment or two to spend at the waterside in the mean time. There's even talk of another trip to a French river next summer but more of that later.

Its been an odd year for many reasons and it looks like 2014 will continue in that vein, I hope that a few fish grace the net or that I fall in often enough to keep you entertained.

Enjoy the Christmas period and thanks for taking the time to drop in.


  1. Dave,

    Nice action shot that.

    Merry Christmas.

  2. As Jason says that is a very nice shot of the Esox action Dave and a visit to that French river sounds like a very good plan in the making my friend. best wishes to yourself and family during Christmas and in 2014.