Friday, 29 October 2010

Chewed Up - Spat Out

Every autumn I manage a trip or two to Chew Valley Reservoir in Somerset. It's probably fair to say that the pike fishing at Chew is just about the best there is in this country - usually that is. Earlier this year there was a fish-kill at the lake in which it is clear that many very big pike died. Such things are natural phenomena in which the population levels out a little, nothing much to worry about in the long term but annoying at the time.

In the spring of this year Chew was turning up pike to over forty pounds - exceptional fish by anyone's standards but it seems now that the fish are topping out at the low thirties. Now these are stil big pike and well worth fishing for so I was hopeful of something worthwhile during my six days fishing there during October.I had one day in a boat with Denis, two in a boat with Joe, my son, one on the bank with my old friend Paul Brown and two more boat days with my wife. I always catch at least one twenty pounder at Chew - but not this year!

The day with Denis produced lots of fish, but not one over ten pounds in weight. Others found the same on the day, fishing over the vast shoals of prey fish failed to produce big fish, just lots of little ones. It seems the bigger fish weren't hanging around the prey fish shoals but were over in shallower water.

My two days with Joe were little better with just a few double figure fish to thirteen pounds or so and some jacks. It seemed that either your name was on a big fish or it wasn't and while we worked hard lure fishing as well as bait fishing and moving around constantly trying to find the fish, others just sat it out for that one run which inevitably came for some. One friend had a single run in the day but it was a fish of more than thirty pounds. Another had two runs in two days and both were over twenty. Blanks were mounting up for many people and I even had two myself.

The last session, one day on the bank and two in a boat was a mixed bag but it was still hard. The bank session with Paul was a wet and windy day in which most bank anglers were looking for shelter rather than fish. We found a spot where we could get in and where the wind was coming from the side and set up there. I had my first rod in quite quickly as did Paul but as I was setting up my second rod I heard Paul call out "I think I'm in here."

Sure enough a fish had taken his legered sardine on the drop and after a lively scrap he soon had a super 23lb 6oz pike on the bank. I'd like to say it was the beginning of a bumper session but in fact the wind and waves got worse and worse and by ten o'clock the swim was unfishable. As so often happens in a big blow the waves were carrying great clumps of weed which were washing up on our lines and making the fishing quite impossible.

We moved to a different area and Paul had another pike, a small one but soon the weed got the better of us again so we opted to move once more. At this point we realised a boat had become available so we opted to take to the water where at least we could be sure of getting away from the weed. I took a low double figure fish from the boat but all too soon the day was over.

My last two days, out in the boat with Mrs Edwards were very disappointing with only one fish boated, a low double. I should take comfort in the fact that the rain held off and it was relatively mild so she wasn't uncomfortable but I would have liked us to catch more fish.

That's it for Chew for this year, I have the option to fish some more days if I want to but I think I'll move on to other things now. That's six doubles for the season so far, I'm going to try to keep count this season.

1 comment:

Paddy Pike said...

What a strange thing to happen, But a fish kill is said to be a natural form of thining out, You had some mixed company for your days out Fishing, But at least you had low doubles when Mrs Edwards was skipper, Well done Eric,
Bet you lose count haha,