River Wye Pike and a Quiet Finish: Baldwin’s Blog
Lewis Baldwin spends his last couple of sessions of the river season searching for a big pike on the River Wye, but it’s tough going.
Warning! If you like reading blogs that are all about fish captures and winning methods then look away now. In all honesty, and to be quite frank, I caught absolutely nothing in February, I didn’t even muster a single bite to my well thought out and presented offerings.
From a personal point of view the month started well. I’d been back at work a week or so after my enforced January lay off and was feeling fighting fit. I’d been advised not to do any heavy lifting but given that things were going well at work with no adverse reactions I was confident a fishing trip wouldn’t cause too many problems.
I’d been studying the weather and river levels religiously in the hope that a window of opportunity would open up. With the rivers having being bank high for the majority of January with cold, coloured water they finally started to recede just in time for my two days off and with the river carrying just a couple of feet of extra water and a slight hint of colour pike were the only species on my mind. Living where I do I’m very privileged to be in close proximity to many waterways and river systems and the one that was drawing my attentions was the River Wye.
I planned to do two consecutive days on the river, the only thing I had to decide whether to travel there and back each day or to find myself a B&B and cut the travelling down to a minimum. After careful consideration the cost of petrol was actually less than a night in a B&B, an evening meal and couple of beers. Add to that a proper few hours’ sleep in my own bed and a daily round trip was the plan.
Up bright and early I wasn’t looking forward to the 80 mile drive but the heating was soon on in the car and I was on my way. Shortly after first light I arrived at the venue and started the long walk over various fields and down a number of muddy farm tracks until I eventually reached the river. It was looking in fine fettle and I was extremely confident of a fish or two. Better still there were no fresh footprints in the silt and mud that the floods had deposited, so I was certain I was the first angler in several weeks to have ventured onto the fishery.
I spent the whole day on the move, dropping into every likely looking swim on more than one occasion, covering literally miles of river. When I finally decided to call it a day I just couldn’t believe that the pike had evaded me as I felt sure I must have put a bait in the vicinity of at least one fish - but if they don’t want it then no matter how many tweaks to rigs or changes to baits you make, it just isn’t going to happen.
During the long drive home my head was filled with answerless questions but if at first you don’t succeed then try and try again so, after a good but short night’s sleep, I was once again in the car heading off for another day’s piking.
This time I chose a venue a little closer to home and it was a mere 50 mile journey I had to contend with. Upon arrival I donned my cold weather apparel and headed off in the direction of the river. Rounding the corner I was faced with the magnificent sight of the Wye twisting its way into the distance with swim upon swim of likely looking holding areas. After negotiating a series of fences and stiles I had a few quick casts in a known holding area without a bite, so I took a deep breath and prepared myself for the long walk to the bottom end of the stretch.
Half an hour later I was there, a little red in the face and hot, but I could now spend the day working my way back towards the car, dropping into every likely looking spot on the way. Well, to cut a long story short, it was once again a long hard slog and despite fishing my socks off it just wasn’t to be. A quick phone call to a couple of friends who were elsewhere on the river soon made it apparent I wasn’t the only one who was struggling.
Amazingly those two days were the only time I made it onto the bank in the whole of February. With my sous chef having a week’s holiday booked and me unable to get any cover I found myself with a distinct lack of days off work in the in the middle part of the month and the last weekend I found myself heading south for The Big One fishing show at Farnborough Airfield.
I was to be spending that weekend with the rest of the Nash PegOne team manning the stand at the show and doing demonstrations and generally talking fishing for the whole weekend. There was a fantastic turn out and a great deal of interest in some of the new Nash products that are due to hit the shelves very soon. It was nice to catch up with friends old and new but come Sunday evening I was definitely ready for home with heavy eyelids and aching feet.
Towards the end of the month I was approached by good friend and Staffordshire regional organiser for the Barbel Society, Mark Dutton, to see if I would be interested in doing a talk and presentation for his region in May. I jumped at the chance to dip my toes in the water of the presentation circuit and, as I will be aided by good friend Rob Swindells who has done many talks before, the pressure will be off a little as he will be doing the first half of the night on his River Dove exploits. It would be great to see some of you there so if you can make it the details are as follows:
The Barbel Society Staffordshire Region presents a night with Rob Swindells and Lewis Baldwin
DATE: Wednesday 29th May
VENUE: Doveridge Village Hall ,Sand Lane, Doveridge DE6 5JQ
ENTRY: BS members: £3 Non members £5
SPEAKERS: Rob Swindells and Lewis Baldwin. Andy Sliwa Rods and The Hookbait Company will also be present.
Buffet available and included.
That’s all for this month folks but with me writing this in mid march I can assure you there will definitely be more piscatorial content in my next monthly offering.
By the Same Author
- Barbel into Autumn: Baldwin’s Blog
- Heatwave Barbel: Baldwin’s Blog
- Barbel Talks and Shows: Baldwin’s Blog
- Close Season Carping: Baldwin’s Blog
- The Close Season Debate and Angling in Paradise: Baldwin’s Blog
- River Wye Pike and a Quiet Finish: Baldwin’s Blog
- A January Barbel - Baldwin’s Blog
- A Specialist Angler's Year – Baldwin’s Blog
- River Pike and Floodwater Fishing - Baldwin’s Blog
- Segre Cats and Dutch Pike