Chew pike

32:08 Pike for Neil Leaver

On Tuesday my guest Neil Leaver boated this beautifully marked 32:08 pike - his Personal Best by a long shot!
Neil was fishing with John Synnuck and I on the second day of the 2014 Spring Pike Trials.

The previous day, all boats were cancelled due to the very strong Southerly winds, so John and Neil were forced to return home to the London area and drive back the following day.  My boat was cancelled on the Monday and they had a boat booked for the Tuesday, but they had no hesitation making the 300 mile round journey twice in as many days - and thank goodness they did!

Neil's fish took a floatfished mackerel deadbait in Villice Bay just after 12:30.

I then decided to have a fish and threw a few lures in the vicinity.  Within 10 minutes, a cracking 27:10 pike took my soft plastic lure and made it a great day to remember.

Since then, the boats have again been cancelled due to the high winds on the Wednesday, but bank anglers continued to do well and this culminated with Chew's biggest ever pike coming out at 44:06 - what a monster of a fish and congratulations to it's captor.

The next week of trials begins tomorrow (Monday) and I have a boat with my good friend Daryl Hunter.  Let's hope that the winds drop as they are forecast and we can cover lots of water using lures rather than deadbaits.

I truly believe that Chew Valley will produce a record UK pike for some lucky angler in the foreseeable future - and personally, I hope it comes out on a fly.  Now wouldn't that be amazing?

Neil Leaver and his 32:08 Chew pike
My 27:10 Chew pike on a lure

Catch us on Tight Lines this Friday!

This Friday, 10th January 2014, Tony Donnelly and myself are featured catching pike on lures at Chew Valley Lake.
The footage was filmed during the Autumn pike trials and we had fish to over 20lbs to our boat.

The vast majority of pike trials anglers use static deadbaits to get their pike, but this episode clearly shows that big Chew pike love lures!

If you don't have Sky Sports, then you can catch the Podcast on the Sky Sports Web Site.

England World Team call-up

Last week I received the call every competition fly fisher wants to get - being told you are in the England Team for the forthcoming World Championships.
This year the World Championships will be held in the Czech Republic - home to the current World Champions!

There will be two lake sessions and three river sessions and I feel we have a very strong team that definitely has a chance of bringing home a medal.
The England Team are:-
Phil Dixon
Andrew Scott
John Tyzack
John Horsey
Howard Croston
Res. Mike Dixon
Manager - Paul Page

Chew almost full!

The recent storms have had a real impact on Chew Valley Lake and it is a mere inches off being at top level.  Last week I posted a pic of the spillway being a few feet off top water, but look at the pic I took today.

Chew almost at top water level

Perch and Pike on Chew

For the last week I have enjoyed the most amazing perch and trout fishing on Chew and now that the Pike Trials have begun, the pike have turned up in big numbers and some of them are HUGE!

I had my PB Perch on the fly a few days ago at exactly 4:00 and with it on the same leader was another at 3:02!  Barry Hawyes and Steve Harding also had their PB's at 3:13 and 3:02 respectively.  My best brace (on the same cast) weighed 3:11 and 3:09 - a stunning 7:04 in the net at the same time.

Now the pike trials have begun and on the Opening Day I had a beauty at 27:12, while Gavin Young had a 32lb fish and there was also a 31lb taken from the boats.  On day 2, a bank angler had a magnificent 42lb croc and today I saw another 30lb fish taken.  There have also been at least 20 over 20lbs caught in the first 3 days.

So my question is:- where the hell have they been when I have been fly fishing for them??????

My best ever brace of Chew perch at 3:11 and 3:09
My 27:12 Chew pike
Barry Hawyes with his PB 3:13 Chew perch

Chew Special on Sky TV

 Only 2 days to go before I go into the Sky Sports TV Studios to join Keith Arthur in the "Bothy" for an episode-long Chew Valley fishing "Special".

Keith and I fished Chew a few weeks ago and the Sky cameras were there to film it all.

We began the day fishing for trout and the Chew rainbows did not let us down.  Plenty of action with some cracking trout being caught.

Then we turned the attention to the Chew Pike - again on the fly.  Keith had a near double, so did I, but later we had something special.
All will be revealed on Friday's show.

Tight Lines, Sky Sports 3, Friday 5th July at 7:00pm

Keith Arthur and the Sky TV Crew

Ireland, Filming and Fishing

 The last 2 weeks have been pretty hectic.  First I guided each day on Chew and then filmed a "special" on Chew with Keith Arthur and the Sky TV cameras for Tight Lines.
We started off the day fishing for trout and had some cracking rainbows to over 4lbs - with Keith taking the best on a floating line with a Diawl Bach Nymph.
Then we had a go for the pike and both of us had one pretty quickly, but as the day went on, the rain got heavier and heavier.  We were about to call it a day when we landed a beauty - but you'll have to wait until Friday 5th July to see the action on Sky's Tight Lines when I am joining Keith in the Bothy for a "Chew Special" programme.

Ireland and Lough Derg

The very next day I caught the ferry from Liverpool to Dublin and then drove the 3 hours route down to Portumna and the mighty Lough Derg.  At 29 miles long, this is a brute of a lough, but full of fish.  We were filming for the Irish Tourist Board and along with top matchman Baz Simth, we landed over 200lbs of quality roach, bream and roach/bream hybrids over the two day-sessions.

I also lure fished for pike and along with top Irish Guide Dave Harris, we landed plenty of fish with 3 decent doubles and a couple of big fish lost upon the way.

There were also lots of mayfly coming off and I had a few chances at the big brownies, but sadly blew my chances when I was broken twice and then missed the best take of the day by striking too quickly - BAD ANGLING!!!!!

Back to Chew

Yesterday I fished with Anthony Tabor and his father John.  The weather was awful - strong, cold winds and unrelentless blue skies - fleece weather but also high factor sunscreen!  We fished long and hard with nymphs and floaters, but John managed only 1 good rainbow in 6 hours of drifting and fishing the known hotspots.
Anthony was happy to try the sinking lines, so on went a DI3 and our fortunes changed instantly.  
We drifted from the North Shore across to Denny Island and in 2 hours had boated another 10 rainbows and lost several others.  John also switched to a slow sinking Intermediate and he too joined in the action.
 
Boobies, Blobs and Nymphs all caught fish and the action was at times frantic, with some great fighting fish. 
 

Lexus Heat on Blagdon

Today I held the first ever Lexus Individual Heat on Blagdon and it was a raging success.  In the sell-out Floating Lines Only Heat, the average catch per rod was 8.5, with an amazing average weight of 2lbs 11ozs.

Top rod was Mark Stevens, who qualified for the Grand Final at Chew in September and won an emboidered Greys jacket and a pair of Ugly Fish Sunglasses.  The other qualifiers, who all won Greys reels were John Piper, Wayne Aitken, Jim Purvis, Mark Thomas, Alex Johnstone, Steve Ebdon and John Glanfield.

 

Baz Smith and me with Lough Derg Bream and Hybrid
John Tabor with fin perfect Chew Rainbow
Keith Arthur's best Chew rainbow

Great new Bristol Water Web Site

 Bristol Water have a fantastic new Web Site.

Check out www.bristolwaterfisheries.co.uk and see for yourselves.

All the latest reports, tips and "how to" methods, plus all the up-to-date competitions and events on both Chew Valley and Blagdon Lakes.

If you want some free tuition days with me - then all the dates are on the new site.

There are even brand new VIDEO CLIPS  for both TROUT and PIKE featuring top anglers.

So log on to www.bristolwaterfisheries.co.uk and check out all these new features.

 

What a week on Chew!

 This last week has been sensational on Chew - apart from the weather - which has been dreadful.  Cold winds, rain and hail storms have dominated the forecast, but the Chew trout and pike have fed well.
I started the week on Sunday where I fished my England Qualifier and failed to make the cut for the National at Grafham by a mere 4ozs!
Chew fished very well on the day, with no less than 30 of the 38 competitors taking their 12 fish limit bags.  We fished to a very sensible 6 fish kill, then 6 fish release with a further 2lbs an hour time bonus.

I caught my first 6 fish in Villice Bay using nymphs on a floating line within 55 minutes, but switching to debarbed hooks and moving about to find some new fish, meant I lost both several fish and some all important time.  I completed my 6th released fish at 13:45, but sadly my total weight fell agonisingly short of the qualifying cut-off weight of 36lbs 9ozs.

Congratulations to those who qualified, with newcomer dale Burgess winning the day.  Fisheries manager Tony Donnelly also qualified for the National and I wish all the qualifiers well for the Grafham finale - I only wish I was joining you!

Pike

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I hosted ian Gregg's party of anglers and fisheries biologists for their 9th annual trip after the Chew Pike.  The "Chew Valley Pikers" managed a very creditable 33 pike over the 3 days, with Eric Hope taking the best brace of the season so far at 28lbs 2ozs and 27lbs.  Keith Hendry had a 23lb 8ozs tagged fish, while brother Cliff also had a tagged fish of 16lbs.  Ian Gregg had a 26lb pike, while James Stephens landed another fish of 26lbs 8ozs.

Next week Sky TV's Keith Arthur and the film crew will be fishing with me, so I am keeping everything crossed that the weather will be kinder than this week.

Chew Valley Pikers on Chew
Eric Hope's 28lb 2oz Chew pike
Keith Hendry with a cracking 23lb 8oz Chew pike

John Synnuck's 28lb Pike

 Last Monday John Synnuck and I fished the 1st day of Chew Valley Pike Trials and landed pike of 28lbs and 21lbs 4ozs, plus 2 other doubles and a couple of cracking rainbow trout!
The weather had threatened to cancel all boats due to high winds, but thankfully Chew was fishable all week as the high gusts never materialised.  It was however, very cold and pretty windy, making drifting with lures almost impossible.  So it was reluctantly a time to sit it out with deadbaits and our first fish of the day weighed a creditable 21:04 and fell to my rod.  John soon followed that up with his PB Chew Pike that weighed exactly 28lbs.
We also had a couple of doubles and another at 7lbs with a Tag.  I checked my records and John Synnuck caught that fish with me in October and it weighed 6:12.  Then an hour later that October day, I caught it again!  Amazingly, when I was out the next day, we caught 5 more pike and one of them was that very same fish - complete with Tag!

Overwintering Trout

On the Monday, John and I boated rainbow trout of 3lbs and 5lbs - both took mackerel and were released unharmed.
The next day, my clients landed 3 cracking rainbows; 4lbs, 6:08 and 7:08.  Once again, all went back unharmed and all were extremely fat and fighting fit.

This really bodes well for the coming trout fishing season as it proves the trout are overwintering well on the rich pickings of hoglice and shrimp.

Pike again on Monday

The weather looks set to be fairly calm and a bit warmer for this 2nd set of Chew Pike Trials which begin on Monday.
I am due to be there and am expecting to fish lures on the drift.

Hardly anyone has fished lures during the 1st set of Trials, so it is possible we might find some decent pike well away from where the bait fishers are anchoring.

John Synnuck's 28lb Pike
My 21lb 4oz Pike
A full Chew Valley Lake

Barry Hawyes gets PB 25lb Pike

My good friend and regular client Barry Hawyes landed his PB Chew Pike yesterday weighing 25lbs exactly.
We decided to join the masses over at Stratford for a couple of hours, fishing deads and our only run resulted in Barry's cracking personal best pike.

Barry is one of only a handful of anglers that have now landed 20lb+ pike from Chew using deadbaits, lures and also on the fly.

His latest fish took a float fished mackerel tail bait in 12 feet of water.

We spent the rest of the day fishing lures in other parts of the lake and also dropping the anchor from time to time trying to find some other fish.  They are there, but we'll now have to wait until the next set of trials to see if they are more willing to take the lures.

Fly fishing

In the meantime, I am fly fishing for the pike on Saturday, when only a handful of people will be on the water and I expect a decent pike or two.

For those of you wanting to target the trout, my advice is to get there quick!  Gareth Jones and his guests recently had trout to over 6lbs on minkies, while others have had loads of 4lb+ rainbows on nymphs and lures.

This has to be the best back-end rainbow trout sport on Chew for years and if the weather holds, it should last until the end of November when the lake closes for boat fishing.

Barry Hawyes and his PB 25lb Chew Pike

John Synnuck gets a 21lb pike

Yesterday John Synnuck and I fished a Pike Trials day on Chew and John caught a 21lb fish.  We decided to anchor and fish deads - even though we both would have preferred to drift and fish lures - but the cold winds of late seem to have stapled the pike to the bottom and to be honest; it was also the warmest option!

A small bluey accounted for the fish - the best on the day from the boats - and we also had 2 smaller pike and missed a run.

The water temperature is 11 C and has dropped 1 degree, but I think it will need to drop a bit more before the pike start taking the lures with more venom.

Trout fishing still amazing

The trout fishing on Chew is still incredible, with loads of 4lb+ rainbows being caught from all 4 corners of the lake.  Tony Ling had 8 today and the best was over 5lbs, with 2 others over 4lbs.  My good mate Martin Cottis also had a cracking day recently with a double boat limit of 12 fish and amazingly 8 were over 4lbs in weight!

I will still be guiding for trout between the pike trials until the end of November and it really is worth having a last fling at what has to be the best trout fishing on Chew since I took up guiding 20 years ago.

John Synnuck with his 21lb Chew Pike

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