Last week I had a call from my mate Chris ‘Tinca’ Taylor, asking if I fancied a couple of days piking on Chew Valley Reservoir. Chris has offered me a place several times over the last few years and I have had to turn him down due to work pressure. This time was going to be different as I have just taken early retirement, so I jumped at the chance as Chew is one of the finest pike waters in the land. Arrangements were hastily made and the plan was to stay at his place the night before the session in Reading. On the way I popped in to see Alan Stagg at Gardner Tackle. I needed to get a few bits and grabbed some of their Kinetic braided mainline in 30lb. I wanted something strong and reliable and this looked just the job for piking.
Tuesday morning arrived and we were both up before the alarm sounded, unable to sleep through the excitement. We decided to set off earlier than planned and eager to arrive at Chew.
A nice uneventful journey saw us pull up to the lodge in plenty of time. There were already a lot of anglers present and we joined the queue. I had a nice breakfast and then it was off in a mad rush for the boats. It wasn’t long before we had everything aboard and we were motoring across Chew.
It wasn’t exactly piking weather, bright sunshine and not a breath of wind. After trying several spots we settled in the deep water infront of the lodge. I had my first run soon after getting the rods out and landed a nice fish of 16lb. The power of these pike is awesome and we both went on to land a couple more of about 8lb. Chris then latched into a beast weighing 27lb 8oz and we went to the pub that evening a couple of very happy anglers.
The next day couldn’t have been any different as it was lashing down with rain and blowing a gale. Naturally we tried where we caught the day before, but to no avail and by dinner time it was getting rougher, so we decided to head up to Nunnery Point, hoping it would be a bit sheltered. It wasn’t and we got battered by the waves!
We found a spot in about sixteen feet of water and we soon had four rods fanned out using smelt as bait. Within seconds of casting out my bung shot under and a firm strike was met with solid resistance. The fish nearly took me around the anchor and after a fair old tussle (which nearly ended up with it leaping into the boat) she was mine. The scores on the doors showed a new PB weighing 26lb 8oz!
After a few quick photos, we carried on and this time it was Chris’ turn with a fish weighing 21lb. He quickly followed this up with a stunning fish weighing 29lb 8oz, whilst I managed a couple of doubles to 17lb. To say we were elated was an understatement and the beer in the pub after wards tasted mighty fine! I can only say to anyone who gets the chance to fish the place to jump on it and finally a very big thank you to Chris for the invite.