Back in the Summer I had a text from Rob saying that he had been lucky enough to acquire a couple of bank tickets for two days of Piking on Chew in November and would I be up for joining him? Damn right I would! Time off work was booked and much research was conducted over the subsequent months until finally the day arrived and we were about as ready as we could be.
A 4am start had us in vicinity of the lake by around 7am, I say vicinity because finding the lake is one thing but finding access is something else entirely! The woodford lodge was easy enough to find but we wanted to fish the opposite side and spent nearly an hour looking for access to the lake over there before giving up and heading around to Nunnery point.
There was a couple of other anglers already in situ and after a quick chat it transpired that the lake had been fishing extremely hard with very little coming out, not what we wanted to hear! It was very foggy out on the lake with no wind and it looked good for a fish. The echo sounder on the baitboat showed a smoothly sloping bottom and our baits were in around 18ft of water. There was plenty of fish signals on the screen and we took these to be the resident trout population. Nothing happened until around midday when an angler just up the bank from us caught a 14lb Pike which certainly served to up our ebbing confidence somewhat. Later on in the afternoon I received a series of Trout pickups and although I managed to hook one it soon fell off.
Reports filtered in that a couple of lads fishing Wick point, which is where we originally wanted to fish, had found a few Jacks. We managed to get some directions and resolved to head there the next day in a bid to change our fortunes. The first day ended as a blank for the both of us but after a nice curry and a good nights kip in a local b&b we were well ready for another crack at them the next day.
The first thing we noticed upon arriving at Wick point was that it was extremely boggy and waterlogged, two lads were already setup further down and seemed to be getting quite a bit of trout action. Hopefully if the trout were there then the Pike wouldn't be too far behind.
The sounder gave a nice depth of around 7ft which gently sloped to around 9ft at around 60 yards out, trout were showing everywhere. Within minutes Rob hooked what he thought was a trout until a Jack of around 3lb popped up. Because it was only hooked on the bottom treble I decided to glove it out despite Robs warnings about the loose treble flying about. sure enough I ended up with two of the points stuck in my hand but at least one of us had managed to catch a Chew Pike at last!
Over the next couple of hours we both had the line pulled from the clips on the drop off indicators repeatedly by the trout. Eventually I had one which kept on going and I finally hooked a fish. It pulled well and stayed deep right up until netting but it was no Pike, instead I found myself posing with a trout of around 6lb, I hadn't blanked anyway!
More trout pickups followed but no more fish were hooked for the rest of the day. A chat with one of the bailiffs told us the place had fished very hard and the biggest pike to come out had fallen to a trout angler on the fly and went 27lb+! A couple of other 20s had been caught but most had gone home with blanks.
The headlines in the angling weeklies about Chew would lead many to believe the place is a pike runs water and I guess it does have the odd day like that but with over 1200 acres to hide in the Pike arent always easy to find and a lot of people go home disappointed. Having said that I would be on there again like a flash given the opportunity, it only takes one bite to give you the fish of a lifetime on a place like Chew and as the title of this post says, you've got to be in it to win it