Never a better time to fish for Wye pike

Pike personal bests were the order of the day on the River Wye last week, with two anglers managing to capitalise on short breaks in the weather to enjoy dream catches from one of the country’s most picturesque waterways.

First up was Ian Carpenter, who more than doubled his pb when he banked a 32lb 1oz giant during a roving session the day before ice melt-water rendered the river nigh on unfishable.

The 32-year-old builder spent no more than 10 minutes in each swim along a two-mile stretch, and was rewarded for his efforts just as the light was beginning to fade when his float legered dead roach was picked up by the huge predator.

Ian, who was fishing with a friend and his angling-mad daughter Callie (10), said: “The fish put up an awesome fight, and every time I got her near the bank, she steamed off on a 20yd run.

“Then, when I finally thought I had her beat, she made three massive lunges under the
rod-tip. At this point I could see she was a thirty and so I literally pushed my mate into the water with the landing net!”

The pike smashed Ian’s old pb of 15lb 2oz, taken four years ago from Llandegfedd Reservoir in Wales, and was beaten with the help of size 6 trebles, a 30lb wire trace and 30lb braided mainline.

l Another angler who’s been capitalising on the Wye’s superb winter pike form is Gavin Evans, who got in on the action with a new pb of 29lb during a short morning session.

Powys-based rod Gavin took the fish, along with another of 15lb, on a popped-up headless mackerel hookbait just a couple of hours before heavy snow showers forced him to abandon his session for fear of being stranded on the riverbank.

Gavin, who believes there’s never been a better time to fish the Wye, told Angling Times: “I’m lucky to live so close to such a stunning river. There’s miles of water to go at, a lot of which has not been fished from one year to the next. On some stretches you just have to give the farmer a couple of quid to fish for the day ¬ it’s a specimen angler’s paradise and I firmly believe it will do a 40-pounder before too long.”