Well 2014 has started in very slow fashion and I didn't anticipate so little time on the bank, the weather certainly hasn't been the best with most if not all my rivers bursting their banks or just on the brink of overflowing, at work I've been champing at the bit to get a good days fishing in. Finally today was probably the best day it has been since Christmas, the first day of high pressure in a long time so I knew the fish would feed so I wasted no time and was out the house before dawn, Chub on the agenda today.
Winter Chub fishing is always good fun when you can find them, but I hadn't realised last night it rained all night again, I reached the river and the best description I could think of was a raging torrent, it was hand over the eyes stuff and a shake of the head, all I could think of was where can I fish?, 20ft trees passed me through my first swim as I was setting up, it has been one horrible start to the year as I'm sure many of you guys would agree, but I was in a swim and I was determined to make something of it.
My Chub rig, as simple as you like, a running 2oz lead locked by two shot and a size 6 hook baited with some really stinky cheese all connected via 6lb line straight through, my only chance of catching was to find slacks and employ the bait and wait tactic......an hour-and-a-half passed without a sniff, it was hard, I moved my bait around at 20 minute intervals and broke off little bits of cheese and trickled them in to try and draw Chub out of their lairs or from downstream if they could. Then out of nowhere the rod tip rattled momentarily which was quickly followed by a sharp tug, I didn't need any more than that, fish on and in the current it felt like a good Barbel, fast powerful runs and stripping line off the centre-pin at every opportunity, then in typical fashion a Chub came to the surface and rolled over and headed into the net, the angling gods at last supplied me with some enjoyment.
|A sight for sore eyes.|
Then as if by magic, the rod slammed around again within a matter of a minute, they had finally started chewing on my bait, the first one was a good 4lb + fish and the second was every bit as big, with the first in the keepnet and the second slipped in I got myself together and got the bait out in the same spot, I did eventually get another take but it took 25 minutes for that to materialise but when it did the fight was slightly different from the previous two, it hung low for almost the whole scrap but it wasn't strong enough to be a Barbel, after 3 or so minutes a good Chub broke the murky surface, I thought to myself it's a good'un, wasting no time at all, she slipped over the awaiting net, not the longest 5lb Chub I've ever caught but very well fed.
|Biggest of the day at 5lb 1oz.|
|A great catch considering the conditions, plus another one I put back.|
|The five, a perfect condition winter Chub.|
On my way home this is what I saw on the Thames.
|Bar/Restaurant going under but not in a financial sense.|
|I walked that beat for Pike not a month ago where those boats are.|
The Thames in Surrey is not looking good at the moment and it's still rising, the water was level with the weir and the lock is only a matter of inches below the level above the lock, more overnight rain already falling, by the morning I suspect a mass amount of damage will be done added to what has already been done, we need a dry month now to allow all the excess water drain out the systems, but I don't think that will happen any time soon.