Tuesday, 15 December 2015

In Search of a Personal Best Chub (Part Two)

 "Washed out" is always my fear when I go on a detour and on Sunday I set off from London to a section of the Stour that has been churning out monster Chub like they are going out of fashion, my Chub personal best fish of 6.10 is going to be very difficult to beat on most of my local rivers, so where best than probably the country's best Chub river.

 All I needed was a river that was fishable....


A regular occurrence on the Stour.
 The colour was like chocolate and although the river was within it's banks I knew from the beginning it was going to be tough, Chub would have switched off, not completely but they would wait to feed properly as the colour dropped out of it, unfortunately I didn't have a couple of days to wait so I had to get on with it, I travelled down and met up with a couple of anglers who were after the same quarry Matt and Rob, I started off in a swim that had a main glide with a near-side obstruction and far-bank vegetation which looked perfect for a Chevin or two.

 I ran maggots through for well over two hours I couldn't manage more than the occasional half-hearted pull which came to nothing, then I switched over to rolling cheese and static cheese in the slacks and glides but again this proved futile, a quick change of venue also proved as hard with a couple of line bites as fish moved around my swim but nothing committed. The only real positive to come from the day was in the shape of a couple of Roach but nothing big, just watching the float bury itself was good stuff and as dusk approached we all switched to static bottom baits, again this didn't provide any joy, that is the reality of fishing sometimes, blanking isn't something I do much but it teaches you alot when you do, search for those answers that will make me succeed come further down the line.

 "Home Comforts" are loved by all whether it's in the fishing world or not, I know the fisheries very well that I have spent time on, plenty of time has been taken to work out patterns of feeding and what condition's are best for certain species, what bait's to use and so on, so yesterday I took my father out for a day's guided Barbelling, take him around areas where I know that Barbel hold up and feed, we spent the day roving on a single rod each approach, this for Barbel and Chub too is the best way to fish in my opinion, sight fishing is even better.

 One of the most exhilarating thing's in fishing is watching a Barbel scoot over to your bait as it heads down stream before hoovering it up and quickly trying to wrench the rod out of your hand!, my father and I did some recon first before casting for the first time and when we did start I didn't expect a take on the first cast, James Snr's bait was slammed as a Barbus made off downstream at speed, first blood to the "old boy" :), I wanted him to catch before I had a go myself.

Speedy little soul, around the 4-4.8 mark.

 He was happy with that but a double figure fish was possible and enough of them are present to there be a chance, just had to find them!, we continued searching and it didn't take long for me to get involved as I had a staunch take but I lost her on the take, this was quickly followed by another hook-up which lasted for nearly half a minute before coming off, I must admit I cursed alot even though I was damn sure more opportunities would come, then in a swim which I love to fish was kind to me again in the shape of this stunningly immaculate Barbel of 10lb 3oz, the fight was brilliant and a couple of heart in mouth moments as it snagged up on an unseen snag twice but came free fairly easy both times.

One the best looking Barbel I've ever caught, perfect.
I do miss not fishing for these as much.
 The day continued as it started as my father and I managed quite a few more enquiries but we just couldn't get the hook set but that is the way it goes sometimes, other times and I'd probably land four out of five hits. So today my father headed out by himself to try and add to yesterday's total but struggled to connect to anything and I didn't fair as well but a blank wasn't on the cards as a pocket rocket around 4lbs saved me, but my Dad unfortunately didn't add to his tally, but that's fishing!