Sunday, 21 January 2018

Chub Challenges.

 When it comes to winter fishing the Chub are a very obliging species to target, which is good for me as I leave home sometimes deciding what I should go for, often I make my mind up on route to wherever it is I'm going. Leaving the manor without a concrete idea on what I'm angling for does put me at a disadvantage occasionally, that however is the way I've always fished.

 Three days of solid fishing which began not 3 hours after arriving at Gatwick. Through the border control, then waited twenty minutes for the backpacks to come along the carousel, then a brisk march along the winding corridors into the terminal building, then onto our train back into London. Barely home for an hour and the gear was packed, I was ready to go. Bait wise I didn't have much but four pints of maggots, a loaf of bread and a tin of meat, the bread was my obvious choice to start with and within ten minutes my keep net was in position with a lively Chub of 4lb+ thumping the end of it trying to escape.

Mint winter Chub of 4lb+

 For the next two hours I added another five Chub up to the high 4lb bracket, great fun on the light gear but more annoyingly I lost two fish in quick succession to an unseen snag which was held up in maybe 5ft of water, it wasn't ideal thats for certain, why does this happen?, The Chub seemed to be feeding confidently which was more apparent by landing six, but to hook and loose two in consecutive trots was strange. I continued to trot this particular run which was around 70 yards before it shallowed up for possibly thirty minutes after the sixth with no further response from the remainder of the shoal.

A manic spell, quite often how it goes.

 A move downstream to pastures new failed to produce a single fish, although a few tentative bites came along sporadically none of them seemed as if they would produce a fish, I had plenty of ideas as to why it was fishing so hard but no matter what I tried I couldn't make it happen.

 Day two and change of scenery, the hope was that the cold rains hadn't put the fish off. The river was in good nick as I expected, pace was perfect, colour slowly dropping out. It spelt success. If only they could be located. The previous day the bites came early on so the plan was to get on the feeding, possibly for 20 minutes before casting in. Twenty minutes later it was time to go down the run and the float was just about to reach the end of the run when the float buried, fish on! But, oh no, it was gone, not five seconds on and the float pinged out of the water. I bought the gear back and inspected the hook which was brand new and sharp as a tack.

 More feed went out, the float was sent back down the run again, the float barely got twenty yards down the run and off it went again, four or five seconds later the fish went solid, the outcome all to familiar. That annoying process continued for another half a dozen trots as I connected with a total of five fish, all which I believe to be Chub. I could do nothing to stop them from getting their heads down and into the weed. The loss of those fish killed off the swim, however I didn't come to that conclusion immediately as I trotted it for another four hours before giving up.

 It was tough!, the remainder of the day was spent trying to find Chub, that task ended up with me throwing in the towel an hour after dark, I couldn't believe through the amount of promise the beginning of the day bought that it could end in a blank.

A magnificent sunset.
 Day three, was slightly better due to the fact I finally managed to bank 2 Chub, nothing big but a welcome sight seeing how tough day two was. It is mind bending how the river could look so good and produce so little, it is conceivable my tactics weren't spot on, the fish had fed during the bulk of the high water and their feeding spell had tailed off or worse still I was possibly a day or two early as the fish sought more settled conditions before gorging themselves. Whatever the reason I was just thankful my 220 mile round trip wasn't a complete blank and some fish were tempted.

 Eight Chub in three days.......I guess I'll take that.

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