Monday, 30 July 2012

Chub at last

Returning to the river Stort in July I decided to stick with bread as bait as it had been successful last time.  Back in the same swim that I had the large Bream in before I was only getting small knocks from small fish. There was nothing large enough to take the bread flake. The evening was drawing on when I decided to try on the side stream where there is more flow. First cast the waggler float disappeared and my fist chub of the season was attached. It graced the landing net and weighed a nice two pounds 9 ounces. Happy with this I return home.

However, I could not get my thoughts away from another sided stream that I had spotted so a few days later returned to the river. To get to the side stream I had to walk along the main road without a path carrying my net, rod, and tackle bag. Not for the faint hearted as I ran the gauntlet of mad van drivers. Eventually I reached a gap by a tree where the stream runs under the road. Baiting up with sweet corn it did not take me long to have a nice plump 3 pounder in the net. Now once you have one chub from a small stream it’s pointless staying on and it’s better to move. Move I did all along the main river without a touch on the quiver tip. Eventually i returned to the swim from the previous session. The thing with chub is if you are stealthy enough you do not need special tackle. And this session was no exception. Kneeling among the head high stinging nettles, hand poised over the handle of the rod every sense in neutral ready to pounce. Not long but it felt like hours the tip flew round and the heavy thudding fight was on. Lots of speed at first but very soon the fish was in the net. A very nice looking 4 pound chub from a tiny stream. It’s a trick that never fails to impress me.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

June the 16th

Opening day of the season on the river Stort arrived with an enormous expectation. An expectation that evaporated as quickly as it arrived. On the 13th I had walked the side streams around Latton Lock weir pool and observed many chub feeding in the shallow clear water. This day, however, I did not see a single fish. I tackled up with a light quiver tip rod and a float rod and fished the weir pool, but without success. In desperation I moved onto the main river and float fished bread on the slow moving water. I had rarely had much success on the main river below the bridge despite it looking the part.  A slow steady dip on the float and I struck into the first fish of the day, a plump pristine roach looking regal, its red fins glistening in the morning sun. A second, just as plump roach hit the landing net a few minutes later like the second pea in a pod and my day was looking much more promising.

When the float dipped again I was expecting the same result but the rod’s arch and feel through the rod blank told me this was a much better fish. A dull but heavy encounter and the fish, much larger than the previously two, glided over the rim of the landing net. A bream and not some insignificant skimmer but a nice fin perfect four pounder.   After I put it back I just stood on the bank and greedily drank in the atmosphere. Warm sun reflected off the water that carried a mere ting of green. My reverie was broken as two other anglers appeared on the bridge. They had caught a brace of chub further “up river” keeping mum about exactly where. I moved to below the lock and had a couple more splashy yet magnificent roach. The roach has been the mainstay of coarse angling since the days of Walton. That is until the rise of the stocky carp waters and decline in river roach populations has knocked this one time anglers favourite off its number one spot. Now many an English coarse angler would rather chase this large brown gold fish weighing well into ten pound plus bracket than chase a sliver and red finned fish of maybe six to ten ounces. I must admit that chasing carp has become a bit of a recent obsession fuelled mostly by my brother’s love for ciprianous carpio yet the roach remains very close to my heart.