Thursday, 7 November 2013

Back On The Chub Trail

Spurred on by my success on Monday the river was once again calling to me, and with my confidence now restored, and now flying high, I couldn't wait to get out on the bank. This time however the session would be a lot shorter, starting at roughly midday and finishing an hour or two after dark.

I don't tend to fish that much after dark and this is something I've been meaning to remedy for a while now. Nearly all fish feed better after dark, or at least just as its beginning to get dark, and with the cover of darkness the fish tend to be a lot less wary losing their customary caution. Chub are no exception to this rule. As we all know chub are one of the most wariest of fish that reside in our waters, so it makes perfect sense to fish at this time. That's not to say that they can't be caught during the day, they can, but some refinement may be needed to catch consistently.

This time we decided to fish our usual haunts of our regular stretch. Bait was once again cheese paste, but instead of baiting swims and leaving them for my customary hour before casting, most of the time leading up to darkness descending was spent introducing small thumbnail size pieces of paste every hour or so. Time spent on swim preparation is rarely wasted. If there are any chub in the nearby vicinity then they would be queuing up waiting for my hook bait - well that was the theory anyway!

All I pre-bait with is half a dozen blobs of cheese paste

My first port of call was a swim that I've fished a fair bit this season but never seem to get many bites from, although I know of lots of other anglers who catch from it. Strange really as its a great looking swim which has a lovely mid river crease. Funny sometimes how those textbook swims can be devoid of chub when they look so right. Even the water looked spot on with a nice green tinge to it, yet despite my best efforts I couldn't get a bite. I spent around twenty minutes in the swim and then decided it was time for a move.

No one at home today

As time was getting on it was time to decide on a swim to settle down in for the evening. I decided on a swim which was another classic looker. A lovely looking hawthorn bush overhanging the water at the beginning of a long straight. Dad positioned himself further upstream from me on the outside of a bend. I've taken a few fish from beneath the hawthorn tree in the past, but it does tend to be patchy in giving up its residents.

With about an hour to to go until dark I decided to get my bait into position as soon as possible as I've noticed that sometimes if the bait is left in situ for longer periods than normal it may produce an extra bite or two. I didn't have to wait long for a bite as the tip ripped round and just kept on going. The fish put up a good account of itself in the flow, as it tried to get me into some bank side weed, but the fight was never in doubt. I was a little disappointed when I saw how small the fish was but I was glad that I hadn't blanked. I've been through enough of them in the last few months. On the bank the fish was quickly weighed, and at 1lb 12oz, it was a superb example of a mint condition fish. I suppose small chub should be looked at as a good thing in one respect. It means that the river is producing up and coming fish for the future, and that the otters aren't eating everything.

Perfection in miniature

With the light just beginning to fade I attached an isotope to the tip of my rod, and molded a nugget of cheese paste around my size 6 hook ready to recast. I had to wait a lot longer for the next bite, as you usually do after catching a fish from a swim, but walking around on the river bank in semi darkness, even on a stretch I know will still has it dangers. Until I get more acquainted with fishing into darkness, I'll take things easy for now.

Half an hour or so had gone by, when local chub supremo Malcolm Tolley wandered down the bank for a chat. We were sitting there discussing all things fishing, when the tip slammed round and kept on going and going, the rod being threatened to be dragged in. I struck firmly but felt nothing on the line! Damn! The air turned blue with expletives. How on earth do you miss bites like that? You do everything right and yet you still can't hook the buggers. Me and Malcolm just sat there wondering what had all gone wrong, but one thing that was going right was the new cheese paste as mentioned in the last blog entry. It certainly seems to getting me more bites than the stuff I used to use and that can only be a good thing.

One final point I'd like to end on is that if your a mad keen chub fisherman then you really should head on over to the Chub Fishing Group on Facebook. It's really a great group to join where you can pick up some useful tips, ideas, and share your experiences with anglers from all over the country. It really is worth a look -

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