Sunday, 17 November 2013

Super Sunday Chub

Its been just over a week since our last trip down the river, and with the weather now supposedly turning even colder, I was hoping it hadn't knocked the chub for six as they try to acclimatise to the plummeting temperatures. I needant have worried though as the day dawned dank, misty, and very humid for this time of year without a breath of wind in the air.

Once again it was an early start for us, as we arrived at our chosen stretch at roughly eight o'clock in the morning. I'm not normally one for fishing weekends, especially on a Sunday, but as this was the only day I could fit in, I was glad to take it, and hopefully the damp weather wouldn't make other anglers quite as keen as me to venture out of a warm bed on a Sunday morning. You see fishing for chub in winter is not just fishing - its a way of life. For those hearty souls that dare to take on the elements and make that extra bit of effort, are those that will reap the rewards.

Again we headed to the two swims that had been so good to us just recently and deposited small samples of paste to entice the fish to feed. Then we took a leisurely cup of coffee and took our time in getting everything set up. I love this relaxed and laid back approach to this type of fishing, not that's its lazy but as I've said before a little bit of swim preparation goes a long way. Before long Dad headed up to his swim not far from me, a nice deep hole under a tree, and cast in his lump of cheesy paste. I was just about to cast my bait out but before I had a chance he was into his first fish of the day. We had only been fishing for about a minute! I rushed up the bank to see that dad was into a good fish, his Shimano Twin Power Feeder was had adopted a very healthy looking bend indeed, and I was soon ready with the landing net. The fish made one last lunge for freedom when it saw the net but it was all over as soon as is started. I scooped the fish out and hoisted it up onto the bank. Certainly a big fish but would it break the magic 5lb barrier? It looked every bit the part but its head was unusually small in comparison to its body. Quickly weighed it was another good fish for Dad and went 4lb 11oz on the Avons. A couple of hours later he had another smaller chub of 3lb 7oz. He really must have a pair of golden spherical objects between his legs some days!

 My Dad, Dennis Hayes with another fine Waveney chub of 4lb 11oz

Sad to say there isn't really much for me to write about my own fishing this time around as I didn't even manage to get a bite despite fishing my usual reliable swims. With all the will in the world I could not get so much as a pluck on the quiver, but that's just the way with chub some days. Ce la vie.

Around mid morning, myself and dad were joined by our good friend, local Waveney chub expert and all rounder, Malcolm Tolley. We first met Malcolm a couple of years ago, and his local knowledge and intimate first hand experiences of the river have proved invaluable time after time. Local knowledge is worth its weight in gold especially when your not that familiar with certain parts of the river and you can learn so much from someone who has been fishing the river all their life. Malcolm is one of those quiet, modest, and un-assuming anglers, who quietly goes about his fishing and rarely publicizes his captures. He rarely ventures into the lime light, but with his captures of specimen sized fish of all species, including a personal best chub of 6lb 14oz from the Waveney, he is the man in the know when it comes to chub on my local river. Watch out for a guest article by Malcolm soon on this blog detailing his approach when fishing with bread.

Malcolm Tolley fishing for chub on his beloved river Waveney

You may have noticed that from reading my blog I don't experience many of those small, twitchy, and tentative bites on the quiver tip that many chub anglers experience during winter even in sub zero temperatures. In fact its very rare that I receive even drop back bites. It's my experience that if your bait is something the chub want, and it is presented properly, plus its in the right place, there is no need for the chub to be suspicious of it. As a result of this chub will give positive bites pull round bites no matter what the conditions.

It also helps greatly if you can use the lightest tip you can get away with and if your rod is at a forty five degree downstream angle to your bait. It may surprise some of you but most of the time in winter, unless the river is carrying a lot of extra water the heaviest quiver tip I use is 1 1/2 oz. Sometimes I'll even sand down tips to make them even more sensitive. I also use as little shot as possible to hold bottom. 2 SSG is the most I'll use even in flood conditions although you may have to juggle around with amount of shot needed depending on the day in question but it should only just hold bottom. Its all about minimizing resistance as much as possible. The less resistance there is to a taking fish the more confident the bite will be.

Location is also a big part of chub fishing, and if you get that right then you are ninety percent of the way there. It has quickly become apparent to me that the chub on my local river are only in certain swims and are very localized to certain areas. Bait placement is also vitally important, and that if the bait was presented, for example very close to a far bank overhanging tree, is wouldn't be taken. It transpired that it was a case of casting about half way across, close to the tree but no too close, in fairly open water to get the bites. By introducing small samples of the chosen hook bait previous to casting, it makes the chub less wary and keeps them on the search, looking for more of the same. It was very noticeable that if you were going to get a bite then you would get it on your first cast and that you rarely got a second chance. It was simply a case of keeping on the move until you found the fish as they are spread out like currants in a cake.

It looks from the long range weather forecasts that the weather is going to take a very severe turn for the worse this week, so if you do venture out on the bank then please take care and wrap up warm.

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