Exploration pays off in chub.

December 3, 2015 at 6:30 pm

A local road diversion sent me along a lane bordered by my productive little river last week and today I was loaded up and ready to try a swim, that looked very chubby, when I’d driven by. Problem was, that I had a morning visit to my brother-in-law booked for belated birthday wishes and would only have the afternoon free. My plans were further dented, when the sausage rolls and cakes came out and we stayed for lunch, leaving little time for fishing later. Returning home before 2 pm, with my wife busying herself putting up the Christmas tree, I quickly changed and headed off to the new section of river.

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Parking the van, I followed the river upstream to my desired swim, only to realise, yes it looked chubby, but overhanging trees would prevent anything, but a six foot rod from landing a fish. As if to rub it in, a large fish swirled beneath a tangle of branches, when I turned away. I would have to explore further. There were some mouth watering swims, but without a machete, they were inaccessible and turned back past the van to find an open space behind the roadside tangle. Time was getting on and decided to give it a go, forcing my way through a barrier of bramble and twigs, to the relatively open bank beyond.

Setting up my lightweight 12 ft Hardy rod, with a 3 No 4 ali stemmed stick to 5 lb main line and size 16 on a 3 lb hooklink, I followed a ball of liquidise bread with the float rig at 18 inches to test the depth.

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The float dragged under immediately and I silently cursed the shallow water, lifting in the hope, that I hadn’t hooked into a snag first cast, the rod arching round proving me wrong with a small chub diving away.

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Netting the first chub was not easy in this parrot cage of a swim, there being a narrow gap to pass the rod top through as I brought it up and back to sweep the fish into the net, the tip rattling through the finer twigs above me. With the keepnet deployed, I set about filling it, abandoning the landing net to swing the chub in, the bent rod just missing the the overhang each time. My aim had been to trot to the base of the tree opposite downstream, but the float sank out of sight long before it had travelled that far, with chub around the 6 oz mark competing for the bread pellets.

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I had started just before 3 pm and knew an hour’s fishing would be about my limit on this overcast December afternoon, continuing to catch right up to my self imposed time of 4 pm, allowing me to pack up before it got dark. I’d fed about a quarter of a loaf of bread, which kept them interested and never did discover how deep the swim was, most fish, all chub, taking on the drop and had no need to vary the float depth, finishing with eighteen in the net. More feed over a longer period, could produce some larger fish.

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Next visit will see me armed with a pole saw and a bill hook to do a bit of trimming before I fish, a few gems hidden among the undergrowth, just waiting to be exploited.