We have had a few bitterly cold days this winter and it was on one of them that saw me tackle my local river, primarily after Chub.
It was late morning by the time I had sorted myself out. I starting off with red maggot under a stick float, but it was unusually tough going and I couldn’t buy a bite. So after moving slowly down river nearing the end of the stretch I decided to switch to a Lobworm on a long light link ledger. After 30 minutes the rod tip registered the only bite of the day and I managed a small Brown Trout which saved a blank.
The following week found me with 3 hours spare, so I ventured a mile or so further up stream to a stretch that would allow me to run a stick float easily enough. The day was warmer and the previous nights rain meant the river was slightly up with a little colour left in it. The conditions looked good for a fish or two.
Again I struggled for a bite, but persevered knowing I only had a short time. Finally, as time was running out, towards the end of the run the float dipped and I connected with a plump Chub that saved the day. Red maggot doing the trick this time.
I might have mentioned it before but I love my local river Blackwater. It offers many things to me: time to unwind, reflect and refresh. Small, it has a diverse variety of fish species that can be tempted with trotting, light ledger and lure tactics. This is where I have spent my last 6 months fishing, and really enjoyed it.
My style of fishing has changed over the years. It used to be spent largely in pursuit of Carp dedicated to a specific lake targeting the old strains that live within. The last 10 years has seen me target more species that has taken me to a wider variety of waters to fish for them. This change in my fishing style has suited my current work and family commitments and the last 6 months has been made up of short day sessions of between two and six hours – roving the river, mainly in search of Chub.
Here is a small montage of some of the fish caught from the river Blackwater since August.
I am looking forward to 2018 and can only hope to dedicate more of my time to my hobby.
With less than a month left before the river season comes to another close I find myself walking the banks of my small local river in search of a chub or two.
I have come armed with a light quiver rod and reel, minimal end tackle, net and a ball of cheese paste that has been sitting in the fridge for a month.
I walk the length of the short stretch, stopping occasionally to peer into the shallow margins looking for signs of chub, or anything else swimming! I might have even thrown a few bits of paste into any chubby looking spots to give them something to think about before I return with baited hook.
At the end of the stretch I settle into a swim which is just big enough to flick my light link ledgered cheese paste towards a far bank tree with low overhanging branches. Although this looked like a good spot a bite did not develop. I didn’t hang around too long and after half an hour reeled in to search out another spot.
This sequence of events was repeated a couple more times with similar results. With the unseasonably warm afternoon sun beginning to fall behind the trees on the horizon I was starting to wonder if I should have considered another bait option to prevent a blank.
Arriving at what was to be my penultimate swim, I flicked out my cheese paste into a deeper hole that I had located on a previous session. After placing the rod on the front rest, the quiver tip settled for a minute before showing a subtle bite which I instantly stuck into.
The battle curve of the rod assured me that this was what I had been waiting for. After a spirited fight I slid the net under a plump chub of 4 pounds 7 ounce.
With light fading I re-baited and cast into the same hole. I had a feeling that there was a chance of another fish. Shortly afterwards I struck into the tiniest of bites and connected with what felt like a heavier but different fight. The result was a pike of around 6 or 7 pounds hooked fair and square through the top lip.
On five separate occasions over the last three months, I have been unable to land the pike that have latched onto roach and dace I had been reeling in on 3 lb float tackle, breaking the line before getting to the net. On this occasion the 6 lb line was kept clear of sharp teeth until in the net.
Walking back to the car, wondering why a pike had bothered with my paste, I remembered that I had added a few drops of crab flavouring to the mix to spice things up. Well, it definitely gave me a cheese paste surprise!