I’m really busy with various things at the moment but I made a promise to myself, that even if it is for just two hours, I will get a little fishing in every week. And thats what time limit I had this week. What better way to spend a short amount of time than roving a small river with some cheesepaste trying to tempt a chub. The river would be the same that I have been fishing for the grayling but much lower down, where it is deeper, a little slower but still as overgrown and ‘fishy.’
I arrived at the river mid afternoon and on first inspection, knew I was in for a tough time. The river still had a good amount of extra water on and the colour had already begun to drop out. But I was willing to try. Find a few slack areas behind trees or on the nearside of bends, feed a little cheesepaste, have a cup of coffee, then give it fifteen minutes before moving on. Sounds good to me.
I walked away from the car to the furthest swim. It would take me just over two hours to visit all the swims I knew would be fishable. The swim here is usually quite shallow and the water skims over a gavel bottom. There is a deeply undercut bank where the river gouges away the sandy soil on the far bank, and under my feet, when there is extra water on, turns into a slow back eddy. It offers fish a little calm water and will also collect any natural food. There simply had to be a fish or two down there. But would they be interested in the cheesepaste? I’d find out soon enough. I broke a small ball of it and fed it into the swim, just under my feet no more than four feet from the bank, where the water is at its deepest. I had my coffee whilst letting the bait settle and hopefully rouse the interest of Mr Chub. Above me a woodpecker rhythmically tapped at the tree bark. A splash of white, black and red in an otherwise green and brown backdrop. Once he spotted me he soon flew away but it was a nice sight all the same. Time to drop in the rig. Carefully I placed it into position. Free-lined cheesepaste. There was no need for any additional weight. Sitting well back from the edge, I wrapped the line around my finger and waited for a bite. Five minutes past. A little pluck on the line out of the blue, then a more pronounced pull. Fish on. I had to play it fairly hard to keep the fish from finding one of the multitude of snags, but on 6lb line, I felt I always had the upper hand.
This chunky chub of 4lb 9oz was the culprit and obviously had a liking for some stinky cheesepaste. It was a fish in lovely condition apart from one obvious puncture would on the other flank. It looked fairly recent to. Maybe a cormorant or some other predator. I don’t know. I applied some Propolis to the would, made sure it ‘stuck’ and returned the fish. Propolis is used by koi carp enthusiasts as a natural antibacterial and healing agent. If its good enough for them its good enough for fishing. I use it whenever I see a fish with damage. Big or small, carp, barbel or any other. It’s also good at alleviating hayfever symptoms but I only just found this out so I can’t say wether it works or not. With that swim now disturbed I made my way to the next in the hope of another chub.
The sun had now made it’s way behind the clouds and this gave me a little more confidence. I changed my plans slightly when I got settled in the swim. It looked really good and I had a lot of water to draw fish from. I therefore decided to give it an hour and slowly build up the swim. I fed a few pellets I had with me and every few minutes, a little chunk of cheesepaste. I used a fairly light leger to search the swim. Bumping the lead down the swim occasionally and letting it come to rest where the flow dictated. As I expected it was slow going and for thirty minutes nothing happened.
On a cast a little further down the swim I had a little pluck which didn’t materialise into anything. Another ten minutes went by before the tip pulled round Slowly. I struck into a heavy weight and at first I thought I had snagged up. Then the snag began to move, toward me thankfully. This was a very heavy fish. Suddenly the fish shook its head and did a complete u-turn, and at some speed. Stripping line off the reel the fish headed away from me. As I said before I was on 6lb line and was not geared up for this. With the fish heading towards a huge dead tree and a raft of debris I had to hold on and hope for the best. Unfortunately the fish was soon free, the hook having pulled, but thankfully I didn’t leave any end tackle with the fish. Quite what the fish was I wouldn’t like to say, it was heavy and very powerful, and its turn of pace was staggering. Barbel or carp? Thats fishing for you. It wouldn’t be interesting to succeed all the time. It’s part of the charm of the sport, so many variables out of your control, its amazing we catch any fish at all. I’ll certainly be rigging up on heavier gear for the next few sessions just in case I happen to meet with that brute again!
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Until Next time tight lines,