This is actually part four of this seasons quest and my second season of seriously trying to achieve the milestone of a "Seven" pound Chub, I have travelled many miles and pumped in countless hours in the vein hope that I will one day become lucky enough to experience the pure elation of such a big specimen resting in my net.
However, it isn't just Chub that inhabit these waters, a small head of Barbel also exist amongst the thick weed, location is absolutely everything and with the constant pressures of the Otters it is often difficult to pin the Barbel down. The tactics and bait that I use on the H.Avon and D.Stour are tried and tested Chub and Barbel catching methods I feel ultimately confident in, just a case of right place, right time.
This particular trip a couple of weeks ago provided me with a tough start, hours of walking, peering through glasses at endless miles of gravel and weed made for exciting fishing, unfortunately I couldn't catch any of the fish seen, a few really big Chub were spotted near a bank of onion reed but these fish were not in a feeding mood at all, so after 9 hours of trying I decided to change tactic and uncharacteristically opted for a static approach, high sun, low and clear river this didn't seem to be a great idea but I had no other options.
After walking so much with countless swims visited there was a couple of I thought may prove to be successful, good cover, fairly deep and a couple of fish were spotted floating across the gravels prior to my first cast, the wait began.....
|A day of pure sunshine, perfect for stalking.|
I thought it was quite amusing that I'd nothing to show for my efforts for 10 hours of fishing then two Chub in as many minutes, I let them both get a breather and photographed the bigger one, then slipped them back, baited up my two rods and got them both out on the spots. I sat back in my chair with a justified grin as my gamble had paid off to sit behind baits and allow any feeding fish to find me rather than chase them, maybe five minutes later my far bank rod went again with another dogged Chub towing me around amongst the thick weed, partly the reason for using stronger rods is to nullify the Chub's antics and snags, with the extra power I often got the upper hand fairly quickly and prevent losing fish to the vast banks of weed which often end up my enemy.
With lots of weed causing a problem I couldn't gain anything on it, soon after Brian arrived and he kindly took over net duty so I could concentrate on trying to pull the fish through and then letting the tension go, after doing this for a couple of minutes the Barbel found a hole in the weed and my line cut through most of it, I breathed a huge sigh of relief as it came into the clear water but I still had to tease her up towards where we were perched, with the net handle extended to its maximum Brian shipped it out, mugging it in the process!. Both of us thought it was a double, short but very thick and deep I thought I had nailed it first time around.
That was a battle I won't forget in a hurry, what a result, now I was very very happy!
|9lb 9oz, not quite a double but I was so damn happy !|
The rest of the day passed by without a hint of action, I couldn't have cared less!