Sunday, 19 February 2012

Start 'em young

I have been undecided all week as to what species to fish for this weekend but a sudden drop in overnight temperature made my mind up for me, it had to be Chub again. When there is a frost on the ground they are the most reliable for getting a bite and they didn't let me down.
I ventured out bright and early to the same stretch as last week. Last week I roved around fishing several different swims but I only caught in one. This week I headed straight for that spot and settled in for the day. I did not have to wait long before landing a decent Chub of about 4lb, first cast.
Cheese paste works quickly if the fish are in the swim. Normally I use Cheddar and Danish Blue but the shop only had Stilton. Obviously it makes no difference, in fact it is probably better.
The bites kept coming steadily throughout the morning and I finished the session with seven fish in total, a combined weight of well over 20lb.
My Wife, Daughter and Son had a walk along the river around lunchtime to feed the ducks and see how I was getting on. They were suitably impressed with my catch, especially Max (well he is only 2 years old). He has seen fish before but only Trout so he loved seeing a netful of Chub and insisted on holding one for the camera. In the interest of fish welfare I helped out.

Maisie was not so keen and she stayed well back.
 There is no doubt that Max is going to follow in his Dad's footsteps and come the summer we'll venture out to catch him that memorable first fish. I remember mine, a Tommy Ruffe from the Derwent in Yorkshire, more years ago that I care to admit to.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Cheesey Chub

It was freezing cold and the remnants of the snow crunched beneath my feet as I made my way down to the Warks Avon this morning. Thankfully there was no breeze and the sun was threatening to brighten up the day and raise the temperature to just above painful.
I thought the best chance of a fish was Chub with it's willingness to feed in all temperatures and I headed to a swim that has been a banker for me in the past. This stretch is slower and deeper than others so in theory the fish could lie up here in relative comfort. Cheese paste is my favourite bait for Winter Chub so I cast out a good lump on a simple running ledger rig, three pound hooklength and a size 8 paste hook.
I have tried hair rigging paste for Chub without success so I now go straight on the hook with just the point on show.
Last week it was dogs that kept taking an interest in the contents of my bait bucket, this week it was birds. Seconds after this picture was taken the little blighter jumped in and started helping himself. I decided to use him for an experiment. I put a lump of cheese and a similar size lump of bread on the path to see which he preferred. He ate the cheese which shocked me, I wondered if Chub would do the same?

After ninety bite less minutes I was beginning to feel the cold so decided on a change of swim, the walk would warm me up if nothing else. I went to a peg that was just down from the weir. I had seen fish in their in the summer but would they still be there in the winter. The flow is a fair bit faster.
I cast out without too much confidence but first chuck the rod shook and then shot round and it was fish on. I landed a Chub of about 3lb. I recast and the rod tip did exactly the same, this time it was a much better fish weighing 4lb 7oz. Home made Cheese Paste had done it again.

This seemed to kill the swim so I headed to the next swim, just below the weir. This time it was a replica of the first spot i.e no action. Apart from bird life again. A pair of swans came along and normally I am not a fan of these but these two were positively tame. 

They let me feed them straight out of my hand.

Big pieces of bread though! Can they really break a man's arm or is that a myth?

There was no more fishy action and I left around 2pm before it got too cold.

Monday, 6 February 2012

'Back' on the Avon

My first chance to go fishing for over four weeks coincided with Winter finally arriving properly. The Vale of Evesham has a different climate to surrounding areas so while we had the snow that blanketed the rest of the country we also had overnight rain and above freezing temperatures which led to the snow quickly melting into the river. I don't want to make excuses but snow melt is not conducive to catching fish. So I have made an excuse!
I have been out of action for the past few weeks with a slipped disc. My own fault, I did not adhere to  the health and safety manual, picking up a (large) log whilst not bending my knees and I felt my back ping instantly. It was agony especially driving. Added to that we have been short staffed at work and hence my bankside time has been severely restricted. I could only manage to get out in the morning this weekend due to Christening and Godfather duties.
I knew the fishing would be difficult Sunday morning but I had to give it a go. I thought my best chance of catching would be Chub so off I went with cheesepaste and flavoured luncheon meat.
The river always looks stunning in the snow. The peace and solitude is refreshing, well it was until the army of dog walkers descended. I lost count of the number of canines that I had to pull out of my bait bucket while their owners came running along the frosty bank apologising profusely.
Talking of bait buckets did anyone lose theirs?
The variety of stuff that floats past when you are fishing is amazing. Every single session a tennis ball floats by along with all other manner of crap. A dead cat is the worst thing I have seen so far, can anyone beat that?
Anyway I tried hard but could not muster a bite let alone a fish, still it was nice to be back on the bank again finally. Next weekend cannot come soon enough.