Thursday, 13 March 2014

A Pair of Fives

Today was my final opportunity for a running water session before the season closes for three months so there was no way I would pass it up. My preference would have been to target Barbel but the low overnight temperatures convinced me that Chub would be a safer option so armed with luncheon meat and my favourite Chub bait, cheese paste I fought my way through the fog to a familiar stretch of the Warwickshire Avon.
My preferred trotting method was made impossible in the gloom, the float was just not visible for long enough to make it worthwhile so a change to legering was necessitated.
The first two swims I fished yielded nothing, not even a twitch but the third produced a bite almost instantly, unfortunately I missed it as I was reading a text. Thankfully it didn't take long before I had another opportunity and this time I struck into a fish which screamed off downstream instantly. Initially I thought Barbel but the fight soon became a lot easier and I knew it was Chub. A big open mouth came over the net cord and I could see it was a good fish.
The Warwickshire Avon has a healthy population of Chub and their average weight is definitely on the increase. Having said that a five is still a good fish for this river so I was pleased to start the day with a five pound nine ounce specimen. A long youthful looking fish that definitely one day will be over that magic six pound mark, I really hope to renew acquaintance with it then.

5lb 9oz
Normally when I use cheese paste as bait I mould it around the hook but today I decided to experiment with hair rigging it. The former seems to me to be the better option as a succession of twitches, pulls and missed strikes continued throughout the morning which became frustrating.

Eventually one bite materialised into a hook up and after a vivacious battle I landed a rather sorry looking Chub. This one had been through the mill (possible literally) and had a nasty looking growth on the side of it's gill. It was also very lean and clearly not doing well. I didn't stress it further with a weigh in, just took a quick photo and returned it to the water.

A screaming bait runner signalled a third fish hooked and after a spirited effort I had another fish in the net. Not as long as the first and with a slight hump to its dorsal it was clearly a five due to the big belly it boasted. The scales confirmed my initial thoughts as the went down to 5lb 6oz. I was more than pleased with a brace of fives in the same session, it would have been unheard of only a few years ago.

The sun finally burnt off the mist and with that the action died off too.

Spring is nearly here and I have already started thinking about Tench and other species to target over the next few months, cannot wait.


  1. I think I had that humpy backed fish 2 summers ago at 4.10 from the same location as you had him.
    Well done on the 5's mate. not eveyday you have one 5 never mind 2. But you alway was a show off.

  2. A cracking pair of Avon chub Joe. Well done.

  3. I've yet to crack a 5 on the Warwickshire Avon, I've seen >6 lber's though, just couldn't get near them.

    I use a paste cage on a hair and an inline feeder with liquidised bread, I don't strike now even with big plucks on the rod tip I just wait to the rod properly hoops on and the fish hooks itself on the weight of the feeder, works every time. No doubt there is a healthy population, they fight well too don't they.

    Some cracking pics there too Joe, how the house and pool coming on btw ?

    1. Thanks Mick, should be in the house in the next few weeks, the pool will have to wait until we get settled and sorted and the garden tidied

  4. Cheers Martin and Sean, it was a good end to the season.

  5. Nice brace there Joe. I also managed a nice Chub during the last week which narrowly missed the 5lb mark so there's definitely a good head of larger fish about. Do you mind if I pick your brain regarding Linear as I have never visited before and would like to get amongst some decent tench this spring? Thanks, Lee

    1. No bother, send me an email sometime