Saturday 15 July 2023

Warwickshire Avon - Scotch Eggs and Scoptophobia

Remember that COVID lockdown malarkey where a row broke out whether a scotch egg can be classed as a 'substantial meal' under rules only allowing alcohol to be served with food. Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said two scotch eggs would be 'a starter', the 24 hours after Environment Secretary George Eustice said one is a substantial meal.

Now Mr Gove reiterated his stance in a second interview on Good Morning Britain before backtracking and then telling ITV News: 'A scotch egg is a substantial meal'. What the heck was that all that about, you would think it was all made up but we all lived through the ridiculous rules. These black pudding ones from Walter Smith are definitely a substantial meal I know that. 

Now it has been said many many times that the chub is the most catholic of fish, quite prepared to gulp down anything at any time. While it is quite true that they have a very wide feeding range, being both predatory and vegetarian, it is not correct to assume they will take any bait you care to put on your hook. Chub can be fickle creatures, and I have known times when they will look at only one bait, and can be caught on no other.

The natural food of chub varies, depending on the feed available in the different waters. It can safely be said that chub will settle in nearly all rivers or streams, at least to some extent. This is made possible by the powerful throat teeth, digestive organs and juices, which enable the species to eat a very varied selection of water creatures.

The chub will feed quite happily on any of the following: bread, maggots, worms, cheese, wasp grub, caddis grub, silkweed, minnows and other small fish; elvers, lampreys, crayfish, snails, frogs, insects, slugs, freshwater mussels, cherries, bananas, elderberries, hempseed, liver, and so on the list is really quite endless. Heck I've even caught them on Raspberry Mushrooms and Gammy Gums

From the angler's point of view the chub, as a quarry, has other advantages. It will feed at every hour of the day and night, quite often under bad conditions. The water temperature factor, so im- portant when considering other species, has less influence on chub. 

I have taken them in low, clear water, after long periods of hot, dry weather, and I have taken them in winter when the cold has been so intense that fishing for more than a couple of hours has been too much for personal comfort.

Below about 40 degrees Fahrenheit feeding becomes much reduced, but they can still be caught, although tactics must be changed, and one must be prepared to sit for long periods between bites, remaining on the alert for the slightest movement of the rod tip.

Chub inhabit all types of waters, from small streams which are little more than a collection of pools joined by a thin trickle, to full-size rivers like the Hampshire Avon and the River Severn. As a rule the fast, well-oxygenated waters, produce the biggest chub, but there are exceptions to every rule, and waters of all shapes and sizes contain truly monstrous specimens.

This season so far I've had a nice 5lber but the bigger specimens have eluded me thus far however I'll keep on plugging away and I'm sure something special will turn up. For this session it was back out with the simple tactics of a load of bread either fished on the top or slow sinking.

The water was well up for this early morning session however it was still clear but with some extra water on I was hoping it would spur them on a bit.

The banker swim seemed to be devoid of fish oddly but the next swim I had a couple of fish taking it off the top with the first drift down of the freebies. Quite a tricky swim to fish but the first chub that succumbed to the tactics was almost a swinger.

Hmmm not exactly what I was after, still at least I'd not blanked which is always a possibility using this method. Eventually the swim above produced something better when a chub came up to inspect the bread but ignored it, so I squeezed the bread to get all the water out and fished it slow sinking in the slack to the left, where it was grabbed as soon as it started to drift downstream.

Still not exactly what I was after but at least they were getting bigger. !! I lost a fish in another tricky swim to fish when it headed straight for the subsurface reeds.

Damn, felt a bigger fish to, oh well !!!

Anyway the fishing was tougher than I thought, a couple of the swims that usually always have chub laying up didn't, and unfortunately it was the swims much harder to fish that eventually through up another couple more chub.

The biggest probably not much over 2lb the bigger fish were not showing whatsoever. The river looked perfect for a static bait fished over a bed of hemp and pellets but I'll save that for another day. 

The next session is in the morning where I'll be joining Nic from Avon Angling again on the river Wye. Hopefully this time I'll get some trotting in but with the threat of a big dumping of rain that plan may well be scuppered. 

So I'll also take the ledger gear as well just in case trotting is proving difficult. Nic knows this stretch like many on the Wye like the back of his hand and one swim with a croy definitely will be so fingers crossed this will come up trumps. 


  1. Try a black slug that has grown tired of trying to get at the many salad leaves through the dense white net covers 😉


  2. Yeap great bait actually but yeah cannot get the slime off can you !!


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