Monday 25 February 2013

The Brook 23.02.13

The lure of the brook was difficult to ignore, I just love the place. I'm usually the only angler fishing it and it's quite a wild stretch of the Warwickshire Avon which can be quite characterless in places. It has a weir, fast narrow stretches, deep holes, slack areas and lots of fallen trees giving cover. I've had near double figure Barbel, 5lb+ Chub,big perch,decent roach and even eels.

With the levels settling down due to lack of rain it was starting to go clear too. Tactics today were hair rigged bread discs with liquidised bread in the feeder. Not sure if it helps but I flavour the liquidised bread with Sonubaits cheezy, hemp and garlic, it certainly smells nice so I expect the fish will like it.

I think other local bloggers have had the same results on the Warwickshire Avon, lots of Chub between 3 and 4 pound, 5 pounders scarce and 6 pounders a rarity. For me fishing bread for Chub always bring savage bites, bites that you cannot miss really. I use ready made 15" long hair rig fitted with a Korum quickstop, the hook is only a size 12 but does a suitable job of hooking the fish especially when the bread discs engulf the hook, disguising it but allowing the hook to easily pass through the bread on the strike.

I had a fish on the bank from the first swim, only smallish so I didn't weigh it, a good fight though especially in the flow. The river was down a meter or so from last week but still flowing at a decent pace, it was bitterly cold though, even though it was above freezing with the wind chill, it felt like -5.

I tired a few more swims without success so returned to the first swim and sure enough an unmissable bite resulted in a 4lb 2oz Chub.

Not long now before the close season is upon us again, so will be somewhere this weekend again. I really need to try somewhere else, however the lure of the Brook however might be too hard to resist.

My Reuben Heaton flyweight mk2 have given up the ghost, it fell apart early this season and I put it back together with electrical tape, it became more and more difficult to zero the scales and I wasn't confident in their accuracy so from now on I'll be using their 9000 series digital scales. They are compact and ideal for roving sessions and from the testing I've done, good accuracy too.

Monday 18 February 2013

The Brook - 17.02.13

The Ricoh in Coventry isn't my usual haunt on a Saturday but there was a two day fishing show on. I wanted to visit the Baitzone stand to stock up on their hemp and corn mix. I was there at 9.00am and had left by 10.30am. I renewed my Leamington Anglers Association book and had a quick chat with Roger Booth of who was manning the stand.

With the local rivers up and with the current river season on the countdown I wanted to try and catch myself a decent Chub. I've said before in my experience of the local rivers I fish the Avon holds the biggest Chub and the majority I catch are over 4lb. With the water coloured, up and cold I had festering cheese paste as bait with an inline MAP feeder filled with liquidised bread.

The MAP inline feeder is a great bit of kit and I've done well with it recently. I use a size 6 swivel and the feeder is free running along the line which minimises the resistance the fish feel. I hair rig a small bit of cork and the cheese paste is moulded around that. The hook is free to rotate and certainly helps presentation, for both hook and bait.

The river was a good metre up from last week and bites were difficult to come by, it's a great little stretch though and I've fished it plenty of times knowing that you have to find the fish. When it's cold a roving approach is the only way and sat on one spot if the fish are not there in your swim, 4 hours later they won't be either. I tend to fish a swim for twenty minutes and then move if I haven't had a bite.

The swim above is a classic Chub swim, downstream cover on the inside bank and out of the main flow of the river. The feeder is cast and it drifts under the overhanging branches. A few sharp knocks on the tip I knew it wouldn't be long till the tip wrapped round. A clonking bite that I couldn't miss and I was fighting a decent Chub. With the rod bend double I had to get it out of the snags and in to the main flow. A decent fight and with the flow felt twice as big as it was. I eventually netted it and it weighed 4lb 9oz's, the only fish of the day but well worth the venture out.

I've only been using a centrpin for a few months and I can honestly say I love it, just feels like you have more control over the fish, a bit like hydraulic power steering verses electric power steering on a car, there is just more feel and just feels right. I'm not sure they would suit my Barbel fishing as I like the control a clutch gives but for Chub it's great. When the close season is upon us I'm going to use one on my float set-up too, should be ideal for that especially if fishing in the margins.

The weather is meant to be dry this week and with the levels settling down I might try Offchurch and the river Leam for a change.

Sunday 10 February 2013

The Brook - 09.02.13

I left the house with sleet coming down, I don't usually fish in the rain but not managing to go fishing the previous weekend because of flu. With the Avon levels back to normal (according to the EA website) I went for a few hours at Hampton Lucy Brook.

I was armed with my usual Chub set-up which is a 10ft Pro-Logic specialist rod, MAP in-line feeder with liquidised bread and a small size 12 hook with bread discs on a Korum 15" quickstop hair rig. The River was higher than I expected, coloured and flowing at a decent pace. I settled in to the first swim which was an area of slack water in-between two sunken trees. The ground was saturated and the mud claggy underfoot, so not exactly an easy peg to fish.

Chub love bread and there is no mistaking a Chub bite when they devour the fluffy white offering, you just cannot miss them. The bread discs swell in the water and hide the hook. It's a great way of presenting a bait. Within 5 minutes I had the first bite and turned out to be my biggest Chub of the season so far, not a huge one for most anglers but it went 4lb 6oz on the scales. Really long and fat a proper chunky fish.

A great start, usually I move swims and return after the swim has settled but I re-baited and fished the downstream snag instead, again didn't wait long for a bite and another Chub was netted. A smaller one this time but still a tad over 4lb, 4lb seems to be the average size Avon chub I catch and they do fight well at this size, you certainly know you have a fish on the end of your line.

With the swim disturbed I moved upstream towards the weir and after trying a couple of places without a bite I settled in to this swim, again didn't have to wait long before the rod wrapped around and I was in to another Chub. I felt bigger than the previous Chub but it managed to run in the main flow of the river so was current assisted, with the rod properly bent double it was a decent fight but was eventually netted. Again a tad over 4lb.

I tried a few more swims and headed back the car, the first swim I caught the two chub in wasn't forthcoming with further bites so I tried a downstream swim which I've caught Barbel from before. This time I switched to a fat lobworm on the hook.

Within minutes the lobworm was getting interest from small fish and I didn't have to wait long till the rod violently rattled and I was in to another Chub. Only a small one this time and in stunning mint condition. 4 nice Chub In three hours I'm glad I made the effort to fish, an enjoyable morning.

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