Monday, 9 February 2015

Avon Chub Chasing – Guttle Shuffle

For this morning’s fish pursuit I was after big Chub, easily the greediest fish in the river and certainly not shy round the buffet. Their gluttony and pursuit of a full belly means they can be caught in the hottest of summers and the coldest of winters. They have an unmistakeable fight that makes them right up that as one of my favourite species to catch, proper scrappers and snag seekers. My PB is a mediocre 4lb 9oz, and I want to catch a Warwickshire Avon quintuple.

3lb 6oz
The Avon Chub I’ve caught are long but not as tumified as their Southern cousins, so despite catching literally hundreds of them I’ve struggled to achieve my goal, less food available, more active who knows ? Maybe I should target them exclusively for a whole winter, a carpet bombing approach so to speak. I could take to my car and find a better stamp of fish in an entirely different river and county. I prefer to catch fish on my doorstep though, it suits my limited free time and I find it more of a challenge.

They do exist because I’ve seen them and other anglers have caught them. One day last summer when the water was low and gin clear I witnessed a couple of Chub in one particular swim through my polarised cocoons that would have been closer to 6 than 5. They were easily spooked though and any hint of the presence of an angler (ie heavy footy me) or a baited rig, vamoose nowhere to be seen, gone, back to their thick cover and sanctuary. Trotting fared better than a static bait in terms of numbers of fish caught but a static bait seemed to always bring the bigger fish. Come winter time and with a bit of colour in the water though, the fish feel more confident, far less easy to spook and there is a better chance of catching a good’un.

My usual tactics were used for this session. Cheese paste, maggots and worms for hookbait, liquidised bread as feed and my favoured roving approach. Before fishing the first swim a few potential swims were pre-baited on route with marble sized cheese paste balls and these baited swims would be fished on the return. For keeping cheese paste on I tie a small hair with a bait spike attached and use a small cork ball which gives the paste something to grip on to. You get savage bites too so as a rig it work well. Size 12 hooks seem to be just about right.

No more overhang :(

As one particular swim I was planning to fish also contains Gudgeon I brought along my trusty 8ft TFG super light quiver rod with a light link ledger set-up and planned to fish a small section of worm or a couple of maggots. These were not battery wasters either as I’ve caught some right lunkers, strangely when I’ve had a large pellet out for Barbel. I’m sure there would be a possibility of clonkers of specimen proportion too as in this relatively short 20 meter stretch of river where it’s fast flowing with a bed of gravel they seem to thrive and don’t venture too far, bit like those from Southam.

Best laid plans and all that as weirdly they were not there today; the river was low and clear but had a decent flow to it. Maybe that put them off. The weather is settling down by the looks of it so with the close season fast approaching I’ll give it another go in a couple of weeks.

Blurry, a bit how my head felt after a night at the Champions.
At least the Chub were paying ball, the 2nd swim I managed a 2lber and the last swim a hard fighting one that went 3lb 6oz’s on the scales. Certainly not the best conditions to fish for big Chub but an enjoyable short session all the same.


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